TAKING CARE OF OTHERS: DEATH AND DYING
On September 18, 2010, the courtyard at Cittamani Hospice Service, Queensland, Australia was transformed into a serene and spiritually welcoming space for more than 60 people who attended the Annual Memorial Service. Stuart Ransom’s shakuhachi flute notes welcomed families and friends who had lost loved ones, many of whom brought a photo to place on the altar, or a red rose-bloom in their memory.
Although it is based on Buddhist philosophy and principles, Cittamani cares for people of all creeds, and director Alex Moore reminded everyone that the service would give those present an opportunity to contemplate and connect with the beliefs and values that are unique to them personally. She emphasised that it is during the difficult and desolate times that it is easy to lose awareness of these beliefs, but that it is important to remember that they are there and we need to honor and nurture them, and to appreciate the strengths they give us.
Ven. Lhagsam from Chenrezig Institute told the gathering that in Buddhism it is considered very important to have a calm and peaceful mind in the time leading up to death, and caring for someone throughout this time is one of the kindest things we can do, and one of the greatest gifts that we can give.
This message was taken to heart by a client who had cared for her husband while he was dying, and she expressed that she found this concept refreshing and liberating. She said it had encouraged her to look at the past year with a different perspective, and had given her a new acceptance and greater peace.
There are nine other FPMT-affiliated hospice projects around the world, all providing compassionate care to the dying.Tags: cittamani hospice service, death and dying, hospice