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How faith affects hospice patients at the end of life

how faith affects hospice

Faith often plays a role in how people deal with death, and for hospice patients it’s no different. Kathleen Stock, VNA’s Hospice Chaplain, shares that faith can be a comfort at the end of life, but the experience of faith is different for each patient.

“I think [death] is such an individual thing for each person,” said Stock. “I often say that people die the way they live their lives.”

Some people want to explore death before they die, but some are hesitant to talk about dying with her. The experience of God and the supernatural is often difficult for people to wrap their minds around, and Stock said that it is essential for a hospice chaplain to, “honor where a person is coming from” in their faith journey.

“For me personally and professionally it has been an amazing growth experience to practice in my own religious tradition and my own spirituality to learn from others and to honor their journey,” said Stock.

She shares that death is a topic we don’t want to talk about compared to other big events in our lives, and there is less ritual around death.

“It’s become even more important in some ways for people, especially who are working in hospice, to help people acknowledge that and honor that it’s really important for something to happen [after death],” said Stock. “Faith c