Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spirituality Helps Coping With Illness (Research, Video 10:02)

Life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease can cause many to rely on support and comfort from sources in addition to medical healthcare. Coping skills related to spirituality often empower patients with a layer of strength to face each day with renewed hope and joy.

Spirituality research interviews were done with 10 cardiac survivors and 9 cancer survivors. Participants explained how their life-transforming changes occurred in the context of their life-threatening illnesses. Spirituality, meaning, and purpose were described in several ways such as connecting with family and friends, nature, art, music, and creating a relationship with God. These connections were how they walked through the fire and coped successfully with their diseases.

By understanding the importance of spirituality in many people’s lives, healthcare workers and other caregivers can create better plans for helping patients come to terms with serious health challenges. These plans could include support groups, activities that involve yoga, meditation, nature, music, prayer, or referral to spiritual or religious counselors.

Spirituality does not have to be connected with religion, but sometimes it is. The following video features a church congregation experiencing solitary and communal spirituality. Strains of the gospel song “Come on in the Room” are sung by the Georgia Mass Choir founded by Reverend Milton Biggham. Reflecting the times and power of spirituality during illness, this musical presentation unfolds in the context of a compelling story not written in the lyrics below. Welcome, the service has started.

“Come on in the Room”

Chorus 1:
Come on in the room.
come on in the room.
Jesus is my doctor,
and He writes out all of my prescriptions.
He gives me all of my medicine in my room.

Chorus 2:
There is joy, joy in the room,
joy in the room.
Jesus is my doctor,
and He writes out all of my prescriptions.
He gives me all of my medicine in my room.

Chorus 3:
Joy in my room,
Joy in my room.
Jesus will meet you.
The Holy Ghost will greet you.
Joy, unspeakable joy, in my room.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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