From Spotlight - Autumn 2017 - Editorial
Death and dying are not popular topics of conversation, and are not usually the preferred topics for magazine articles or books. Sadly, not only is death a part of life, but as nurses (and unfortunately, sometimes as midwives too) it is part of our day-to-day workload. It forces us to confront our own mortality as we work with dying patients and their relatives.More from Spotlight: Autumn 2017
On the frontline: palliative care nursing
End of life care in Kampala, Uganda
Sudden Death: lessons for life
Talking About Death
I remember the first patient I had to 'lay out' as a student. It was the first time I had seen someone die - indeed the first person I had ever met who had died. So insulated from death had my life been at that time. I was struck by the profound mystery that where once there had been a human person, there now laid just a lifeless shell.
The great mystery and wonder of the Christian faith is that we serve a God who, in Jesus, once was a dead body lovingly laid out to rest by those he had known in life. This mystery became both deeper and more wonderful when three days later he was once more a living, breathing person again. A person who had conquered death, and promises the same resurrection life to all who follow him.
The great privilege and challenge of our profession is that we get to serve people at the gateways of life - birth and death. The wonderful hope we have as Christians is that we know that death is not the end, and we have good news of hope that goes beyond this life into a new heaven and earth where we will forever dwell in God's presence (Revelation 21).
In this edition we look at the realities of caring for those at the end of their lives. Part of this is coming to terms with our own mortality. Part of it is being ready to talk about the last, great taboo in our culture - death. And above all it is about how we, in the face of death, reflect and communicate the real hope that we have in Christ.