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Death and Grief Care from the Certified Thanatologist Pastoral Specialist

My Philosophy

​It is important for you to know the philosophy of each Certified Thanatologist Pastoral Specialist (CTPS). I have summarized my philosophy of care: 

  1. The Pastoral Thanatologist brings a non-anxious presence.

  2. A Pastoral Thanatologist understands the grief journey and has often walked the journey themselves. They enter into another’s perception and reality without the intention to change the person.

  3. Sometimes a person gets stuck within struggle. Sometimes that is where they need to be for a time period, and at other times they are stuck because they lack an understanding and safe place to journey though the struggle and intentionally work toward something different.

  4. The Pastoral Thanatologist centers the person in their last season of life, the griever, or the one in struggle as priority. This is what it means to have a person-centered approach.

  5. There is much brokenness in the world. This brokenness causes struggle, grief, suffering, and sometimes death.

  6. Sometimes struggle has the potential to be transformative. Sometimes it does not, and it is sustained.

  7. Our innovative, progressive culture often goes around struggle, grief, and adversity which sometimes disenfranchises a person’s experience.  This causes a domino effect which usually presents itself as relationship struggles. Examples of common disenfranchised grief include: suicide death loss; death caused by murder; abortion loss experience by men or women; miscarriage or infant loss, and child loss of any age; Illness; ability; and sexual abuse loss.

  8. Mourning is an important part of the grief journey and when avoided can cause relational problems.

  9. The grief journey requires intentionality.

  10. Personal narratives are an important process in incorporating the past, present, and future.

  11. Suffering and loss are traumatic. I convey a deep respect for those who are able to mourn.

  12. The medical community does not always meet the deeper unseen needs of an individual such as meaning, purpose, value, and dignity. The Pastoral Thanatologist attends to this reconciliation within changed lives.

  13. There is a difference between a good death and a bad one.

  14. You are the expert in what is happening in your life, so you will teach me. I do have tools that will guide us along your journey.

  15. Your reality is your personal experience. I open myself up to understand and meet you where you are at, without trying to correct your understanding, or place you somewhere you are not.

  16. My care is from a multicultural and global perspective. There are many different ways to look at something.  

  17. My model of care is reconciliation not the resolution of things or bringing back to some state of normal. Sometimes we cannot fix things to what they were before. 

  18. I have a duty to help all pillars of society to understand the holistic needs of those in death and grief. This is why I offer education classes and minister in different settings. 

  19. Like the dying or the griever, the CTPS is not alone. God surrounds the relationship and is at work in the lives of both, privately and communally. 

I am looking forward to meeting you.

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