My guest blogger this week is Don Eisenhauer, ACC. Don and I have been collaborating for the past year on our upcoming coach training event titled: “Coaching at End of Life – A Coach Approach to Ministering to the Dying and the Grieving.” Don will also tell you about another practical resource he has been working on, that will help those ministering at End of Life.
We live in a culture that is uneasy with end of life issues. Yet death is the one reality we all must face. All will die, and all will experience grief.
In my years of ministry, I have found no greater privilege than to walk a dying person to the door of eternity, and then support their loved ones in the sometimes dark and lonely tunnel of grief that follows.
This difficult time is filled with so many opportunities and possibilities. That is why I am excited to partner with Val in our upcoming training, “Coaching at End of Life – A Coach Approach to Ministering to The Dying and The Grieving.”
I have a passion to train and support clergy, chaplains and other professionals who care for those who are facing end of life issues. My passion stems from the awareness that in my 15 years of pastoral ministry, there is so much more I could have done to care for the dying and the grieving. I did the very best that I knew how. Yet having spent a dozen years as a hospice chaplain and grief care specialist, I now realize that my sincere attempts were not always the best or most effective. I also see and talk with other clergy who are struggling in the same way I did.
I am convinced that in most cases, people have within them everything they need to deal with the inevitable end of life issues that every human being must face. For many reasons, however, most are not aware of how to tap those resources. For these individuals, an End of Life Coach can help them to embrace what is happening to them and around them, and to seek God’s transformation in the midst of it.
When they feel like they are going crazy, they need to be reminded that they are normal. When they feel alone, they need to be supported. When it seems too difficult to go on, they need to be encouraged. When their story begs to be told, they need someone to listen. And when they feel hopeless and want to give up, they need someone to help form a new vision for the future.
This is the role of the End of Life Coach. In our day and age, we desperately need the End of Life Coach in our churches, parishes and synagogues. We need them in our community, military and parachurch organizations. Wherever we have people who deal with grief and loss, which is everyone, we need End of Life Coaches.
Dr. Don Eisenhauer, ACC is an associate certified coach, accredited by the International Coach Federation. He is also a co-founder of the Bereavement Management Group, makers of the Bereavement Management System, a software program that helps the End of Life coach continue to support the bereaved with scheduled cards, letters, newsletters and phone calls during the grief process. You can learn more about this program at www.bereavementmanagement.com.