Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chapter 2 - The Importance of Culture Values

Job 8:8-9 (ESV)
8 "For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out. 9 For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow.
It matters not where you were born, Yankee, Southerner,Westerner, or Easterner. It is not the place or country, Near East, Far East, North America, South America or European. It's not whether you're rich or poor. You may be a Christian, Hebrew, Islamic, Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist, or a member of a Jim Jones Cult, or some other religious or ethnic community. All will some day walk through the "Valley of the Shadow of Death."

The unique aspect of that walk, and major difference between the sojourners on that path, is their culture. Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red or whatever skin color will not keep one off that path. Culture will not keep anyone out of the valley or off the path of death. A person's culture will accompany those along the way to their new beginning, and provide lessons for all those who share the journey and walk down life's path.

There are many seemingly strange, dark shadows and unusual learning experiences or happenings depending on family practices and customs when that family walks into the valley with one of their loved ones. A hospice nurse serving a mountain religious family member who was struggling through the valley of death reported one of these learning experiences.

Hospice nurses are allowed to pronounce the death of hospice patients who die in their homes. This saves the family of the diseased from having to have the county coroner come to the home when the death occurs to investigate the death. It also eliminates the need for an autopsy. It is an opportunity for the nurse to start closure with the family and to begin the bereavement phase of the hospice program.

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