By Christel Lukoff, Ph.D. and David Lukoff, Ph.D.
Originally published in the The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2011, Vol. 43, No. 2
The approach in this article is based on the first author’s experience using traditional folktales and myths as sources of spiritual wisdom and healing while accompanying a close friend throughout her end-of-life process. Over 200 folktales dealing with illness, death and grief were collected from books of folktales, mythology and spiritual traditions. Inspired by Chinen’s approach to Middle and Elder folktales, these stories were then thematically analyzed for main themes and ‘‘field-tested’’ in workshops at transpersonal, hospice and other conferences internationally. According to Kenneth Doka (1993), people at the end of their lives face three major spiritual tasks. Specific folktales are explored to illustrate spiritual care issues for each of these challenges: (a) To find meaning in one’s life, (b) To die appropriately, (c) To find hope that extends beyond the grave.
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