Death is inevitable, mysterious, and often confusing.
At the deathbed, patients and those gathered seek meaning, and many long for a sense of the spiritual. Yet chaplains and spiritual caregivers have minimal information by which they can determine how to provide support, limited time to develop rapport, and varying expectations from those of the people they serve.
Regardless of the religious background of the patient and loved ones gathered at the deathbed, there are elements of symbol and ritual that take on a more pronounced role, and indeed even greater importance as one is facing the end of life.
There are elements and rituals that can be used in most cases that will help the dying feel a connection to something that is larger than themselves and their life.