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Sharing the darkness: The spirituality of caring

Sheila Cassidy


Reason you chose this book

This book changed my patient care. As a young student nurse I read many biographies to try and gain understanding about living with illness. This book was exceptional in helping my understanding of holistic care and spirituality. My compassion as a palliative care nurse was greatly enhanced by Sheila's honesty.


Sheila Cassidy, Medical Director of a small hospice, tells her own story; including imprisonment and torture in Chile, and how this developed her as a human being, giving her increased compassion for others. Her style is easy to read as she explores her own reactions to what happens in her life and then tells her own journey from physician, to monastery, to hospice work. She tells what she discovered about herself when she visited a L'arche community of disabled and able bodied people living together and about her own genuine exploration of spirituality in suffering. The title is very relevant as this book does indeed explore how nurses share some of the darkness that people who are in our care experience. Reading how someone else learns from life gives the reader permission and encouragement to do the same with their own life; both as a nurse, and as a person. I would thoroughly recommend this book to any nurse keen to understand more about spirituality and care.

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Page last updated - 03/08/2019