A Terminal Patient’s Hopes for Connections Transcending Time


  • Megumi Kondo-Arita Tenri Health Care University, Japan




death, dying, bonds, self-esteem, transcendence


Terminal cancer patients face not only issues unique to their diseases, but also issues rooted in their previous life experiences, including physical, social, psychological, and spiritual pain. This study focuses on the hopes of a terminal patient for “Continuing Bonds.” Much current research emphasizes the importance of “continuing bonds” for the health of bereaved families, but little has looked at the meaning of “continuing bonds” for dying patients themselves. I attended an elderly terminal cancer patient in a Japanese hospital, observing and conversing with her as she went through the process of examining her life and faith. The patient granted permission to record and share these observations to shed light on Japanese views of “death” and “life.” This research shows that Japanese face death not merely as personal issues, but in the broader perspective of continuing family bonds.