An Excerpt from Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life by Megory Anderson

In this very useful book on bringing out the sacred dimensions in the dying of a loved one, Megory Anderson describes one use of the spiritual practice of silence.

"One family whose elderly father was dying read that in Muslim tradition, families gather around the bedside of the dying person, reciting prayers and portions of Scripture. As the dying person is near death, they encourage him to recite the final prayer of faith, after which they keep total silence. This family very much liked the idea that those in the room should be prayerful and quiet. They asked everyone to participate in silent prayer until their father took his last breath. Even the nurses in the skilled nursing unit respected the silence, and they all agreed it was a very powerful experience for everyone involved."