THE FINAL JOURNEY — COMPLETE HOSPICE CARE FOR DEPARTING VAISHNAVAS
“Sangita’s book is compassionate, practical, and wise — Krishna conscious.”
— His Holiness Giriraj Swami, ISKCON GBC Emeritus, ISKCON Initiating Guru, Author/Lecturer
“We greatly appreciate what Vaishnavas CARE has been providing for end-of-life support for the worldwide family of devotees. It is so vital in this stage of life as Vaishnavas CARE communicates on all levels, from the spiritual Krishna conscious to all the various specific needs of the departing devotee along with their Vaishnava family members.
“Sangita Devi Dasi’s book, The Final Journey, is elaborately written with care, and filled with knowledge which she gained from years of hospice experience. Using it gave us practical guidance in dealing with the end-of-life care and actual departure from this world of a few relatives and devotee friends.
“In the early days of the ISKCON movement, being young ourselves, we were not prepared or educated to actually deal with the last stages of life of devotees even though we were being warned and trained to be aware of it and face the inevitable. There was no systematic guidance then, as what is now available through the hospice education of Vaishnavas CARE, developed by Sangita Devi Dasi, along with her book, The Final Journey.
“We read the book from cover to cover and used it as a manual to remind us what was going to be happening at every stage in the dying process so we could assist the departing Vaishnava in a Krishna conscious way, free from confusion and fear.
We are indebted to Sangita and Vaishnavas CARE for the invaluable service they provided.”
— Madhusudan Das (ACBSP) and Kanchanbala Devi Dasi (ACBSP), Senior Disciples of Srila Prabhupada
“I had the distinct pleasure of reading The Final Journey — Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaishnavas. I found it very simple, informative, and appropriate for both devotees and non-devotees alike. As a Hospice Physician and Medical Director, I strongly recommend this book to families of terminally ill loved ones as well as to hospice professionals.”
— Dr. Thiruvalam P. Indira, M.D., Hospice Director
“I’d like to commend you (Torchlight Publishing) for publishing the excellent book, ‘The Final Journey.’ I found it compassionate, thorough, professional, articulate, and obviously of great importance for Krishna conscious devotees. It’s a great contribution, and you have done a great service by publishing it.”
— His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami, ISKCON GBC and ISKCON Initiating Guru, Author/Lecturer
“Death is a prominent subject matter in Krishna conscious philosophy, since it is our chance to go back to Godhead. Yet, the actual process of dying is an uncomfortable topic that we tend to keep at a respectful distance. The Final Journey — Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaishnavas is the first of its kind in ISKCON. It is a much-needed, simple, and practical guide to care of the terminally-ill from a Vaishnava perspective. Drawing on the author’s extensive experience as a hospice registered nurse, the book provides a wealth of detailed information. The author’s area of expertise is allopathic pain management for the terminally ill, and she argues convincingly that a drug’s long-term effect on a dying body is moot, while greater comfort increases the ability to hear and chant. Alternatives are provided as well. This book takes the reader step-by-step through the entire process, and there is no doubt that it is an invaluable resource for everyone.”
— Dharini Dasi (ACBSP), M.A. Applied Sociology, Attorney at Law
“Sangita Devi Dasi delivers three intertwined books for the price of one. First, The Final Journey carefully depicts the natural dying process. Second, Complete Hospice Care offers step-by-step — and eminently practical — guidance for terminal care. Third, the Departing Vaishnavas addresses the spiritual and ritual needs of Chaitanya Vaishnavas, but intriguingly, there is much within these pages worth studying by those of other faiths. The Final Journey comes highly recommended to anyone who crosses paths with death.”
— Robert Charles Powell, M.D., Ph.D., Editorial Committee Member, Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling
“The Final Journey — Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaishnavas provides the reader with extensive, palliative guidelines for the delivery of care to devotees in the last stages of life.This book is a textbook template for caring for the dying. Using comfortable vocabulary and real examples from her own life, the author provides us with a sense of confidence to take on this most glorious service –attending to Vaishnavas during the most important phase of their lives. As a nurse, I found this manual can serve as a resource for any person, regardless of skill set. As a devotee, I see that this can cross denominations and be applied to any soul preparing to leave his body.”
— Brian O’Dea (Bhaktavatsala Das) RN, BSN, APN (Advanced Practice Nurse)
“It was a delight to read The Final Journey — Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaishnavas by Susan Pattinson, RN (Sangita Devi Dasi) for three reasons. First, her obvious professional knowledge and experience in hospice care make this book a serious presentation on the subject. Thus it will serve as a practical tool for all concerned, as well as a reminder of how sensitive and qualified one should be for this service. Then, departing spiritualists can derive great benefit from modern medicine as it is applied to hospice care. As a spiritualist herself, the author also gives us inspiring and useful insights on the importance of a good death. She goes deep into subjects like compassion toward spiritual pain, respect for one’s spiritual desires and convictions, importance of prayers and holy association, and relevant scriptural quotes. Finally, this book offers great hope to the aging Vaishnavas and will inspire members of our (Krishna conscious) society to cooperate for this noble service of caring for others.
— Gopaswami Das, (ACBSP), M.D.; Qualified in Hospice Care; ISKCON Initiating Guru
“‘If someone is physically, emotionally, and mentally pain free, has other symptoms well managed, and is rightly situated spiritually, he will experience an auspicious, most glorious passing away.'” So affirms Susan Pattinson, RN (Sangita Devi Dasi) in The Final Journey — Complete Hospice Care for the Departing Vaishnavas, where she gives relevant information for the care of the dying gained from years of practice as a hospice nurse and practice of sadhana bhakti (daily Krishna conscious practices) under Srila Prabhupada, her spiritual master. Indeed, the book is a veritable ‘gold mine’ of valuable information. Her presentation, showing how the aforesaid can be realized, is exhaustive and profoundly sensitive. Painstakingly, she indicates how hospice care for certain terminally ill can facilitate that glorious death for which all Vaishnavas aspire.”
— The late Sarah Caner Schofield, Ph.D. (Saranagati Devi Dasi), Former Director of Volunteers, Einstein Medical Center Hospice
In line with the teachings and example of Srila Prabhupada, Vaishnavas CARE is a wonderful organization and resource that provides us with the knowledge and tools to assist our friends, relatives and other souls as they depart from this world. It also instructs us in compassion, not only for those who are dying, but for those who are living with suffering.
Sangita Devi Dasi (Susan Pattinson, RN, Hospice Educator), the founder of this organization, through the combination of her years of practice in bhakti yoga, her educational background as a Registered Nurse and her years of experience specifically as a hospice nurse caring for individuals who are dying, provides us expert, practical and medical knowledge on attending to the physical needs of our loved ones and friends in our care. Sangita also provides us with insightful knowledge on attending to the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals at the end-of-life.
I have personally benefited from this knowledge as I cared for my friends and relatives during their dying process. Vaishnavas CARE provides an invaluable resource that not only teaches us how to care for others but also helps us cope during these difficult times and also assists us to prepare ourselves for our own final journey.
— Janet Parker, Physical Therapist, MSPT (Jagannatha-priya Devi Dasi)