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Cicely SaundersA Life and Legacy$
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David Clark

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190637934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190637934.001.0001

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Reflection, Illness, Loss, and Death (1985 – 2005)

Reflection, Illness, Loss, and Death (1985 – 2005)

(p.261) 6 Reflection, Illness, Loss, and Death (1985 – 2005)
Cicely Saunders

David Clark

Oxford University Press

Cicely Saunders’s achievements were hard won. Illness led to periods of time away from work. In 1984, she stepped down as medical director of the hospice. There were also growing concerns about her husband’s health, with accompanying scares and worries. She moved into the role of solicitous wife and carer, and eased back from professional commitments. After his death, she seemed to deepen her spiritual preoccupations, through reading, daily religious practise, and conversation with thinkers and writers she admired. Despite a measure of frailty, she took on more speaking engagements, accepted further prizes and honorary degrees, and enjoyed writing short pieces for textbooks and edited collections. When her breast cancer recurred, she showed strength and pragmatism, but this was also a lonely period and one in which her confidence faltered at times. In the spring of 2005, she entered St Christopher’s as a terminally ill patient.

Keywords:   illness, loss, bereavement, final years, spiritual concerns

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