Raising Spirits: Stories of Suffering and Comfort at Death's Door springs from Michael Goldberg's experiences serving dying patients as a hospital and hospice chaplain. Previously, he had held positions as a management consultant, a chaired university professor, and a congregational rabbi. Although each of those careers fulfilled some of his professional aspirations, none filled his spiritual hunger to find purpose in his life. In turning to chaplaincy and helping the gravely ill satisfy their craving for meaning at the end of their lives, Goldberg discovered spiritual sustenance in his.
Raising Spirits is the first book to explore care giving at the end of life from a spiritual as well as clinical perspective. It tells the stories of Michael Goldberg's journeys with patients, their families, and loved ones as they try to face the challenges awaiting them at life's edges. In the process, Goldberg himself is tested as a committed Jew who, working largely among non-Jews, must continually reassess his identity and convictions. He comes to see that spirituality need not refer to things occult or otherworldly, but as Raising Spirits makes clear, to things in this world that can at least start to lift our spirits and revive them. The reciprocal process of gaining insight into patients and into oneself is possible, indeed crucial, for all who care for the sick, both lay and professional alike.