Brennan, Marcia. "Four Butterflies: End of Life Stories of Transition and Transformation." Pastoral Psychology, (2012) Springer Science+Business Media, LLC: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11089-012-0477-5.
In this article, the author discusses her experiences as an Artist In Residence in the
Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Texas M. D.
Anderson Cancer Center. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which end of life images and
narratives often unfold in the fragile yet powerful space where conceptions of aesthetics and
spirituality intersect with critical issues in the medical humanities. Drawing on four vivid
case studies, the author examines the ways in which end of life narratives shed valuable light on
conceptions of the subtlety of human embodiment; issues of violation, sorrow, and forgiveness;
the mystical dimensions of traditional cultural beliefs; and the capacity for perceiving the
natural world as a living symbol of grace. In so doing, she explores how the themes of transition
and transformation become invested with meaningful existential and symbolic dimensions in
artworks that give voice and presence to some of the most vulnerable, and often invisible,
members of our societyﾗpeople at the end of life.
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Four Butterflies: End of Life Stories of Transition and Transformation
end of life