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Our Search for Religion and Spirituality

New Agers are returning to church -- but keeping meditation and yoga classes on their schedules.

A Need for Hope continued...

"I was completely in over my head," he says. "With a mixture of guilt and shame, I retreated from her. The senior surgeon convinced her to be treated. But so much was her shame, ultimately, her breast cancer led to her death."

When such lack of hope is explored, other feelings surface. "She felt she had no control over her world, none of her actions would make a difference," Groopman explains. "It was a profound lesson about hope and lack of hope, about having hope you can reach a better future, that the choices you make, the path you take can make a difference."

"Crisis raises complex questions," he tells WebMD. He remembers another patient, a young boy with cancer, who then got HIV from a blood transfusion and died of AIDS. "His parents kept asking, 'How could God allow this?' I don't think there is an answer to that."

By making a commitment to helping children who were ill, that family found their own way to cope, says Groopman. It's more evidence that helping others is the root of religion and spirituality.

Published April 8, 2004.

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