A Weary Old Warrior

An Arts-Based Case Study in Palliative Care


  • Florence Gelo Drexel University College of Medicine




hospice, palliative care, visual arts, art therapy, end of life care, spiritual care


This narrative describes how an art image can elicit conversation with hospice patients about their spiritual needs. It describes one conversation between the researcher (in the role of a spiritual care provider) and a hospice patient that demonstrates how an art image can serve as a metaphor, a bridge linking inner and outer worlds, and a stimulus to help those at the end of life identify and integrate aspects of self that might otherwise remain unexpressed and unresolved. One goal for spiritual care providers is to be open to painful expressions of regret and longing.

Author Biography

Florence Gelo, Drexel University College of Medicine

Dr. Florence Gelo, D.Min., is Associate Professor and Behavioral Science Coordinator for the Family Medicine Residency Program at Drexel University College of Medicine and the Director of the Humanities Scholar’s Program. She has over 25 years’ experience working with patients receiving palliative care as a former hospital and hospice chaplain.


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How to Cite

Gelo, F. (2021). A Weary Old Warrior: An Arts-Based Case Study in Palliative Care. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 9(2), 231–241. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.42237