The objectives of this study were to identify predominant themes in religion, illness and death in the life histories of families and examine the relationship between religion creeds, illness and death in the discourse of families that have an ill person. The theoretical framework used in this study was Symbolic Interactionism and the method was Oral History. Participants were seventeen families with nine different religions, who had experienced the death of a relative. Data analysis showed that following a religion is a relevant part of the lives of many families and cannot be neglected in the illness context. Results point to the importance of understanding the meaning that religion has to the families in the health-disease process, so nurses can work on the promotion of health.