Last Acts of Kindness; Care & Compassion at the End-of-Life

Last Acts of Kindness; Care & Compassion at the End-of-Life

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A live-online 4-session course for those who wish to foster confidence & resiliency, as we care for our friends & family at the end of life

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4-Part Workshop (please attend each week)

Thursdays, July 7 - July 28 | 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM PDT

Suggested donation: $25 - $150 No one will be turned away.

We ALL will be in positions to be “end of life doulas” at some time--assisting friends and loved ones in the dying process. Most people, however, have little training and minimal experience or understanding about what it means to “show up” at this delicate time.

Historically, most people died at home, surrounded by family and friends who tried their best to provide care. Then people began dying in hospitals, and death came to be regarded as a “medical event” rather than simply part of life. Now, many people are accepting the inevitability of death, and yet as a culture we are still not well prepared for the territory of death and dying.

This workshop will:

• Prepare us to show up at the bedsides of the seriously ill and/or dying—using the tenets of Palliative Care: to help relieve suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically

• Offer guidance in supporting caregivers-- both professional and “family” caregivers

• Assist us in creating personal toolkits for caregiving at the end of life

• Help us understand how our own myths and beliefs about life and death affect our roles as care-givers and care-receivers

• Offer practical knowledge about the dying process

• Pain and symptom management (an overview)

• Hospice and Palliative care issues

• Signs and Symptoms of approaching death

• Provide a step towards facing our own mortality, which is key to serving others

As an online Zoom course, we will attempt to create as positive, connected and experiential environment as possible!

“Let us change the face of dying in our culture from one of fear and anxiety to one of acceptance and compassion. Inevitable as death is for all beings, let us work to create experiences that are positive, potent and transformational.”

(from the preface to Redwing’s book, “Last Acts of Kindness; Lessons for the Living from the Bedsides of the Dying.”)

J. Redwing Keyssar is an RN with experience in Oncology, Critical Care, Hospice, Palliative Care. She is an author, poet, teacher, “midwife to the dying,” national presenter and frequent contributor to the public debate about Palliative Care. She is the Director of Patient and Caregiver Education at the MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care at UCSF/Mt Zion.

As a cancer survivor, she is passionate about and committed to the idea that “holistic healing” must be a more integral part of health-care. In this workshop Redwing will share experiences from her 30+ years of death mid-wifery as well as lead the group in meditations, exercises and discussions to help further our ability to be present with impermanence. The goal of this work is not to take away the “mystery” but rather to explore this unknown territory so that we can all feel more comfortable serving the dying and being better prepared for our time to stand at the threshold.

Ladybird Morgan, RN, MSW, is a registered nurse, clinical social worker, registered craniosacral therapist practitioner and co-founder of The Humane Prison Hospice Project. She has 20+ years’ experience in hospice and palliative care, addressing trauma, mental health challenges and repercussions of sexual violence. Ladybird guides medical practitioners, families, caregivers and institutions around the world on how to be present to difficult experiences by remembering, embodying and responding from the deepest place of truth. Ladybird also co-facilitates Commonweal’s Cancer Care Help Program: Healing Circles, UCSF’s MERI Center’s Last Acts of Kindness and is a study therapist with a University of Washington study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.

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