Illness and end of life can be the most difficult times in our lives.
The Black Plum Center is a place to explore this strange and life-changing journey together. “Caring for the Caregiver” is a multi-denominational program created for the benefit of all caregivers who struggle each day to navigate the inevitable challenges of being there for others while also taking care of themselves.
As a Chaplain, Zen Priest, and teacher of chaplains, Rev Trudi Hirsch has participated in the lives of thousands of patients, families, friends, and partners who are facing serious illness and end of life. Rev Hirsch has observed how unprepared most of us are for navigating either the practical challenges or the emotional waves that follow the death of the one being cared for.
Caregiving is an art that can be learned. We might find ourselves in the position of Caregiver by desire or called to it by the need of the moment. Either way, caring for oneself in the process can be neglected, which often leads to exhaustion and health problems as well as emotional instability. As we learn to care for ourselves we are better able to be there for others.
“Caring for the Caregiver” is a good place to begin for anyone interested in pursuing the path of becoming a Chaplain.
In this three-part series we will explore practical and useful tools for the journey of the Caregiver.
We will learn about:
- The art of intimacy, and ways to deeply listen to and join with the “other” in their suffering…without clinging to the emotions that arise.
- Understanding how to care for yourself during the process of caring for others, and why this is important and necessary.
- Navigating situations that are uncomfortable and unknown.
- Understanding suffering, aging, illness, and death as a reality in our life.
- Anticipating death and how to anchor ourselves in the chaos of the moment.
- Sharing difficult feelings that arise and how to bring family members together in decision making.
- End of life issues such as heath-care proxy, living wills, organ donations, and funeral options.
- Coping with grief.
- How to honor, value, and preserve memories while recreating ourselves in the wake of our loss.
This program is available to anyone who has an interest in exploring these difficult rites of passage.
All facilitators within the Black Plum are dedicated to the empowerment of the participants. We limit group size to twelve participants with the intention of providing a safe and nurturing environment, where issues that have been culturally suppressed or unacknowledged can be lifted up fearlessly into the light of day.
These workshops are not designed for comfort and entertainment, but as focused work for personal growth. Those willing to explore the issues that arise in themselves and in others are welcome to join this supportive and caring program.
“Caring for the Caregiver” consists of a total of three 3-day sessions. Each session is progressive and focuses on a different aspect of caregiving. Participants can choose one, two, or all three of the sessions. For a full description of each and to sign up please use highlighted links below.
Sessions #1 — First Saturday in May, June, and July 2018 During each Saturday we will explore: “Being the Caregiver”
Sessions #2 — First Saturday in September, October, and November 2018 During each Saturday we will explore: “Death & Dying…Ours and Others”
Sessions #3 — First Saturday in January, February, and March 2019 During each Saturday we will explore: “Recreating Oneself After a Loss”
Throughout the year we focus on self-care by making available a series of experiential workshops. These workshops are offered to give you alternative ways to care for yourself. For more information about a particular event and to sign up online please use the highlighted links below.
- “Learning to Let Go” Free Weekly Meditation–led by Rev. Trudi Hirsch
- Life Casting and the Death Mask–led by Wendy Drolma
- Drawing–led by Tor Gudmundsen
- Clay and Healing–led by Leah Rubenstein
- Spiritual Dance: From Essence Outward–led by Rev. Hirsch