6 replies, 6 voices Last updated by Kathy Sapp Ozenberger 2 years, 7 months ago
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    • #4497

      Please take a moment to introduce yourself to your classmates.

    • #4521

      william james
      @willliam james schafer

      Greetings Friends,

      My name is william james schafer and my interest in taking this course is to learn new aspects of grief so I may be of assistance with the bereaved I serve. I have been associated with the Oates Community for a number of years and find the online education an excellent source for stimulation, fellowship, and learning from peers near and far. For the most part the ministry applications I’m most familiar has been rural health center, I have had some experience with hospice care.  Thank you.


    • #4522

      Rose McKeown

      My name is Sister Rose McKeown. I am staff chaplain at a Critical Access Hospital in Taylorville, Illinois and also am contracted with hospice. I am interested in this course as I facilitate a grief support group and am always looking for ways to help support the group more. Like William James, I, too, have participated in other learning experience in the Oates Community and have always learned much.

      Nice to meet you William James!


    • #4528

      Gail Henson

      Hello Rose and William James!

      I look forward to sharing this time with you.  One of the beautiful aspects of this online community is connecting us in different parts of the country, both in terms of states and in terms of population–urban, rural, etc.  As you both have experience with the Oates classes, I know we’ll have some rich interactions!

      After I sent my materials for this class to our web administrator, I had two students reach out about their grief via Facebook.  When I started facilitating Oates Seminars eight years ago, I can truly say I did not know how powerful Facebook would be as a way to share life events.  Now Twitter and Facebook are forms of communicating that my seminary training never prepared me for but we have to learn to navigate in our roles.

      Let me share these examples for your consideration and response.  The first example involves the loss of a parent. A former student reach out about complicated grief he was experiencing over the loss of his father, a man with whom he had had a difficult relationship.  There was so much anger in his voice, mixed with guilt and remorse for feeling dark grief.  He’s an artist and a writer, so I thought I would have some response, but Messenger on Facebook makes communication a different medium.

      The second example involves an abortion.  Another one of my students posted that her 20-month old unborn child was diagnosed with almost no brain function, so she terminated the pregnancy.  She was so grateful for the escorts at the only abortion clinic in our city.  She concluded her Facebook post asking for prayers during this time of grief. Again, the medium for communication is Messenger on Facebook.  It’s hard to know what to say, if any.

      So I too am hoping to learn through our interactions and through sharing materials new ways to respond more effectively to grief, whether that response is in a grief group, a face-to-face encounter, or social media, this newer and challenging platform for counseling.

      Looking forward to our time together.


    • #4531

      Rick Underwood

      William James, Rose, Gail, and others,

      I am very grateful to Gail for facilitating and sharing in our journey.  Welcome back William and Rose and I hope others will join us soon.  If not, to coin a phrase, “where two or three or gathered together” good things can happen.  Grief is like change. It is something none of us can avoid without paying a large price.

      In addition to my other postretirement involvements, I recently signed on as a part-time PRN chaplain.  In two months, almost all of my calls during the deep of night has been to sit with a dying patient and or family.  While I have certainly journeyed through grief over the loss of so much, I experience the first two phases discussed in your article in profound ways in a few minutes and hours of the anticipated and actual loss.

      I am currently grieving the temporary loss of functioning after elective surgery. While I know this is short lived, I have been amazed at the impatience, irritation, and general uncomfortableness that has accompanied.

      I wonder if my reinvesting myself in different projects is my way of avoiding the grief related to retirement?


      • #4544

        Rose McKeown

        Hi Rick, Gail and William James. thank you for all your introductions. Rick, I’m glad you are recovering okay and getting in touch with those feeling we don’t like to feel! I am sorry but I am going to have to drop out of the course due to lack of time. I just finished two seminars and I know it takes a lot of time and with the group being small, it would require more on my part. Gail, thank you for being willing to be with us in this learning process. Hopefully I will meet you again, at a later date, in another course.

        Thanks and blessings,

    • #4547

      Hi all,

      Sorry to be late to the party–tried to register Monday and had computer challenges.

      Kathy Ozenberger here.  Work for University of Texas Medical Branch for over 20 years–now Chaplain for 2 community hospitals and interim manager.  Busy days, but need the fellowship that Oates seminars bring.

      I look forward to new ways to see my art –making greeting cards, scrap-booking and quilting as part of grief sometimes.  And ways to help patients/families cope with grief through art.  I’ve just had 2 aunts die in North Carolina–and couldn’t go to the funerals.  With one we had love of sewing and crafting in common, the other love of books in common.   The second Aunt loved my family and prayed for us daily.  I will miss them both–and will say good-by in August at family reunion.

      Welcome all–glad to be back with you Rose and Rick–an maybe Gail, too.  Hi William James!! Nice to meet you!


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