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    • #5420

      Trish Matthews

      Hi.  My name is Trish Matthews and I am facilitating our conversations around the book Option B.  If you have the opportunity to read the book this weekend, please do so.  It will help with our discussion and application of the material.  I have also posted some interviews I would like you to watch this week to get you into the meat of the book.  The interview with Oprah is an especially good synopsis of the book.  Let’s begin today with introducing ourselves to one another.

      I have been a hospital chaplain for almost 35 years and love this work.  I am also remembering as I near the age of 60 that I love to teach, so this is a good outlet for me.  I work in a faith based hospital system that includes 14 fully owned hospitals.  I am at the Presbyterian hospital in Denton, Texas.  I was born in Dallas and grew up Methodist, married a Baptist and was originally ordained Southern Baptist after attending Southern Seminary, and then did the work to transition my ordination to Presbyterian several years ago.  Last year I battled cancer, and I am now in remission.  Option B speaks to me in that way as at times I have had to find a new and different way to live.  I have 3 children and a little dog and overall life is good.

      Looking forward to meeting you all,


    • #5432

      Rick Underwood

      Good afternoon, Trish, Tommy, Kathy, and Sister Donna,

      We have decided to pursue this seminar even though we are few in number.  That means, I hope, everyone will fully participate.  I am participating because of the book and its content.  I have begun listening to the book through Audible and watched the first video.  So, I’ll introduce myself and share a few reflections.

      As I age, the numbers of losses personally mount.  As a bi-vocational pastor of a small rural church, I have conducted funerals for 10 persons over the past year or two.  For a small congregation that is also dying, that is huge.  I also lost my two brother-in-laws, a father-in-law, and downsized with my wife and dog from a home of 35 years.  Moreover, I have served as a PRN Chaplain at a major medical center hospital for the last year.  Obviously, that role brings me into direct contact with death and grief every call.  Last night, I sat with a wife and family of a young forty-year-old man who suffered greatly from grief saying good by to the patient who died of sclerosis. Finally, not many days go by when another old high school friend’s obituary doesn’t show up on my Facebook group.

      In addition, my forty-year-old son’ has just got out of the hospital from having his colon removed after a misdiagnosed / undiagnosed viral infection.  While he is recovering well, he has a long “row to hoe” as we used to say in the deep south farms.

      For a change of pace, I teach relatively young graduate students in the Organizational Leadership program at the University of Louisville. Fortunately, I am teaching Adult and Organizational Learning, which has many applications for our discussion of grief and pursuing Option B when our plans go astray.

      Initially, the three P myths about grief caught my attention. From her experience of profound loss, the author suggests that folks in profound grief feel like it will never end and that it affects everything in life. She explodes those her myths with her own experience, which offers hope for a better day.  I liked the way she talked about the difficulty in getting support from friends, family, and others in the long run because others “don’t know what to say” or just simply to busy or preoccupied with their own lives.  I particularly like the way she talked about Option B.  How many times do we find ourselves not able to activate Option A because of a crisis or loss?  For example, my son doesn’t have a colon any more and he has lost 30 pounds and his sense of control of his life has been rocked.  As he grieves those losses, he searches for Option B.  Ok, now it is time to heal and change some things about the way he has lived life, i.e. over-functioning and carrying the burdens of all of his newly forming blended family members. Moreover, additional surgeries can possibly create a J Pouch to function much like his old colon.

      More reflections later.



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    • #5436

      Trish Matthews

      Welcome, Rick, and thanks for sharing so honestly and vulnerably.  I remember hearing about your son after my bout of colon cancer.  I cannot imagine what all he has been and will go through without any colon at all!  I imagine as his dad you have your own sense of worry and fear that goes along with that.  I also appreciate what you say about reaching a certain age when it seems more and more of our friends and family are dying.  In Option B, Sandberg has taken the death of her beloved husband at a young age and shared how she dealt with the loss and found ways to go on.  Also, in our work as chaplains and caregivers we deal significantly with death and loss.  I hope this book will give yet another lens from which to help people navigate through difficult times of transition.  I, too, agree with the 3 P’s – more about that next week.  This week, continue to watch the videos and share what it was that prompted you to take this class.  We will get into the meat of discussing the book next week, and our third week will be a practical application of the book to our work.  Let’s dig in!


    • #5448

      Tommy Tredway


      I plan on diving into the book and videos this weekend.  I have worked in the field of brain injury rehabilitation in one way or another for the past 16 years.  Every day, I assist people in their battle to overcome their injury, the battle to deal with the loss of their former life, their battle to come to terms with the New Normal, and their battle to face new obstacles when giving up would be the easier route.

      I’m also turning 40 later this year and it seems that I’ve hit the stage of life where the loss of friends, family and mentors is becoming more frequent. I’m looking forward to the book, videos and discussions.

    • #5460


      Hi! Let me give a bit of a background. I’m a religious sister who started out as a teacher, principal and then called to minister at a retreat center. I did that for 14 years then needed to move close to home to care for my mother after my sister suddenly died. While caring for her many changes also went on. We moved to an apartment, i found part time ministry as a pastoral associate in a large CC facility nearby. That was 17 years ago. I am the pastoral associate for the Catholic community and a part time chaplain for the continuing care part of the facility. Each day presents its gifts and challenges. I look forward to learning and hearing how these challenges are met and also celebrated. Please call me Donna, Domenica is my “real” name but I have always been called Donna. Peace!

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