To put it mildly, we live in strange and unsettling times. To some degree things have been this way for a long time, but the coronavirus epidemic and the murder of George Floyd have brought the vulnerable, unraveling, unsettling aspects of our lives and our world into sharp relief. Our usual cultural rituals for responding to these losses have been turned on their head with coronavirus and with our awakening to the terrible disparities in our midst, compounding our losses and aggravating our isolation and at times despair. As we search to make sense of the associated uncertainty and loss, perhaps now more on our own than ever, we struggle to find community with others who may be having similar experiences.
Teresa Schreiber Werth, a Certified Funeral Celebrant, is no stranger to grief and loss. Her day-to-day work is counseling and supporting surviving friends and relatives of the dead in our midst. Her new book entitled Navigating the Pandemic: Stories of Hope and Resilience is a collection of short essays written by a diverse group of authors from a wide range of backgrounds about how they as individuals have responded to these and other losses in their lives. The essays in the book clearly acknowledge and explore many kinds of loss and how we internalize them as sometimes subtle layers of grief, but they also provide breaths of fresh air and honesty in these unnerving times. While the traditional understanding of grief is explored, no overly simplified formula is presented. Yet seeing such a diverse array of responses may open doors for some, and for others simply provide comfort in knowing we are not alone in these challenging times.
Timothy E. Quill, MD is retired Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is a palliative care physician, author, educator, scholar, and advocate. He was Past President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His latest book, Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: A Compassionate, Widely Available Option for Hastening Death, will be released later this year by Oxford University Press.
ABOUT THE BOOK
After reading the draft manuscript of "Navigating the Pandemic: Stories of Hope and Resilience," Rev. Mary Ramerman astutely observed, “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, we were asked to observe social distance and stay home. Vacations, weddings, trips to the mall, dinners out, and baseball games all ended. We were literally sent to our rooms to reflect on how we lived our lives and what mattered most to us.”
The collective wisdom presented in this anthology provides answers to those two important questions: How are we going to live our lives as human beings together on this planet? And what are the issues on which we are willing to invest our time, energy and resources? Writers offer a wealth of ideas, shared wisdom, action steps, inspiring stories and candid looks at real life situations. The reader will find insights that come from the other side of pain, in people and events affirming hope, perseverance and resilience, as well as a candid record of life in the early days of this pandemic and the challenges before us.
is a retired communications professional, freelance writer, author, editor and funeral and wedding celebrant.
Once COVID-19 reached the United States in early 2020, her initial concerns focused on addressing the needs of families whose loved ones were dying alone. Werth soon realized that the scope of the pandemic was a complex prism of challenges and suffering, experienced by diverse communities in diverse ways. Through an extended network of creative and generous people, she sought essays, memoirs and poems based on both professional insight and lived experiences. Writers of all ages and a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, responded enthusiastically to her invitation. All of the book’s content was donated. Profits from the sale of this book will benefit The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers.
All net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers, serving the medical needs of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.
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"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering"
The Story of Our Cover : www.dandelionbook.com
When we began looking for cover images for our anthology, NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC: Stories of Hope and Resilience, we considered a variety of ideas from literal symbols about navigating (compasses, boats, lighthouses, stormy seas) to depictions of the actual coronavirus. We asked ourselves what message we wanted the cover to convey and what image would make people want to pick up our book and look inside?
At one point, I saw an exquisite watercolor painting of a dandelion on social media. I instantly felt that the dark center of the flower reminded me of some of the coronavirus images I was seeing in the media. But, the outer, airy seedlings suggested something much lighter and less foreboding. I was struck by the power and complexity of the dandelion-gone-to-seed: the threat and danger of the virus was surrounded by the hope and resilience of seedlings being blown into wishes for health and recovery. I realized that dandelion was the perfect metaphor for the stories in our book, and so we had our cover and the domain name for our book’s website: www.dandelionbook.com. The cover photo was taken by Don Werth.