Edited by Teresa Schreiber Werth

Navigating the Pandemic

Stories of Hope and Resilience

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FOREWORD
by Timothy E. Quill, MD

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.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    In the Time of Pandemic Kitty O’Meara
    Our Losses Take Many Forms Andrew Penn
    We Are Not in the Same Boat Damian Barr
    PL’s Last Song Gretchen Volk
    The Final Chapter Teresa Schreiber Werth
    Incredible Courage Virginia Cross
    This Spring Will Be Remembered Emily Kedar
    Essential Workers Without Benefits Maria Delgado Sutton

    Discovering Hope in Desperate Times James Sutton
    Musings On Moving (in corona times) Mara Ahmed
    The New Coronavirus Rules Adam J. Lazarus
    Finding Heart Cecile Carson
    Find Your Peace in the Pandemic Jillian Harrison-Jones
    What Are You Creating Now? Teresa Schreiber Werth
    The Golden Hour Gordon Webster
    Sharing Sacred Space Gloria Osborne
    You Are Essential Maria Delgado Sutton

    The Hole Left Behind David Seaburn
    To Laugh or Not To Laugh Teresa Schreiber Werth
    Praying for a Better Tomorrow Ida Perez
    Count It Joy: Making Music in Prison Catherine Roma
    Improvisation/Rap/Poem Guy Banks
    Loneliness and Grief Teresa Schreiber Werth
    When Denied the Last Goodbye Lynn M. Acquafondata
    Raised to Pay It Forward Nancy Kennedy
    In This Together Adam J Lazarus

    Silence On the Eastern Front Brian Linden
    A Protective Bubble Marj Smith
    Following Littia’s Lead Joyce B. Arnold
    Relax, Release, Receive Bobbi Williams
    Returning to Battle Mode Steve McAlpin
    Living in Bubbles Marina Steinke/Teresa Werth
    Shining Stars Pennie Sue Williams McGanty
    Healing Wounds & New Life Lauren Benton
    We Are Ysaye Barnwell

    Black Female Physician: I Am Not Immune Teresa Y. Smith
    Mother’s Day 2020 Teresa Schreiber Werth
    Choosing Life Gloria Osborne
    Our Bones Remember Jennifer Knickerbocker
    Love Will Find A Way Teresa Schreiber Werth
    Closure & Celebration Marina Steinke
    #Stay safe. Be well. Teresa Schreiber Werth
    I’m With You Adam J. Lazarus

    Message from a 2020 Graduate Ayanna Woods
    No Man Is an Island Ryan R. Tebo
    Empathy Mara Sapon-Shevin
    We Can’t Let A Good Crisis Go to Waste Andrew Penn
    From Candles In the Dark Kitty O’Meara
    Epilogue
    SLIVERS OF LIGHT
    No Other People’s Children Elizabeth Alexander
    Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers

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    Teresa Schreiber Werth

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ABOUT THE EDITOR

Teresa Schreiber Werth

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.

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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. Click here to Donate.

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