On Vanishing

May 6, 2020
Hosted by Cheryl Jones

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Guest Information

Episode Description

What makes us human? In a culture oriented towards the mind, it is easy to think that how well we can reason and express ourselves hold the keys. But this leads to a rejection of those of us who lose that ability. What about people with Alzheimers, or developmentally disabled people, or people with declining mental powers in old age? It is tempting to think that without mental powers and memory, human love and interaction ceases to matter. But what if it matters more, or at least as much? In her work as a chaplain Lynn Casteel Harper noticed how often people with memory and cognition disabilities were under attended as human being. She noticed that although her patients were less able to express themselves, active engagement was still possible and made a huge difference. As time went on this perspective became critically important for loving family members with the same deficits. In her book, On Vanishing, she proposes a new way of looking at people who have lost memory.

Good Grief with Cheryl Jones

Good Grief with Cheryl Jones

Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

On Good Grief we explore the losses that define our lives. Each week, we talk with people who have transformed themselves through the profound act of grieving. Why settle for surviving? Say yes to the many experiences that embody loss! Grief can teach you where your strengths are, and ignite your courage. It can heighten your awareness of what is important to you and help you let go of what is not.

On Good Grief, we are inspired by people who have made something miraculous out of their deepest heartaches! We listen as they share how they have walked through their own exquisite pain and what they have gained as a result. We come away ready to follow our own dreams to a deeper, more meaningful time on this beautiful earth! Listen for Good Grief, broadcast live every Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.

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Cheryl Jones

Cheryl Jones

Cheryl Jones is a grief counselor. During her education as a Marriage and Family Therapist, her first wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which was at the time a uniformly terminal illness with a six month to one year prognosis. In the eight years that followed, Cheryl engaged daily in the work of preparing for her death. She received training during this period from Stephen and Ondrea Levine (Who Dies and Grieving Into Life and Death) and Richard Olney (founder of Self-Acceptance Training). After her wife’s death, Cheryl immersed herself in her own multifaceted grief, surprised by frequent moments of joy.

Cheryl is a consultant and group leader at the Free Therapy Program of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. She has trained extensively with Erving Polster, leader in the field of gestalt therapy and author of Everybody’s Life is worth a Novel. She was Clinical Director at the Alternative Family Project, which served the therapeutic needs of LGBTQ families in San Francisco. She also wrote a column called Motherlines for the San Francisco Bay Times and ran Considering Parenthood groups for the LGBT community.

Before becoming a therapist, Cheryl enjoyed careers as a musician, a restaurant owner and a carpenter. She still enjoys singing with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, eating food in outstanding Bay Area locations and remodeling her Craftsman. She lives with her wife in Oakland, California and especially savors time with her family and friends.

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