Encore: My Disappearing Mother

November 22, 2023
Hosted by Cheryl Jones

[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]

Guest Information

Episode Description

When dementia comes for someone we love, how do we maintain connection and relationship? For Suzanne Finnamore it takes accepting that her mother, in her final stage of dementia, lives in another country; Suzanne has needed to learn the customs and accept the differences. When she can accept, there is room for magic, including the magic of living as if there is no death; where everyone we ever loved is still alive. Suzanne is able to see the ways in which her mother is still herself and still vital. She is able to see the beauty of her mother's marriage and the life she built out of loss and challenge. They are able to love each other in the present moment whether all is remembered or nothing is.

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.

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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