As part of DaDaFest in Liverpool, this seminar stimulated discussion about the impact of changes on peoples’ day-to-day lives so that the lived experience of life-limiting illness and related phenomena is not always one of loss.
The video below shows some of the discussions and performances that happened during the day. Amy is in there talking about her Strathcarron Hospice project, from around 12 minutes into the video.
...a nice way to set out the paradoxes facing the inaugural Thinking About Dying? research workshop hosted by Professor Gillian Howie at Liverpool University. Contributions from Buddhist and Hindu theology, from humanism, from philosophers and clinical psychologists sparked off debates about the medical modeling of death and physical crises. It was an Isak Dinesen quote that prompted us to look at how we make meaning of suffering, and even death:
“All human sorrows can be bourne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.”
Beverly Clack, Labour counsellor and professor at Oxford Brookes University pointed out that it might not be easy to tell these stories just now. The current culture in the UK and the US is aspirational, making us highly motivated to be a success. ‘Just do it!’ And success comes defined right down to the shape of our bellies, the logos on our clothes, the food we eat, our postcodes. It invades every aspect of our lives – we should have partners, good-looking partners, actually, and children. In fact the children need to be beautiful too, and successful themselves… etc etc. To miss out on any of these goods is seen as an aberration and, horrifyingly, failure.