Dr. Su Yon Pak, Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, Rev. Linda Jaramillo, and Laura O'Loughlin, who were brought together to reflect on caring for their mothers at the end of their lives, will join Claire in an inspiring and informative conversation about their newly released book, Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflecting on Care, Loss, and Meaning. This book is a rich compilation of narratives that emerged through vulnerable conversations--a spiritual, emotional, and existential exploration of the complexities of caring and grieving their mothers. As their grief transformed over time, and their friendship deepened, their understanding of who their mothers were and the nuances of their relationships with them continued to evolve.
About Holding Space: This is a unique time in our world for people who are experiencing grief and loss on many different levels. As a therapist who has specialized in grief and anxiety for over a decade, I hope to use the knowledge and tools I have amassed to help others who are struggling. These weekly discussions are open to anyone who wants to join, and each week I'll be bringing on a special guest to help explore our collective grief and anxiety. We will offer coping tools and techniques and take live questions from participants. If you can't make it to the call you will receive a recording.
Claire Bidwell Smith is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and grief expert. She is the author of three books of nonfiction: The Rules of Inheritance, After This: When Life Is Over Where Do We Go? and Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief. Her books have been published in 18 countries and Claire lectures and writes regularly about grief.
Dr. Su Yon Pak is the Senior Director and Associate Professor of Integrative and Field-based Education at Union Theological Seminary. In this hybrid faculty-administrator position, she envisions, creates, and oversees the curricular and co-curricular work of the Office of Integrative Education including field education, clinical pastoral education, chaplaincy, and ministerial formation. She is also a spiritual director. Her life and research passion include: contemplative traditions, the elderly and spirituality, chaplaincy, women’s leadership, criminal justice, and integrative and critical pedagogies. Dr. Pak’s publications include: Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflecting on Care, Loss, and Meaning (Co-edited with Rabbi Mychal Springer, Cascade, 2021); “Is Any-Body There?” in Religious Education (2021), “Cultivating Moral Imagination in Theological Field Education” in Asian and Asian American Women in Theology and Religion: Embodying Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), “Coming Home/Coming Out: Reflections of a Queer Family and the Challenge of Eldercare in The Diaspora” in The Journal of Theology And Sexuality, and co-authored Singing the Lord’s Song in a New Land: Korean American Practices of Faith (Westminster John Knox, 2005).
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson is director of spiritual care and activism for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, leading RCRC's mission to equip, galvanize and collaborate with faith and community leaders advocating for reproductive dignity and freedom. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), Dr. Cari has served as pastor of congregations in UCC, United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church-USA, incorporating spirituality and social justice. As president of Excellent Way Consulting, Dr. Cari supports spiritual leaders and communities to enhance their capacity for individual and social transformation guided by the principle of human dignity for all. As a social healer, she has developed the Taking Back My LifeTM program for the healing and empowerment of survivors of sexual assault. She has served as adjunct faculty at Union Theological Seminary and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, where she has taught “The Christian Chase for Power” and “Ministry in Multicultural Contexts.” Dr. Cari holds a Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics, Master of Divinity, Juris Doctor, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology. She is the author of five books including Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt and For the Souls of Black Folks.
The Rev. Linda Jaramillo served for 10 years as Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries in the national headquarters of the United Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio where she oversaw the church’s work on human rights, racial, environmental, economic, and gender justice in the U.S. and around the world. A consistent emphasis of Linda’s leadership was coordinating justice work with local churches and the wider church. Upon returning to Portland in 2015, Linda re-engaged in local church and community life. She served as sabbatical pastor at Lake Oswego United Church of Christ, as the Interim Executive Director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition. She is now the Executive Director of the Center for Ministry in the West and Director of UNID@S for Oregon Training Program. Linda is a professional consultant affiliated with LACE (Latina Associates for Collaborative Engagement). Linda continues to dedicate her ministry to inter-faith collaborations. Guided by the prophets and Gospel teachings, Linda is particularly motivated by HOPE for a more loving and caring social culture as we set our course for a peace-filled, nonviolent future. She cherishes engagement with interfaith, inter-cultural and multilingual communities grounded in the belief that we are each responsible for sharing wisdom and stories across generations.
Laura O’Loughlin is a co-founder and dharma teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center, and the residential director of Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery. She is also a psychotherapist with a practice in Manhattan. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center in 2005, Laura trained residentially for eight years in various Buddhist communities, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, San Francisco Zen Center, and Austin Zen Center. As a clinician and dharma teacher, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support the healing of developmental, societal, and intergenerational trauma. Laura is interested in how Buddhist practices, communal forms, ancestral rituals, and trauma modalities can transform harm resulting from racial, ecological, and gender violence. Laura co-facilitates the Undoing Whiteness group at Brooklyn Zen Center and leads retreats exploring the the sacred feminine in all its forms. Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University.