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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Tribute to Sukie Miller

Tribute photo of Suki-Miller-PhD

March 15, 1988 will forever be etched into my memory. It was that cold, windy night when the seed, later to bloom into a comprehensive caregiving model, was planted at an emergency meeting for a friend in the office of Dr. Sukie Miller.

Dr. Miller had strongly urged her patient, Susan Farrow, to reach out past her emotional comfort zone and ask her friends for help. Susan was a divorced, working mom with two teens and a painful bone cancer. To make matters worse she had no family nearby. However, by bringing what was a diverse bunch of friends together for some honest dialogue, we were able to plunge into action the very next morning.

We owe a huge debt to the insight, wisdom, and brilliance of Dr. Miller who truly understood the power of “group.” The 12 of us who attended that meeting went on to prove her right by supporting our friend in every way imaginable until she died nearly four years later. And we managed it without any one getting stuck doing too much. And best of all, we were bonded forever by this challenging yet significant life experience that resulted in us becoming widely known as “Susan’s Funny Family.”

Later, Dr. Miller was the chief cheerleader when Cappy Capossela and I decided to document our systems into a handbook that others could follow to create a “caregiving family” of their own. Dr. Miller offered her guidance and gifted us with the eloquent FORWARD to Share The Care, first published in 1995.

Then, out of the blue, in early 2002 Cappy was stricken with a brain tumor and needed her own Share The Care group. Following Cappy’s death later that year, Dr. Miller again provided her enormous enthusiasm and encouragement for my decision to make Share The Care more widely known by founding our organization. And, as a member of our Board of Advisors for the last 10 years, she was always generous with her suggestions.

Dr. Sukie Miller was a profound influence in my life. I think it was her fearless and optimistic outlook that will be most treasured by me and surely by so many others in different parts of the world whose lives she touched. We will all miss this vivacious, and extraordinary woman with so many far-reaching legacies.

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SUKIE MILLER, Ph.D. was an early director of Esalen Institute, was a member of the Board of the Jung Institute of San Francisco and the Board of Medical Quality Assurance, the licensing board for the State of California. She had been a frequent consultant to Cancer and Social Action programs in Brazil.

In 1972 she founded and directed the pioneering Institute for the Study of Humanistic Medicine. One of the first researchers to study the cross cultural dimensions and implications of beliefs of the Afterdeath, her books Finding Hope When a Child Dies and After Death; How People Around the World Map the Journey After Life are published by Simon and Schuster.

Dr. Miller lived for years in Sao Paulo, Brazil where she continued to see clients with chronic and terminal diseases and worked extensively with groups.

CancerCare’s Sixth Annual Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp

healingHeartsCamp


CancerCare’s Sixth Annual Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp

Is scheduled for June 13-15, 2014.

Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp:

  • This free event is open to all families with children/teens who have lost a loved one to cancer in the last two years.
  • Friday June 13 – Sunday June 15, 2014
  • The camp is held at a working dude ranch in the beautiful Poconos in Milford, Pennsylvania.
  • Families can register for this event by contacting Claire Grainger, LCSW at 201-301-6811 (cgrainger@cancercare.org) or Kathy Nugent, LCSW at 201-3.1-6809 or (knugent@cancercare.org).
  • Limited space is available, and on a first-come first-serve basis. Registration is required by 5/1/14.

For seventy years, CancerCare has offered free support services to people with cancer, their loved ones, and the bereaved. Our Healing Hearts Camp has grown each year and offers families a chance to remember their loved one as they heal from their loss with others who truly understand.

It is a wonderful healing experience for the whole family. Space is limited

Click the link below to download/view the flyer as a PDF.
June2014-NJ-Healing-Hearts-Camp_R2-flyer

The U.S. Economy Does Not Value Caregivers

This article is from The Atlantic and can be viewed here with images and intended formatting: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-us-economy-does-not-value-caregivers/282887/

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Providers of physical and spiritual care are just as indispensable to our society as providers of income. So why don’t we treat them that way?
Anne-Marie Slaughter Jan 9 2014, 9:59 AM ET

Single mother Dee St. Franc works two jobs and raises her 5-year old daughter. (Barbara Ries)

Throughout its history, America has continued to reinvent itself, each time producing a better society for more of us than the one that preceded it. Reconstruction improved on the pre-Civil War republic. The New Deal created a “new America” that was a great improvement on the Gilded Age. The civil rights movement generated legislation guaranteeing the equality promised in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

This constant reinvention is fueled by what I call “the idea that is America”—the principles of liberty, democracy, equality, justice, tolerance, humility, and faith on which our country was founded. As I’ve written, our history is a continual “process of trying to live up to our ideals, falling short, succeeding in some places, and trying again in others.”
The United States has among the highest child poverty rates of any developed economy.

The next period of American renewal cannot come fast enough. The gap between the richest and poorest Americans is growing wider. In fact, the top 10 percent took in more than half of all income in 2012, the highest share since the data series started.

Yet the United States has among the highest child poverty rates of any developed economy. We spend more but get less for our healthcare and education dollars than Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and other nations. We are falling behind on these important measures of human progress in the world—but even more importantly, we are falling behind in terms of our ability to live up to our own values.

Click here to read the full article on the Atlantic…