In the supportive Community environment via discussions, art-making, journals, a bonfire and our own Othona Death Café we will explore together what death means to each of us. Accepting the fragility and transience of life can be uniquely liberating, helping to put into perspective our everyday worries and preoccupations, and – ultimately – may enable us to live more freely and bravely.
So what do we each feel about death and dying? What are the ideas and images fed back to us from our personal histories and the collective culture? We will spend time together discovering what philosophers, theologians and artists have had to say about death, and explore some of our own respective fantasies, beliefs, hopes and fears about this final and profound ‘awfully big adventure'.
This is the second Living With Dying to be led at Othona by Kym and Peter.
Kym Winter is a psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience. She has had a long interest in the areas of death and dying, and has come to believe that through awareness and acceptance of our own mortality we are enabled to live more freely.
She first came to Othona 18 years ago with her young family shortly after her first husband was diagnosed as having months to live. She works in private practice, and for a charity for those with a potentially life limiting condition, and has had a long involvement with hospices, and with those in the final months and moments of their lives.
Peter Berry has been a psychotherapist, art therapist and artist for 35 years. He has practiced mindfulness meditation for much of that time, and has 'Buddhist leanings' following a period of atheism after a northern, working-class Catholic upbringing.
He is now semi-retired, and in the process of returning to his original identity as an artist. Peter has had a close brush with death himself and both he and Kym know what it is to accompany much younger family members facing life-threatening conditions.
Informed by his long experience as a therapist, he is interested in working creatively with others this weekend to challenge the taboos (personal and collective) around thinking and talking about death and dying - and to have some fun while doing this!