Death and Dying: Grief and Climate Change



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    Death and Dying: Grief and Climate Change

    Start date: March 16, 2020

    Duration: 4 weeks (includes two one-hour interactive sessions online. Each, available in two different time slots for participants in different parts of the world.)

    Cost: $30 US
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    About the course

    We face an uncertain future, and it is time for humanity to come together and use its collective skills, knowledge, and heart. In this course, we explore grief from the massive losses suffered and yet to come from climate change, using concepts and key terms from the study of death and dying.

    The work of grief and mourning is a healing work. When we lose a member of the human family, we enact rituals that acknowledge our loss and help us return to life without the deceased. These communal acts are a means to heal through acceptance, love, and support.   

    But in this time of crisis, we hardly have names for what is happening, let alone strategies to cope with it. We will explore grief, hope, and compassion in the face of ongoing destruction of species and habitats, and discover collective ways to support healing for ourselves, for mother earth, and for all of life.

    The course will include two virtual sessions. Each session will be held twice, once in each of two time zones, to accommodate participants in different parts of the world.

    Supported UN Sustainable Development Goals:

    Grief and Climate Change Goals

    Those interested in this course may enjoy a new Blog, "Engaging from the Heart of Happiness" by Nnaumrata Arora Singh. Click here to read the Blog Post.

    Course outline

    Lesson 1: Death, Dying, and the Climate Crisis

    We will apply concepts and key terms from the study of death and dying to increase our understanding of death in the context of climate change, and begin to look at grief in this context.

    1a. What is the Meaning of Death?

    1b. Death Isn't the End, Or Is It?

    1c. Recognizing Death: Nature's Trajectory

    1d. Death and Denial: First Stage of Grief

    Lesson 2:  Grief Traits

    We will look at the characteristics of grief and its source in love and connection, and begin to explore the meaning of extraordinary loss.  

    2a. No Grief Without Love

    2b. Rupture in the Fabric

    2c. The Sky is Falling

    2d. Loving Nature

    2e. Class in Real time

    Lesson 3: Coping with Grief and Loss

    We explore the complications of grief amid climate change and predictions of mass extinction, and explore methods of coping.

    3a. It’s complicated

    3b. Love, Laugh, Make Love: Coping During Climate Crisis

    3c. Lessons from Tragedy

    3d. Mourning and Renewal

    Lesson 4: Compassion and Hope

    Compassion and hope are essential to moving forward in a positive way. We look at love as active, and discover positive steps forward through networking, collective healing rituals, and political activism.

    4a. Increasing Joy

    4b. Healing Through Ritual

    4c. Global Networking; Global Change

    4d. Love, Hope, and Activism

    Large registration button 14e. Class in Real Time

    Course Instructor:

    SusanDeGaiaSusan de Gaia, Ph.D.

    Susan earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics at the University of Southern California. She has designed and taught courses for California State University, including Science and Conscience, Religion and Society, Comparative Religions, Writing, and Literature. She is editor of the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History (ABC-CLIO 2018/19).

    Susan currently serves as adjunct instructor at Central Michigan University, where she has taught Death and Dying online for the last six years. Students have often commented on this course as an exemplary and life-changing experience.

       Susan also serves as an ambassador to the Charter for Compassion Environment Sector and facilitates courses in Compassionate Integrity Training.

    © 2020 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.

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