Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Book: Don't Leave Your Friends Behind

There's a new book out on PM press edited by the fabulous Vikki Law and China Martens and I have a chapter in it entitled "Parental Caregiving and Loss: Ideas for Caregivers and their Allies," co-written with my good friend and loss collaborator Cynthia Schemmer.   The anthology, "Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements & Communities," is the long-awaited book version of the zine that Vikki and China have been putting out for the past 6 years.  While not focusing exclusively on loss outside of Cynthia and I's chapter, the book is chalk full of helpful tips, concrete suggestions, personal narratives, mistakes, and successes around how to support parents, families, and children in activist communities.  You can pick up a copy here

From the Preface:
There are many books on parenting, but few on being a good community member and a good ally to parents, caregivers, and children as we collectively build a strong all-ages culture of resistance.  Any group of parents will tell you how hard their struggles are and how they are left out, but no book focuses on how allies can address issues of caretakers’ and children’s oppression.  Isolated by age within an individualistic, capitalist culture, many well-intentioned childless activists don’t interact with young people on a regular basis and don’t know how.  Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind provides them with the resources and support to get started.” (p. 4)

From Our Chapter on Parental Loss:
"Parental loss stirs up fears in all of us.  Every one's parents are going to die, but we live in a culture that rarely acknowledges this reality.  We usually have great difficulty finding the words to say to someone who has lost a parent, both because we rarely learn how to speak authentically about loss, and also because the words we might say are so easily drowned out by the crashing sounds of our own reactions in our heads.  The first thing for you to do when supporting someone throughout this is check in with yourself about your fears, experiences, feelings and barriers so you can be present with them.  Acknowledging these things helps you to be in touch with them instead of pushing them away.  If you are in touch with these fears, you may even be able to use them to help support the person by allowing yourself to empathize with how they might be feeling."

Check Vikki and China's blog for updates on appearances in various cities to publicize the book!