A quick update - I'm pretty excited. Emma has followed Donkey Dreams, our farm and my art and is also a hospice worker here in a large, well known, health care organization in Oregon. She came to our summer Pie Day, and we promised to re-connect and brainstorm about ways to develop Donkey Dreams.
My initial idea of bringing the sick and dying to the farm, via their hospice workers, was well intentioned, but not very practical. And the families caring for dying or sick are not going to put a donkey therapy session on their list of things that might help them or their loved ones. In fact, it might be an insult to someone to be invited to a donkey pie day for a day of relaxation. Seeing my mom go through hospice while my father died at home brought this home to me.
But, honoring the hospice workers is a wonderful, wonderful idea! Emma shared some of her thoughts and experiences as a hospice worker, and how one is so busy care taking, there is little room for debriefing, re-energizing the heart and grieving for their own clients. Their grief and stress builds up. We thought a day to celebrate the care they give to others, as well as recognizing their former and current clients, would help them on many levels.
So, I will begin to write an outline for a 'support and healing event' here at Apifera with our Donkey Dreams. I'm thinking it will be in summer or early fall '09. I have many ideas brimming in my head! This event might also benefit children and adults that are going through post-death grieving of a loved one, as Emma's hospice group often works with the Dougy Center, a national organization that provides grief support for children and teens.
I hadn't thought about giving donkey and farm therapy to the caregivers, and now, it seems so wonderful, and right, and obvious. Thank you, Emma!! This is a first step for me to build trust and a working relationship with these hospice caregivers at this organization. Stay tuned. It will take some time, but I must remember, donkeys do everything very s...l...o...w...l...y.