AFTER THE WORST DAY EVER | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

AFTER THE WORST DAY EVER | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

Date and Time

Jul 15, 2024 6:00 pm

Location

450K

450 K St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20001

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Description:

As anyone with a chronic illness knows, hope can sometimes be hard to come by. For parents and caregivers of children with serious illness, there can be a real struggle to move beyond one's own grief, fear, and suffering to see what hope means for these kids.

Duane Bidwell, a scholar, minister, and former hospital chaplain who has struggled with serious illness himself, spent time with 48 chronically ill children in dialysis units and transplant clinics around the United States. Chronically ill kids, he found, don’t adhere to popular or scholarly understandings of hope. They experience hope as a sense of well-being in the present, not a promise of future improvement, an ability to set goals, or the absence of illness and suffering. With this mindset, these kids suggest a new understanding of pediatric hope, saying hope becomes concrete when they:

(1) realize community,

(2) claim power,

(3) attend to Spirit,

(4) choose trust, and

(5) maintain identity.

Offering textured portraits of children with end-stage kidney disease, AFTER THE WORST DAY EVER illustrates in their words how sick children experience, maintain, and turn toward hope even when illness cannot be cured and severely limits quality of life. Their insights reveal how the adults in a sick child's world—parents, chaplains, medical professionals, teachers, and others—can nurture hope. They also shift our understanding of hope from an internal resource located “inside” an individual to a shared, communal experience that becomes a resource for individuals.

Duane Bidwell is joining us on the Busboys stage to share more about his research on kids with chronic illness, his personal experiences with serious illness, and how hope was nurtured in seemingly hopeless situations. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during and after the event, and Bidwell will be signing following the program.

This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of AFTER THE WORST DAY EVER will be available for purchase before and after the event. Please note that this event is in person and will not be livestreamed.


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Duane R. Bidwell is an educational and research associate at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and serves on the faculty of the Center for Health Professions Education, Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a board member of the Taos Institute and the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. From 2010-2022, Duane was professor of practical theology, spiritual care, and counseling at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, where he co-directed the Center for Sexuality, Gender, and Religion and served as accreditation liaison officer. He was also a senior staff clinician and supervisor at The Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy.

His previous book, When One Religion Isn’t Enough: The Lives of Spiritually Fluid People (Beacon Press, 2018), was a Christian Century bestseller and a Library Journal “Best Book of 2018.” His work has been featured on NPR, CNN, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Interfaith Radio, and many podcasts.

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