Literature and Mental Health

16 Sept 2017

What?! Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing is a new class at the University of Warwick via FutureLearn. I'm not the only one!!!

About a class that I took online. I was so relieved to learn that I wasn't the only person on the planet who was thinking about the healing possibilities of reading beautiful literature. ReLit  is a bibliotherapy centered organization researching "the ancient art of book-healing." With my current research, I'm reading fiction again for the first time since Kaylan died. For some reason, my mind was only able to handle nonfiction for all these years. It was maybe five years after she died that I said this to another mom and she said that her reading habits had changed as well as some other creative pursuits that she had enjoyed before she lost her son. Losing my daughter devastated me at a molecular level and I've regrown new ways to cope, express myself, create. I don't remember who I was before, and that's not an unusual statement to hear in grief groups either.  We talk about a "new normal" in grief, but I think that's a misstatement. There's nothing normal about being a bereaved parent. New reality is more like it.

Erica KitzmanComment