Writing for Well-being in Loss, Grief, and Transition

March 30, 2023 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Pre-conference Workshop in conjunction with the Ethics, Healthcare, and Emotional Well-being conference 

Reinekke Lengelle, PhD 
Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies  
Athabasca University 
Senior Researcher  
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands 

Abstract: Although most people can grieve without professional help, as humans, we are compelled to make meaning of death and non-death losses. Grieving involves finding new ground through sensemaking and allowing our feelings to help us adapt. Writing is a way to do this and can even promote the cultivation of personal wisdom in the wake of devastating change. We recognize such wisdom when we begin to say things like “deep down, I know that...” and “part of me already accepts that...” and “the truth is that I'm afraid of...,” though spoken insights can feel fleeting and ethereal. By writing, we create a visible point of reflection between the eyes and the page and are better able to slow down to re-story experience. This 2-hour workshop invites participants to write in response to a question they have about loss. The facilitator will introduce the model of transformation-through-writing which she co-developed, and used herself when she wrote her bereavement autoethnography, mourning her spouse’s death in 2018. Writing exercises include: a structured form of journaling, the uses of poetry, and the wisdom of the voice(s) within. No special creative writing experience is needed. (Continuing medical education credit will be available.)

Sponsored by the Center for Bioethics & Health Law with support from the Provost’s Year of Emotional Well-being 

Location and Address

S100 BST (Biomedical Science Tower), 200 Lothrop Street (Accessible entrance: at the western, Darragh Street, side of the building)