Weaving Our Stories of Loss Into Life: A Bereavement Memoir Writing Course by Carol Matthews
Memoir writing is a way of exploring, reflecting on and revisiting a wide range of moments and significant experiences from our lives. Writing a bereavement memoir opens up the possibility of bringing our stories of love, of loss and grief, to life. These stories may be ones we wish to share with our children, our grandchildren, our family members, our colleagues or our friends. Or we may simply want to write these stories for ourselves.
This course is an introduction to writing a bereavement memoir which can help to keep our loved ones with us in meaningful and life-affirming ways. The people we love always remain part of us, even after their death, and their ongoing presence can bring us lasting joy.
Published author and award-winning educator Carol Matthews will offer a map for writing about loss as one phase of an ongoing relationship. This six-week course will include an overview about memoir-writing and reflections on what such writing can offer us as a tool for coping in times of grief and “re-learning our world” after the death of a loved one. Participants will have opportunities to explore various writing prompts and exercises and to share some of their work with one another if so desired.
Bio: Carol Matthews is the author of five books of memoir, and a collection of short stories, Incidental Music (Oolichan Books). Her latest book, Minerva’s Owl: The Bereavement Phase of my Marriage, was published by Oolichan Books in 2017. A new edition of Questions for Ariadne was published by Oolichan in 2019. Carol has worked as a social worker, community worker, and was the Dean of Human Services and Community Education at Vancouver Island University between 1988 and 1999. In 1999 she was awarded the Association of Community Colleges National Award for Excellence in Leadership. In addition to teaching and consulting activities, she has served as a director on a number of local and provincial boards and committees. In 2008 Carol was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from Vancouver Island University (VIU). In 2012, she was awarded the Order of B.C. in recognition of achievement and commitment to her local community, and in January of 2013, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.