Sarah Salter Kelly will be at the Grande Prairie Public Library (GPPL) today sharing her inspiring journey of how she took the traumatic murder of her mother over 25 years ago and turned it into a story of reconciliation and healing.
The history and techniques she used to heal herself are detailed in her new book “Trauma as Medicine.”
“I think my book is for humans who want to consider a way of dealing with pain and trauma that is integrated, supports their own process, and inspires them to feel confident in healing themselves,” said Salter Kelly.
Salter Kelly considers “Trauma as Medicine” a workbook that uses the story of her mother’s murder, as well as other healing moments she has experienced teaching workshops to clients, to give readers examples of how they can heal themselves. themselves.
“We can choose how we react and how we relate to the world, but we also choose how we react and how we relate to ourselves,” said Salter Kelly, “The philosophy is that we can’t get rid of these things, so let’s do something different.”
According to Salter Kelley, the book took ten years to write, because it was difficult for him to work on much of the subject.
During this time, Salter Kelly realized that she was now older than her mother was when she was murdered, triggering the final push to finish the book.
“If I’m really going to honor my mother’s legacy and that’s the gift of life I have, go ahead,” said Salter Kelley.
In 1995, his mother Sheila was kidnapped and murdered, and his killer, Peter Brighteyes, was convicted of first degree murder. He finally committed suicide in prison just one day after starting his sentence.
This tragic incident left Salter Kelly with a host of unsolved personal problems, and led her on a journey of self-exploration that took her deep within.
Her healing journey eventually led her to Saddle Lake Cree Nation, where she learned about the history of colonization and the tragic cycle of trauma and addiction that created the man who murdered her mother.
“He needed to walk that land and find out who his ancestors were, and find out what had happened to make him the guy who was in the coat the day my mother was murdered,” said Salter Kelly.
Eventually, Salter Kelly connected with Brighteyes’ sister, Marilyn, who helped Salter Kelly understand what it was like to grow up in a home ravaged by addiction and the legacy of residential schools.
“It is through our experiences of shared humanity and by listening to someone else’s story that our path lights up,” said Salter Kelly.
“If I have to embody a lot of what my mother’s spirit is, that would be it, just being really willing to delve into the full spirit of healing,” said Salter Kelly.
The ninety minute event begins at 2 pm and is free to attend. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the talk will be held online and interested participants are encouraged to register through the GPPL website.