We are grounded in the faith that the ideal Western family has 2.2 children, an idyllic marriage, a suburban home with an affordable mortgage, full employment, and no serious conflicts... This mythical "average family" never experiences serious illness, accidents, bereavement, alcoholism, abuse, mental illness, depression, miscarriage, unemployment, family break-up, delinquent children, conflict with the law, failure, or any other shock. This myth is terribly destructive, for it leads us to rage and blame endlessly when trauma does inevitably strike.
The bad news is that every one of us - every person reading this book, and every person who avoids reading anything about trauma or grief - will suffer not just one, but repeated traumas in their lives. The good news is that God offers to you the same love and support, the same divine grace in this age as God has offered to the great saints, martyrs, and prophets who have faced deep suffering through the ages. The good news is that you can learn from trauma and grow through it. There is even more good news: lonely as the journey of grief is, we can help one another on it.
This inspiring book is the work of an author who faced, and overcame, some of life's most difficult traumas. She, and others whose stories she includes, have gotten into closer touch with that wonderful, sustaining, comforting grace, and have become deeper, more alive, more caring human beings through trauma.
Ruth Morris was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Ruth spent all her career in community development and working to reform the criminal justice system. Ruth also founded Rittenhouse, A New Vision; an agency dedicated to public education for transformative justice. She received many awards, including a Governor General's Award for her community work, the YMCA Peace Medallion, and the J.S. Woodsworth Award for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the summer of 2001, she was awarded the Order of Canada - the highest commendation in the country - for her work.
But she considered her failures as important as her successes, and was proud of her two firings from justice system jobs for her human rights stands, and of having continued her career more effectively beyond these traumatic experiences. Ruth was also the author of several books: Stories of Transformative Justice; Penal Abolition: The Practical Choice; Listen Ontario: Faith Communities Speak Out; The Case for Penal Abolition; and Crumbling Walls: Why Prisons Fail.
Ruth died in September 2001 from a cancerous tumor named Henry.
Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr worked with Ruth Morris on several of her book projects, including Stories of Transformative Justice and The Case for Penal Abolition. When it became clear that she couldn't finish this one, Ruth Morris asked her editor to finish it for her. Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr has worked as an editor since the age of fifteen and as a writer since the age of eight. She is currently the Director of the University of Ottawa Press and the Publisher of Winding Trail Press.
Journey to Joy, by Ruth Morris and Marie Ottosen
For more information or to order copies of Transcending Trauma and Journey to Joy, please contact us.
© 2005 Winding Trail Press
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