Using Creativity to Heal from Divorce
Divorce is a painful process that comes with some very strong emotions. Yet in order to avoid a toxic situation that puts your kids in the middle, divorcing couples must find safe spaces to express their anger and grief. Susan Bernardo found healing in writing workshops, art and dance classes, using creativity to work through the sadness, pick up the pieces and build something new.
In fact, Susan’s experience with divorce inspired her first picture book, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs, which reassures kids that love is forever, even if you are physically separated from the ones you love. Her sophomore effort was a collaboration with LeVar Burton to help kids cope with traumatic events, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. Since then, she has published a third picture book, The Big Adventures of Tiny House, and her debut YA novel, Inspired.
Today, Susan sits down with Katherine to explain how creative channels allowed her to process the grief she was feeling and how she went about reestablishing her identity as an individual in the aftermath of divorce. She discusses her conscious decision to divorce amicably, explaining how a mediator can help couples craft a shared mission statement that focuses on the children. Susan also addresses her shared custody arrangement with her ex-husband and offers insight around the concept of home as a feeling you carry. Listen in to understand how Susan leaned on allies and mentors to maintain her dignity through the process—and learn how to reframe divorce as an opportunity for discovery.
How Susan’s divorce experience inspired Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs
The grief Susan experienced in being away from her kids
How Susan used creativity to process her strong feelings
The process of reestablishing your identity after divorce
Susan’s conscious decision to pursue an amicable divorce
The value in crafting a shared mission statement
The safe places where Susan was able to express her emotions
Susan and her ex-husband’s shared custody arrangement
Gaining a deeper appreciation of each other’s roles after divorce
Susan’s intention to model the resilience she wants for her kids
How allies and mentors gave Susan perspective during the process
How to reframe divorce as an opportunity for discovery
How Susan’s friendship base expanded in the aftermath of divorce
Susan’s insight on the concept of home as a feeling you carry
Connect with Susan Bernardo
Connect with Katherine Miller
The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller
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