EPISODE 15: After trauma, she’s sewing, quilting a new life — “one stitch at a time”


In this episode, podcaster Tracy Crow, an author, writing coach, and Marine Corps veteran, talks with friendSusan.jpg Susan Gray about how creativity is helping her overcome enormous trauma. "Sewing makes sense to me...when nothing else about the world makes sense," she explains. After discovering that her husband of nearly thirty years had been molesting their son and others, and was facing criminal charges that included witness tampering, Susan filed for divorce -- a move that, sadly, alienated her from her children. "They blamed me for making their dad's life even harder," she says. On the first day of the trial, she shares that her ex-husband abruptly left the courthouse after looking over the lengthy witness list that included the name of their son who was prepared to tell the whole truth. Susan says her ex-husband -- father of her four children -- committed suicide in the courthouse parking lot. As a mother, she longed to comfort her grieving children, but they blamed her for their father's suicide. Susan reveals how creativity through sewing has kept her "sane" throughout the trauma, and how sewing has served as a healing bridge of communication between her and the children. These days, she's also creating a complex quilt from a design requiring 37 types of fabric. One day while cutting strips of fabric to re-create a new pattern alongside strips of other fabrics, she had an epiphany: "This quilt is actually a metaphor of my life." Just like the quilt design, she, too, is re-purposing the less-than-beautiful strips of her past into new patterns. "I can't go back to my old life," she says, "but I can create something beautiful from the pieces of it."