Episode 25: The ‘Dis-ease’ of Trauma, Murder & Death

Guest: Carys Cragg

Carys straight away delves into the sharing of her story, where she describes the gruesome night at age 11 where her father was murdered by a stranger who broke into their home, the impact it had on the family dynamics, surviving loss and re-stabilization. She shares that there was an almost immediate dis-ease that entered her body, telling her that she could never be safe or have fun and will need to plan out all parts of her life as she spent a great deal of time worrying. Twenty years later, she pursued the crime aspect of this loss and started to correspond with her father’s murder who was in jail — she describes that this changed her to the very core, and it was a path back to her own wellness, peace and moving forward. Through this journey, she adopted full steam perfectionism as a means for coping with life, prioritizing her education, and describes that she was a silent sufferer succeeding at life. Depression came about in a unique way for Carys accompanied with multiple subtleties that did not make it easy for her or mental health experts to put a finger on it until much later. Carys intimately shares after she met her father’s murderer, with two years of correspondence, that the dis-ease she had been plagued with, had finally left her body and she never felt it again. Her key message to the listeners is that: listen to that loving, gentle, safe, kind voice inside you — not the voice that is telling you what to do; tap into your inner voice; be open; access your voice through writing or meditation or another way; that inner voice that’s respecting you is the one to pay attention to; and if you listen to this voice, you could feel just a little bit better with good intentions.


Guest Bio: Carys’s first book, titled — ‘Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father’, tells the story of her correspondence and meeting with the incarcerated man who murdered her father when she was 11 years old. It was a Globe & Mail Best 100 Book of 2017, finalist for the 2018 Hubert Evans BC Book Prize, and finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award. Carys is faculty and coordinator in the Child & Youth Care degree program at Douglas College in Metro Vancouver, BC, and is currently completing her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. She lives with her young son and loves to check out the rivers surrounding Port Coquitlam, BC. She can often be found brainstorming her next home design project, binge-watching crime tv, or waiting for the pandemic to end so she can go sit at coffee shops to read and write for much too long periods of time. 


Passionate about: Transformational/Restorative Justice and the folks at the Community Justice Initiatives in Langley, BC. https://www.cjibc.org/