After Trauma: A Graphic Journey Through Wild Healing

In this collection of watercolor illustrations, a comics artist illustrates her journey through grief after the sudden death of her first child.

When I first came upon Leela Corman’s autobiographical watercolors, I was stunned by their beauty—and even more by their courage. As her graphic essay “PTSD: The Wound That Never Heals” revealed in vivid, vulnerable detail, Leela lost her then-only child, Rosalie Lightning, in 2011 to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, the pain of which ran rampant throughout her body, mind, and spirit for years.

Every part of her writhed in grief, but she gradually learned how to recover and heal. For our Winter 2016 issue, How to Create a Culture of Good Health, she illustrates what she has found on the other side of that trauma: absolute self-compassion and a total embrace of those wild, raw emotions that make us so human. —Erin Sagen, associate editor 

Illustration by Leela Corman