Engaging teens with death

I made a new friend at Uni last week – Jen. In passing, Jen mentioned my research topic (Becoming death and grief literate when we are well) to her teenage son who is in Year 12. She was amazed when her usually mono-syllabic teen sparked up and said to pass on to me that there is a play called WIT (also written as W;t) by Margaret Edson in 1995, around the poems of John Donne, that deals with the concept of coming to terms with death in our culture. The two incongruent themes explored are live at all costs through detached medical intervention and the human side of dying a dignified death that is not prolonged by medical intervention. Wow! Impressive don’t you think for a typical teenage boy who normally says “ok” when asked how was your day?

While the topic of the play is interesting to my research, what is even more striking for me is that in the school environment this play has engaged Jen’s son in the topic of death and dying. I want to read more.


Edson, M. (1999). Wit. Dramatists Play Service, Inc..

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