Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, July 10, 2017

Coping with Loss: Poems for the Grieving Heart puts grief into verse

One thing I often notice as I go through my poems is that I often write poems on one particular theme. Another thing I have done with the poetry writing is writing a poem in memory of someone who has passed. I have done this even with people who I never knew (such as Michael Landon or Princess Diana).

Then, one day, as I was going over my poems, I realized that there was one particular theme there which I have not published a book on: Grief. Or, coping with the loss of a loved one. I wrote a few poems after my mom died, then again after my dad passed away. I have mourned the loss of someone right along with a relative and have experienced the sadness of others who have lost someone. I put all of these feelings and expressions down into poems. I even wrote poems after my dogs died.

So, I decided one day that I would put together a poetry book on such a theme. The poems would be expressions of the different stages of grief (denial, depression, etc.) as well as a poem written specifically to honor someone (a brother, spouse, child, etc.).

My new poetry book, Poems for the Grieving Heart, is a result of that idea. I spent some time gathering poems I had written that fit on this theme, as well as writing other ones as the situation struck. I still grieve the loss of my mother and occasionally I felt compelled to write about it as a poem.

But some of the poems in this book were not written because of my own personal experience in losing someone. They are poems I wrote when someone I knew lost someone, too. A friend lost her brother, so I wrote a poem about losing your brother. One of my sisters had a miscarriage a long time ago, so I wrote a poem about losing an unborn child. One of my aunts lost her sister, so I wrote about losing a sister. A relative's son died from a drug overdose, so I wrote about losing a loved one to addiction. A relative was prevented from saying goodbye to his mother before she passed away, so I wrote about such a situation. A friend lost her husband some time ago and I was told something about how she is coping with her loss and adapting to life without him that inspired me to write the poem with those very words (“A New Normal”).

Some of the poems in this book were written when certain people died. I wrote the poem “A Light Gone Out Too Soon” after my cousin, Mark, passed away. The poem “Just One More Time” was written after my friend, Mack, died. And the poem “Dear Mother, My Mother” was written after my mom passed away.

I know that we all experience grief in different ways, and I hope that there is something in this book that someone can appreciate or relate to. Grief is a hard subject to fully grasp because we are all affected by it differently and, for some, it’s better not to discuss how we are feeling or what we are thinking about as we mourn the loss of someone. But this book is my attempt to capture how we experience grief and, ultimately, how we find a way to continue on in life when someone we care about is no longer there to live it with us.

Many thanks to Denise Bartlett for editing this poetry book, and to Charlotte Holley for designing such a lovely cover.

Here is the book blurb:

Grief changes people and it takes people through a myriad of emotions, feelings and experiences. From the angst of losing a loved one to the helplessness, shock, confusion and sadness of loss, grief can have lasting emotional effects that can turn a person's world inside out and upside down. The poems in this book are a reflection of the grieving experience and put into words our attempts to honor and remember those we have lost.

And here is the buy link.

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