Grief Poetry Book
BY KARA BOWMAN
“Kara Bowman's Heartbreak to Hope is a wonderfully sensitive and poetic accompaniment as we journey through grief. It captures so much of the darkness and difficulty of that journey while holding out hope that through those difficulties one can still get to a sense of peace--even growth. I wish every individual struggling with grief could have a copy!”
Professor Kenneth J Doka, PhD, Grief Researcher and Author, Grief is a Journey, When We Die: Extraordinary Experiences at Life's End.
Take good care of your precious pain.
Wrap your strong arms around it.
Hold it against your warm chest.
Rock it gently,
telling it softly that it is loved.
It is needed.
It is important.
It makes perfect sense.
And love it, just as it is,
in all of its agonizing beauty.
Grieving people need to be understood. Grieving people need to understand themselves. Grieving people need expression for their pain and emotions. Poetry is a perfect medium for all of these needs.
People who are mourning a loss often don’t have the mental ability to focus on books so the short length of a poem is a perfect fit. Heartbreak to Hope is a collection of original poems that each capture a different aspect of grief. Readers will find their experience reflected on the pages in accessible and easily understood vignettes. They will feel less alone knowing that others have experienced the same feelings. They will move through the process of grief, having words for their emotions. And they will treasure this volume, coming back to their favorites time and time again for comfort and understanding.
How To Deal With Grief
This is a plaintive question that many mourners wonder. Heartbreak to Hope helps answer that question. Reading, and reflecting on, poetry about grief gives people access to their feelings, and to understanding themselves and feeling understood. All three of these are helpful to the integrating and shifting of healthy grief.
The poems of Heartbreak to Hope also contain gentle encouragement and teaching for how to grieve in a helpful, supportive manner. The poems evoke loss, emotions, acceptance, self-compassion, comfort, the unknowable, and the future in ways that show a griever how to best support him/herself. Since the poetry was written by an experienced Certified Grief Counselor and therapist, they point the griever in a direction that will lead toward learning how to relate to grief in a healthy, constructive way.
Sample Grief Poems
What to Do
It’s difficult to know what to do
when the world changes in an instant,
when the land is alien,
when there are so many things to figure out,
when there’s no understanding,
when there are so many people to support,
when knees are buckling,
when thoughts are cloudy and vague,
when nothing looks familiar,
when all energy has suddenly vanished,
when the person who could best help me through this
is the very one who is gone.
About the Author
Kara Bowman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in grief and trauma. She has a part-time private practice in Santa Cruz, California. Kara traveled a long, winding road to arrive at her current profession. She began with an MBA and a career in finance, opened a large, award-winning child development center, worked in non-profit administration, and homeschooled her three children before becoming an NVC Compassionate Communication Trainer.
Just as Kara’s children were leaving home and she was settling into her life, her family was hit with a nearly unbelievable wave of illnesses and deaths in a five-year period. Once Kara found her feet again, she knew she was driven to help others who were experiencing grief, loss and trauma.
Kara returned to school to earn a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and interned primarily in hospice grief counseling. Kara is a Certified Grief Counselor (AAGC), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (IATP), and a Certified Thanatologist (the study of death and dying; ADEC). Research and knowledge are growing in the field of grief, and Kara’s passion is to help create a culture which is more compassionate and helpful toward those who are grieving (which will eventually be all of us).
Kara is dedicated to her career and community through her practice and volunteer work. Although she always uses empathy as a foundation for her grief work, she tries to individualize her approach in order to give each client what they most need at that moment in time. This includes ritual, poetry, meditations and visualizations, along with talking. Kara loves sharing her knowledge of how to grieve, and how to support grievers, by volunteering at Hospice, giving talks, and training therapists. In the summer of 2020, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists honored Kara’s practice with a feature in The Therapist magazine. Kara’s professional website can be found at karabowman.com.
Kara lives in Santa Cruz, California, near the redwoods and the ocean, with her husband. She loves to read, write, walk, do pilates, cook, visit with friends and family, and try to make people laugh. She is very thankful her three grown children all live on the west coast.