Grief is a river that you wade in until you get to the other side…
Barbara Crooker’s poem “Grief”, which begins with these words, reflects her personal experience with loss and the overwhelming impact of her sorrow. Her words, like the words of poets from many generations, can be a great source of solace to those who are also grieving the loss of a loved one.
Poetry has been found to be a very effective way to manage emotions, either by reading or writing. It is a genre that is especially in tune with revealing feelings, thoughts, fears, joys and inspires contemplation. Poets open their hearts and souls to share with others, whether written to be therapeutic for the author or helpful for the reader. Poetry can be a refuge, a place to turn when emotions overtake and consume, an outlet to find peace of mind.
Throughout the grieving process, taking time out of your normal routine to read poetry can be extremely healing. Poems connect you to the thoughts of those who have experienced loss as well. Though their emotions may not be the same as yours, knowing that others are finding their way through their own grief, may bring you comfort.
Historically, poetry readings were commonplace in society, among friends, in literary communities and at special events. Today, the reading of poetry is most often done alone, but the good thing is, that poetry is readily available, not only at a local bookstore or library but online. There are a multitude of resources for poetry at your fingertips on a phone, tablet or computer. A good website to start is poetryfoundation.org. You may find by taking the time to enjoy a poem with bring you not only comfort but also joy.