Shared Experiences – Healing Poetry

Healing Poetry

Recently I received a powerful email from a mother who had lost her son. Her grief writings inspired other parents to share their own poetry about the children they had lost in a published work called KotaPress. Below are the emails we exchanged. Kara has given me permission to share her email with the AiTcommunity.

Hi. Although I am just now discovering Poetry Therapy as a discipline, I have been a poet for many years. When my son died 19 months ago, we started a little press called KotaPress. I began publishing my grief writings as a way to reconnect with the world at large because my son’s death had made the world a very small, isolated place. As my grief poetry got out, other bereaved parents began to write me saying, “I’m not really a writer or I’m not really a poet, but…” and they would send along pieces they had written for the children they had lost. Because our poetry expressed grief, we connected. Thru the connections we began to heal, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in very large significant ways. Poetry Therapy seems to me to be the discipline of this kind of expression, connection, and healing. Mind you, I’m just discovering the language and world of poetry as therapy, but so far it seems like it is the practice of healing experiences. Does this make sense?

Thanks for having your site available– wonderful resource.
Miracles to you,

Kara L.C. Jones, Dakota’s Mommy
Editor-In-Chief, KotaPress
Board Member, SeattleMISS

Your email really impacted me as an artist, art therapist, a person with nieces and nephews for whom I worship and a person who has three dogs who I consider my “kids”. The thought of anything ever happening to them is unbearable so I can only imagine what the past 19 months has been like for you.
I was touched by your story and felt emotion building in me throughout your email. And when I reached the part when you asked “Does this makes sense” I began to cry. I said out loud, “She is asking me if this makes sense??!? Your description of what poetry has meant to both you and other parents who have lost children makes more sense to me than why the sky is blue.

The most emotional connection I have to the arts is knowing that “they” are always there for me. That I am able to create at anytime be it 10am in the morning or 10pm at night…the comfort of knowing that creativity is all around me each and every day…whether it be cooking a great meal, dancing around my apartment to a favorite song, solving a problem at work or sculpting clay.

So yes…what you wrote makes sense to me. Your willingness and courage to share your own grief has created a safe place, a creative outlet for parents to express their own thoughts and feelings. A place that provides validation and connection, both which would seem so crucial after the tragedy of losing a child.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me, an expression I will treasure. I wish you continued success with KotaPress and that your healing in part, be filled with knowing that Dakota is out there telling those he meets what a wonderful Mommy he had while on earth.
Take Care,

An International Community for Creative Arts Therapists