Emerging Voicesis a book of the poetry and artwork that I created in 2010 to describe the feelings of grief and loss I experienced after the death of my husband of 42 years. The bereavement community, friends and family encouraged me to share what I had written because my poems reached out and touched others in a profound way, regardless of the type of loss the reader had experienced. Loss is most often associated with the death of a loved one; but feelings of loss also come from:
divorce or a relationship breakup
loss of a friendship
loss of a pet
loss of health or one's physicality
loss of a job and financial stability
loss of safety after a trauma
loss of a cherished dream.
Sometimes it feels as if the pain and sorrow from loss will never let up. These emotions are very raw and really hurt, but accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing. Grief and mourning is a poignant process - each one of us experiences that journey in our own way.
The healing process is just that, a process, and there is no magic “time” for an individual's grieving to end. While leaving a permanent wound on your heart and soul, in time grief softens its hold. This tender wound can be reopened without warning by an unexpected nuance or life event, and sorrow takes hold once again. The difference is that these unexpected moments don't last as long as they did in the beginning and healing continues.
"Instead of a series of stages, we might think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief." Source: Hospice Foundation of America
My book, Emerging Voices, is intended to be a heart-felt gift to the reader as he or she travels down the painful and winding road of loss. There are blank journal pages within which provide a place for each individual to record his or her own thoughts and unique feelings. Writing helped me heal during that traumatic time and my wish is that my words within the book offer a place of solace for others. Whatever your grief experience, it is important to be patient with yourself and to allow the process to unfold naturally.
Like a puzzle, grief comes in all shapes and forms - as does the journey of getting to a place of peace and comfort within us. Yes, my husband's death has forever altered my life, but I now know that I am grateful to have been given the gift of a renewed and transformed spirit. Today, when I meet someone who has experienced a loss, I do not say I'm sorry, I say from my knowing heart "I understand."
We were battle scarred and knew the long struggle was about to end.
Simply put, you were dying, going to leave.
An acute awareness filled the air; the clock had run out!
Our time together was rapidly coming to an end.
The face of death made itself known to us at warped speed.
It had been lurking around for months – playing hide and seek,
and was finally declaring itself the winner.
Wanting to claim its reward, death beckoned.
Embracing whatever time was left; you became focused and alert.
Your eyes cleared as they sought memories.
You found your voice, and spoke and wrote to those whom you loved.
In the dark at night, I felt you silently shed tears of loss and regret.
All I could offer was comfort and my love.
Your transition had begun.
In numbness, I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was to come.
The finality of “it” – the loss of you – the loss of us loomed.
A wound was emerging that would seep into my heart
and into my being … it would change me forever.
I am here alone now, looking at your picture,
imagining being in your arms;
searching for signs of your presence.
Sadness permeates my heart, tears are wept,
and I long for you.
Life is a spiral of events.
It is always teaching welcomed and unwelcomed lessons.
Our love affair here on earth has ended.
And … now … I have begun my own transition.
An Amazing Book for the proess of hard change to acceptance
An amazing book for the process of hard change to acceptance, October 9, 2010
By ellen "ellen in atlanta" (Atlanta, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emerging Voices (Paperback)
Laurel Rund has written a concise book for some of the hardest moments in our lives and allows us to grow and overcome the hurt with triumph.
Using her own poetry and her own artwork, she takes us on a journey.
Each of us having gone through a process of loss to misquote Shakespeare, curse the heavens and wonder why. There is anger and dismay.
Then we in time find the process of what loss is to our own lives and we in turn learn to live again.
There are lined pages making this beautiful and useful book a journal for someone going through the same journey to voice their feelings and thoughts and that will make this a great keepsake for people in need of solace.
That's what this book is gentle solace, a hug when we need it, a hand we can hold in hard times.
Laurel Rund has beautifully placed the words we wish we could think when someone needs respite and to know there is life literally and figuratively after this.
Very beautifully written work.
This review is from: Emerging Voices (Paperback)
"Emerging Voices" is more than just a beautifully constructed piece of original artwork and poems...it's thought provoking, emotionally inspirational and the author's poetic expressions are totally relatable. It's one of those amazing gifts that keeps giving with the turn of each and every page. Just when you think you've found your favorite picture or poem, yet another tugs at your soul. What I truly love about this book is the author's foresight in providing lined pages for YOU to journal your OWN thoughts and feelings. Brilliant! I love, love, LOVE it!!
A journey through grief to hope
Anne L. Holmes, APR -- "Boomer in Chief"
National Association of Baby Boomer Women
Emerging Voices is a compilation of Laurel D. Rund's original artwork and inspirational poetry that speaks to the many faces of loss and/or life transitions. Written after the death of her husband, Laurel says the book's purpose is to encourage the reader to record her own thoughts and feelings. Which is why the book includes a unique feature: blank journal pages after each selection.
There are 14 poem-artwork pairings here, which deal with some of the hardest moments in our lives, the loss of a loved one, whether in death or some sort of challenging separation.
As you read the book, you will not wallow in your grief or be incapacitated by it. Instead, via the media of her words and art, she takes you on a journey that shows you how to grow through that grief and overcome the hurt with triumph.
Doubtless each of us experienced a major loss. We've been through a process of loss, as documented by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. We know that we will pass through stages beginning with denial and anger, then passing on to bargaining, depression, acceptance. We will ask, "Why me?" and "Why now?" Then once we process our grief, we are able to learn to live again.
by Anne Holmes editor-in-chief of
You can almost hear Laurel's voice helping you through the stages as you read the poems in this book - (which therefore, should be read in order, from front to back.)
Laurel Rund truly takes you on a journey to your heart in this book. Through her unique combination of words and art you will find your own unique thoughts and feelings begin to surface. And then you will find your own unique voice emerging.
As Laurel says, "Listen to your music... Find your rhythm... Celebrate this dance called Life!" She urges you to find your own unique feelings, listen to your Emerging Voice, embrace your human spirit... And write, write, write!
So much more than an illustrated book of poetry, this is an invitation to a journey of self-discovery. You'll want to make time to read the whole book in one sitting. So block out some free time and grab your ticket now!
One last word: If you are as entranced with the beautiful illustrations as I was, you will be pleased to know that Laurel's images from the book are available for purchase on her website in the form of multi-media embellished greeting cards and prints. Additionally, four of the images are available in their original format. You can also contact Laurel about custom prints or custom note cards.