Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss through the Arts

By Laura Seftel | Go to book overview

Conclusion

The sudden and sometimes traumatic loss of a pregnancy can linger just below the surface for years as a chronic sorrow. The gift of the artist, or anyone embracing their own creative process, is the willingness to explore “a grief without a shape” and the dark beauty of one’s own original imagery.

On your own journey of healing yourself or others, perhaps the most important thing to take with you is this: remember what you know. If you loved a pregnancy as if it was a child, then you must grieve it like a lost child. If your arms ache with the emptiness, then you must honor the emptiness. If your doctor’s words “You can have another” make you cry out for the one you lost, then cry. Your body knows, your spirit knows, and your heart knows that something precious has been lost. To pretend otherwise, some women tell me, has left subtle but lasting scars.

What you must not do is also simple: you cannot blame yourself, you cannot hate God, or the goddess, or the universe forever (well, maybe just for a little while, but then you must return to trust, to creativity, to reconnection), and you cannot stay silent. In that spirit, this book offers a path to healing that embraces a deep trust in our innate ability to return home to ourselves, even when we fear that a vital piece of us has been forever lost.

My own process, and that of my clients, has taught me that the creative self and the authentic self are inseparable. I have also learned that the creative process touches on the divine sometimes, allowing us to tap into something greater than ourselves, helping us to heal the spiritual crisis that we may suffer after a traumatic loss. We may not return to exactly who we were before, but we can hope to find our way to a new identity that incorporates the loss.

Ultimately, whether we produce an accomplished work of art, develop a simple ritual between family members, or share a symbolic act between supportive strangers on the Internet, we are moving into the realm of creative healing. No matter what the expressive medium, when we give form to this

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Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss through the Arts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Foreword 9
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Introduction- a Grief without a Shape 15
  • 1- My Story 21
  • 2- Losing a Dream 27
  • 3- Griefwork 57
  • 4- Singing the Silence 69
  • 5- Art in Therapy 95
  • 6- Art in the Studio 109
  • 7- Lost Traditions - Butter, Toads, and Miracles 125
  • 8- New Rituals - The Creative Response to Loss 139
  • 9- Creating Your Own Healing Practice through the Arts 149
  • 10- Creative Activities 155
  • Conclusion 173
  • References 175
  • Further Reading 181
  • Useful Organizations 183
  • Subject Index 187
  • Author Index 191
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