Artist, poet, and writer Laurel Diane Rund talks about finding hope once again after losing a spouse. Losing her husband took her on a journey to sorrow and personal transformation. According to a Chinese proverb, birds sing because they have a song—not an answer. Rund didn’t have any answers or know how to grieve. However, she knew intuitively that she had a song inside her. Overwhelmed with sadness, she wasn’t an “us” anymore after 42 years with her husband. She felt invisible, alone, and unattached. Death was a tough and unexpected teacher.
If not now, when? That was a question that suddenly arose within her. She no longer had her past, didn’t know about her future, so only her present really mattered. She never thought about titles until she got one she disliked. Her years as a child, mother, wife, businesswoman—she never thought of those titles. However, it was the title of widow that shook her. Today, she gives herself the title of “I am.”
She calls herself vital and alive. Being open to life’s possibilities is a great gift. The death of a loved one is actually one of life’s greatest gifts. It brought her self-awareness and a spiritual transformation. Her art emerged when she began working with a grief counselor. Sometimes she was an artist first, other times she was a poet and writer first. It was a natural fit for her. It soothed her wounds and put her on a positive path.
She created the book Emerging Voices from her own experience as a bereaved spouse. There’s great comfort in writing, which is why there are plenty of blank pages within her own book. It’s a place of comfort and hope.