One of the most important things in anyone’s bereavement process is to find what works personally/individually. There is an opportunity for much creativity in this process.
The video features me (Anne Carson) reading the title poem in my collection, Removing the Kimono, and describing how the death of my husband prompted me to write a series of poems about our relationship, his sickness and death and my bereavement. I talk about how our Western cultures aren’t very good at supporting bereaved people and how we can learn from other cultures about this.
While my husband was sick and then in his dying process, I had to work very diligently at self care so that I remained strong with an open heart so I could be a loving companion to him through this process. One of the must useful (and difficult!) practices was to consciously open to the pain and grief I felt and to find a willing place for these in my heart. I was so beautifully supported by friends and family and my daily meditation process.
Many influences have contributed to my involvement in the field of death and dying. As a trained Social Worker and counsellor I have worked with many bereaved people. This has continued in my work as a Creative Writing Therapist. Personally, and in terms of the writing of the poems in my book, Removing the Kimono, it was the death of my husband which activated my involvement.
Anne M. Carson is a Melbourne writer and visual artist who has just had her first full-length collection of poems, Removing the Kimono, published by Hybrid Publishers. She has won and been commended in numerous poetry prizes including most recently a Commendation in the 2013 Max Harris Poetry Prize. As a Creative Writing Therapist, she has edited and facilitated the group process which has resulted in the publication of three books. She teaches Poetry Writing and Appreciation to adults. for more information you can visit her website: www.annemcarson.com