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.”

Redefining Yourself

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.


Laurel D. Rund

Laurel D. Rund

It began in 2009 when a life-changing event transformed me into the woman I am today. Never could I have imagined that the death of my husband of 42 years would take me on a journey through loss and grief to a redefined sense of self. Death, an unexpected teacher, was my transformative metamorphosis. The slow and painful healing process unfolded my creativity and, in what I can only describe as a “new normal,” Essence of Laurel was born. "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." Khalil Gibran My first book, “Emerging Voices” has a purpose ~ to serve as a journal and healing catalyst for anyone who has experienced a loss. The art and poetry within is a testimony as to what can happen when we acknowledge grief in all its forms. It allows for the discovery of a new perspective which will lead you on a journey of self-discovery and renewal. “Art from the Heart” has become my playground; a place where I can tap into my innermost creativity as an inspirational writer and artist. The surprise is that it came at a time when I thought that the next chapters in my life would be lonely; without purpose or passion. Instead I have been given the gift of a renewed sense of life, its possibilities and most importantly, an appreciation for living in the present moment. Our human experience, whether in a crisis or a life transition, continuously gives us the opportunity to learn and grow. We can choose to stay in a place of sorrow and regret, or embrace these life-altering experiences from which we can discover a new way of being. My hope is that my writing and ‘Art from the Heart’ touches and inspires you.

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