Don’t Let Them Tell You How To Grieve

Bereavement: Lines to let you know you’re not alone

Gina Claye’s poems explore the emotions experienced by those who grieve. Bereavement can leave people feeling isolated. It takes courage to grieve and is an intensely person process. Sharing feelings through poetry brings some comfort knowing they are not alone with their painful and overwhelming emotions. Gina Claye is a retired teacher, living in the Chiltern hills. She has helped counsel parents who have lost a child, and advised hospital staff on the needs of those grieving, drawing on her personal experiences. She has appeared on television and radio. Her poems for children have been published in anthologies by Scholastic and Oxford University Press. This is a large print edition of these poems.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone whether grieving or not, everything within speaks to the many facets of grief and loss, and there are startling moments of such acute and simple revelation making it a book that offers both an understanding of grief as well as endless compassion. I will return to it many times over.

Judy G Cruise from Bereavement Care

The Photograph

At first I almost took the photograph
down. It showed the two of us
together, walking in the Chiltern hills.

We had stopped for a rest. I leant
against you, your arm around me,
my head on your shoulder.

The pain I felt each time I saw it
was so acute, it made me feel
again my overwhelming loss.

But to stare at the space it would
leave would be worse. So it
stayed. And gradually as time

passed, I made a friend of pain.
And now in moments of anxiety,
I stand and look at the photograph.

I lean on you still and will all
my life. Your arm around me.
My head on your shoulder.


Additional information

Written By