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Voices of the Grieving Heart

83 writers and artists whose loved ones died share their grief, growth, and healing with 150 poems, short essays and artwork contributed for this award-winning project.

A resource by Mike Bernhardt

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Available on Amazon or on order from your favorite indie bookstore!

A 2022 Distinguished Book, Independent Press Awards and a Five-Star Readers' Favorite

Grieving the death of someone we loved is the darkest road many of us will ever travel.

Each of us must find our own path as we navigate the uncharted territory of our new lives. Voices of the Grieving Heart doesn’t tell readers what to do or how they should feel. Instead, the contributors to this collection generously offer their own truths, in hopes that they might help someone else. This unique volume contains over 160 selected poems, short narratives, and images by 83 contributors who share their journeys through loss, grief, and transformation, including:

  • Deaths due to suicide, miscarriage and stillbirth, COVID-19, and other causes
  • Reflections on grief from contributors whose losses happened decades ago
  • Prompts and blank pages for readers to add their own poetry

“This beautiful book speaks directly to the heart. If you are grieving the loss of someone you love, it will help to validate your experience and feelings. It is as personal as it is universal.”

—Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC, Author of You Are Not Alone

My Inspiration

When Mike Bernhardt's wife died, he turned to writing poetry as a tool of healing. As part of his own healing process, he eventually solicited the poetry of other people whose loved ones had died, receiving hundreds of submissions from around the world. The result was Voices of the Grieving Heart, a project for which Mike was both editor and a contributor. Proceeds from the book are being donated to the Institute for Poetic Medicine. Mike is a Certified Grief Educator and a bereavement services volunteer at Hospice East Bay. He is also trained as a facilitator of a program called "Poetry as a Tool of Wellness." He has appeared on a number of podcasts and on radio to read from the book and discuss the unique power of poetry to help people feel seen in their grief.

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