Advertisement

Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 14–22 | Cite as

Poetry Generated by Stillbirth and Livebirth: Transgenerational Sharing of Grief and Joy

  • Owen E. Heninger
Article

Abstract

This article preserves, in poetry, emotional reactions to the dire event of a stillbirth and the subsequent joyous occasion of a livebirth. These poems give access to the profound experience of a bereaved mother and her father, directly following the calamity of a stillbirth. They also capture the rousing response to a livebirth that came 25 months later. Writings from the mother’s grandparents complete this record of shared response across three generations. Finally, some implications are given on the therapeutic benefits of writing poetry to help resolve grief and develop active mastery over traumatic events.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Beckey, R. D., Price, R. A., Okerson, M. & Walker, R. (1985). Development of a perinatal grief checklist. Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology Neonatal Nursing, 14, 194–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borg, S. & Lasker, J. (1981). When pregnancy fails: Families coping with miscarriage, still-birth and infant death. New York: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bourne, S. (1983). Psychological impact of stillbirth. The Practitioner, 227, 53–60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, C. S., Barglow, P. & Sripada, B (1986). Psychological intervention in high risk pregnancy. In J. J. Sciarra, R. Depp & D. A. Eschenback (eds.) Gynecology and obstetrics: Vol. 3 (rev. ed) Maternal and fetal medicine: Chapt. 3. Perinatal bereavement (pp. 8–10). Philadelphia: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  5. Depp, R. (1986) Care of the high risk mother. In J. J. Sciarra, R. Depp & D. A. Eschenback (Eds.) Gynecology and obstetrics: Vol. 3 (rev. ed.) Maternal and fetal medicine: Chapt. 1 Perinatal death (28). Philadelphia: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  6. Friedman, R. & Gradstein, B. (1982). Surviving pregnancy loss. Boston: Little Brown and Co.Google Scholar
  7. Furlong, R. M. & Hobbins, J. C. (1983). Grief in the perinatal period. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 61 497–500.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gardner, S. L. & Merenstein, G. B. (1986). Perinatal grief and loss: an overview. Neonatal Network, 5 7–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Heninger, O. E. (1981). Poetry therapy. In S. Arieti & H. K. Bordie (Eds.), American handbook of psychiatry: Vol. 7 Advances and new directions. (2nd, rev. ed), (pp. 553–563). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  10. Jarvik, E. (1984, Feb 3). Closet grief: A baby who never came home. Desert News Salt Lake City, Ut. C1.Google Scholar
  11. Kaladasa (c.a. 5th Cent. A. D.) Shakuntala. In G. L. Anderson & M. Mack (Eds.), Masterpieces of the Orient (pp. 234–316). New York: W. W. Norton & Co (1977).Google Scholar
  12. Kirk, E. P. (1984) Psychological effects and management of perinatal loss. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 149 46–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Lake, ML, Knuppel, R. A., Murphy, J. & Johnson, T. M. (1983). The Role of a grief support team following stillbirth. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 146 877–881.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Lewis E. (1983). Stillbirth: Psychological consequences and strategies of management. In A. Milunsky & E. A. Friedman (Eds.), Advances in perinatal medicine, Vol. 3 (pp. 205–243). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Limbo, R. K. & Wheeler, S. R. (1986). When a baby dies: A handbook for healing and helping. La Crosse, W.I.: Resolve Through Sharing.Google Scholar
  16. Lindemann, E. (1944). Symptomatology and management of acute grief. American Journal of Psychiatry, 101, 141–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Whitaker, C. M. (1986). Death Before Birth, American Journal of Nursing. 2, 157–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Yalom, M. (1985). Maternity, mortality and the literature of madness. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owen E. Heninger
    • 1
  1. 1.Poetry Therapy InstituteWhittierUSA

Personalised recommendations