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


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.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

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

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