When words are not enough

Creative responses to grief

‘I have not read a better book on grief.’

Annalisa Barbieri, The Guardian

Everyone grieves for someone at some point in their lives. But how do we deal with the silence that often surrounds grief? How do we find ways to express painful feelings when words are not enough? In this deeply personal and beautiful reflection on grief Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds draw on their own experience of loss, and how the death of their son Josh has led to a creative response that is more than word bound.

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In 2011 Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds’ son Joshua died in a road accident while travelling in Vietnam. In the years that followed they founded The Good Grief Project, a UK based charity to support other bereaved families and to promote their understanding of grief as creative and active process.

This book follows their journey. It also tells the story of 13 other bereaved people who have also found a creative response to their grief.

The emphasis on ‘continuing bonds’ and their own way of maintaining a relationship with Josh, is both emotional and practical. Echoed in the other case studies they illustrate how creativity can shape a future where the deceased still play a part even while physically absent and how this is a normal and restorative aspect of the grieving process. Grief can also be a wonderful educator with new discoveries to be had.

Dotted throughout the book you will find boxes with reflections on current theories, and which explain the jargon you may hear used about grief. In the ‘Ten Things we have Learned’ the authors share the most useful things they found on their own bereavement journey. Eleven years on they have discovered how grief is almost by definition a creative process, one of making things anew that would not have existed had their son not died.

When Words Are Not Enough: creative responses to grief is published by Quickthorn Books. You can order your copy here.


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