Giveaway: 1 print copy of Living With Grief book
We are giving away one copy of the anthology, Living With Grief. This giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the US. If you are in the US and win, a print copy will be mailed to you.
The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Nicolas!
Interview with Contributing Author Kara Jones
Creative Grief Studio Co-Founder Kara Jones works collaboratively with our teaching team here as well as working in her private practice over at Grief+Creativity. She’s recently had a chapter published in the anthology Living With Grief, and so we asked her to share a bit about that process:
Q: What led to you becoming a contributing author to this anthology?
Kara: Hm? It isn’t coming to mind exactly how I connected with David Pierce who is the editor of this anthology. He and his wife Judy experienced the death of their child, too, and somewhere along the line we connected as we were both doing peer support work. They founded FAR: Friends Along the Road and many years ago, David asked me to do some artwork for them. Our communications have continued over the years, and even though we’ve never met in person, he and Judy feel like friends.
So when he put out the word that he was doing this anthology, I hopped right on board. At the time he was seeking chapters, I was particularly keen on how capitalism forces itself onto the grief experience. And there were some different things I witnessed in my own community that made me ponder why we *rush* the grief process for people so much. The chapter David accepted from me is precisely about all of that.
Q: What was your intention or goal with writing the particular chapter you contributed?
Kara: Well, I wanted to ask a difficult question about why, when young people ask for grief support, WHY do adults so often respond with rituals like candle light vigils. The vigils as rituals are great, can be helpful, can be a show of community. But they often don’t function as GRIEF support. It’s like we rush to the healing, to the ritual, without actually hearing people’s requests for *grief* support.
And that led me to ponder how the relentless demands for productivity in the capitalist system may have some roots in WHY things go this way.
So I wanted to offer a space where people could thoughtfully, and hopefully without too much resistance, explore this area of things. AND propose some ideas about how we can course correct if we see this type of thing happening in our heARTwork.
Q: What did you learn or what was most interesting about working in a collaborative way with the other multiple authors?
Kara: That’s an interesting question while at the same time, not really applicable here. I mean it is a collaborative effort because David worked hard to pull together pieces from so many of us, covering a variety of topics. But in truth, I didn’t really “work” with all the other authors. We did have a private contributors group online where David could reach all of us and we could ask questions and such. So in that way, I did get to eMeet many of them.
In terms of learning as I worked with David, I think the most earnest thing I learned was actually a re-learning of sorts. The amount of time and persistence a person has to have to be an editor is enormous. And I saw David going through all the different phases of the book from idea, to authors, to artists, to layout, to marketing, to multiple editions, and more. It took me back to my time as the editor at KotaPress when the Journal and groups there were active two decades ago. AND I was reminded how much I am NOT a good fit to be an editor. LOL!
Q: Do you think helping professionals as well as those having personal grief experiences would appreciate this collection and why?
Kara: Yes, very much so! Even in my chapter, though I’m talking about things I’m observing as a helping professional, these things are simultaneously about the personal experiences we are all having on the ground as we ask for grief support. And so many authors, with such interesting chapters, including explorations of a variety of grief circumstances, well, each of the chapters brings insightful looks into the process.
I think approaching the anthology with curiosity will give the reader so much in return, whether you are personally grieving a loss or your are doing grief support outreach.
Q: How do you think your contributed chapter and the collection as a whole supports some of the core values that we hold here at The Creative Grief Studio? For example, we work with the idea that there is “no one, particular, right way” to have grief experiences. How does your chapter/this collection support that type of value?
Kara: Again, the variety of authors and approaches to grief experiences really stands in support of “no one, particular, right way” to this process. I also think it lends itself to allowing helping professionals practice with staying curious. Every chapter is a new share, a varied perspective, different circumstances. I found myself reading it at times and thinking to myself, “If I were working with this person, what might I ask them at this point to try and understand more about their experience?” That’s the practice of the practice, right?
Q: Where can someone buy a copy?
Kara: The book is online now in both print and Kindle at Amazon. I also have a variety of other books I’ve written over on my site if you are looking for other supports, too.