Mike Bernhardt

Editor • Poet • Travel Writer

News

The Tides of War, tracking WWII refugees and those who honored them

I am truly thrilled, and honored, to have a story I wrote published in the latest issue of a magazine called Hidden Compass. The Tides of War is about what happened to my wife’s grandparents AFTER they escaped from Nazi Germany and thought they were out of harm’s way, and about our journey to learn more about it, including travel to Ireland and the Isle of Man. It combines two things that are very much a part of my life: travel, and honoring grief. I hope you like it!

The Tides of War

The Tides of War, tracking WWII refugees and those who honored them

I am truly thrilled, and honored, to have a story I wrote published in the latest issue of a magazine called Hidden Compass. The Tides of War is about what happened to my wife’s grandparents AFTER they escaped from Nazi Germany and thought they were out of harm’s way, and about our journey to learn more about it, including travel to Ireland and the Isle of Man. It combines two things that are very much a part of my life: travel, and honoring grief. I hope you like it!

The Tides of War

Sadie Beyl and I Discuss Grief

Sadie Beyl, founder of  From Mourning to Light, hosted a Grief Summit in October 2022, and she interviewed me as one of her guest experts. We discussed my book Voices of the Grieving Heart, but we also spoke about something that’s rarely discussed: After our life partner has died, and after all of the time and effort it takes to grieve and keep living, how do we know when it’s the right time to consider a new relationship?

You can learn more about Sadie here.

Voices is a Five-Star Reader’s Favorite!

Voices of the Grieving Heart received a 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite, an independent review forum! Read the review below, or find it on the readersfavorite.com website:

Voices of the Grieving Heart by Mike Bernhardt is a compilation of work that allows a reader to meditate through the words of others during a time that is often the most difficult of our short lives. This is, of course, the grieving process following the death of someone we love. Bernhardt has carefully constructed this book with pieces contributed by other writers and artists, a collaboration that provides a range of touching entries that, in one form or another, readers of all backgrounds can connect with. Broken down into eight sections, Bernhardt gives readers poetic solace with pieces such as Dixie Pines’ heartbreaking ode to suicide in “How So?” to Maggie Jackson’s “My Next Love,” which depicts the defiant desire to love freely against the unrealistic determination to never feel pain again.

I had to set Voices of the Grieving Heart aside for the whole of last week as it touched upon my own grief following the recent loss of a loved one. It was my husband who started to read it out loud to me. Mike Bernhardt gave me a soothing ointment for the soul, and I am grateful for it. The artwork is gorgeous, with several pieces of photography by Cassandra English being the standouts. The sheer volume of contributors is mind-boggling with a headcount of eighty-three. It’s a tribe of individuals coming together as a collective in solidarity and in grief, but also in hope. It is permission to take all the time and space necessary to accept life, moving forward with a chunk of your heart missing, but also a bit of hand-holding so you know that when you are ready, there are others willing to listen. This is a beautiful anthology of work and I imagine many will find solace in its beautiful effort to help heal.

I Spoke about Grief and Poetry for NAPT Author’s Corner

On September 12, I was honored to present a talk about Voices of the Grieving Heart at a monthly Author’s Corner event for the National Association for Poetry Therapy. The audience was primarily mental health professionals who use poetry to support their clients. We talked about grief, what people who are grieving need, and how reading—and writing—poems about our grief can be a mirror in which we can see ourselves with more understanding and compassion.

I read eight poems from Voices, and I led a writing exercise that participants found helpful. This edited video is about 38 minutes long.

If You Missed Our June 6th Event…

Six contributors to Voices of the Grieving Heart read their poems at this moving and intimate event. We were joined by my friend John Fox as well as special guest Kris Kington-Barker, end-of-life doula and former Executive Director at Hospice of San Luis Obispo County.

You can watch a recording of the event here: