I have numerous friends who have had to cope with miscarriage, & I feel very blessed to not have had a similar experience myself (so far at least). I have seen these friends struggle greatly with their loss for a variety of reasons & during those times I always wished that there was more I could do. I had wished that I knew what to say & how to help them. All of this is why I offered to do a book review for Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother.
I’ll be honest with you… this is not an easy book to read. It is heart-breaking & put my greatest fears into words. It is full of stories from strong women who experienced losing a child whether it was losing a pregnancy, a newborn, or a toddler. I found myself holding my breath while reading this book – choking back tears – knots in my stomach. The thought, “This won’t happen to me…” kept sneaking into my head as a coping mechanism. I kept reading because I figured if my friends could make it through the loss of a baby, the least I could do is read about it.
This may sound like a horrible book review, but it’s not. For those who have lost a child, I would imagine that this book would be a wonderful resource. And for those of us who have not had to suffer such a devastating loss, it is an important glimpse into the grief of our friends who may be dealing with this.
The stories of miscarriage especially spoke to me since I have had close friends deal with this loss. The authors share how agonizing it was when people trivialized their loss. They share how devastating it was to them even though the baby was only a few weeks along. They share their anger about being expected to go on with their lives as if nothing happened & anger at people around them seeming to forget that it happened at all.
And I think those things were my biggest takeaway. It is better to say the wrong thing than nothing at all. It is better to share that you care. It is okay to tell someone that you don’t know what they are going through & then give them the room to explain it (or the space to keep to themselves depending on their needs). A loss of life is a loss of life regardless of how young or old the child may be. Every mother should be allowed to grieve that loss.
Alexa Bigwarfe & her co-authors are so brave to have written about this subject. I’m sure it was very hard, yet also therapeutic, to put those experiences down on paper & share them with the world. I do truly believe that any parent who has experienced the loss of a child would benefit from reading this book. It will help them realize that they are not alone in their grieving & that eventually they will come out of survival mode a changed person. Please, pass along Sunshine After the Storm to any family who may need this guide… I know I will.
You can also visit the Sunshine After the Storm blog for more support.