by Connie Nykiel
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
The author begins the book with the medical definitions for: ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death and SIDS. These are words that have brought pain, but the reader may not know what they mean. One of the struggles the reader may have is giving meaning to the baby’s life. Medical definitions may not help much with this struggle bit it is the beginning of understanding.
The author spends time on the aspects of grief. She states that grief is the emotion the reader feels after losing someone or something that they were deeply attached to. This can be the loss of a baby, parent, boyfriend, home, dream or hope. The grief process is a series of phases that happen with certain feelings, actions, and thoughts after a loss. As the reader grieves emotions will change often, and the reader will have a lot of ups and downs. These phases do not always occur in order, and sometimes the reader will go through more than one phase at a time. It is an ongoing experience and just when the person thinks that they are over one aspect of grieving, a special holiday comes along and brings out these emotions all over again. These phases, along with their feelings and symptoms, are talked about so you know what to expect. You may be surprised at how intense grief can be, but these feelings and reactions are normal. Until a short time ago it was thought that it would take about six months to two years to work through the grieving process. Now experts think that grief is timeless and may be a lifelong process.
The author suggest some ways to deal with grief:
Plant a rosebush or tree in memory of the baby
Have a plaque engraved with the baby’s name and birthdate
Write a letter to your baby
Buy an angel in memory of your baby
Donate money to a good cause or a grief support group
Order a charm with the baby’s birthdate to wear on a chain
Start a memory box and put In anything that belonged to the baby.
The author gives some practical suggestions about the baby’s father, the grandparents, allowing time for your body to mature and heal, allowing yourself time to get in good mental shape, allow yourself time to break bad habits and finish school and earn some money. The book is a hard one to read as it leaves the reader with so much to think about. It was written with honesty, so much so, that at times it probably hurt to read it. It was also written with love by someone who shares and understands grief. It was written to give you the best chance of not having to suffer the grief of losing a child. Surround yourself with those people who love and care for you and will provide you with the support you need. Spend time making peace with yourself, your God and your friends. Make an effort to help those who are hurting with you. This book has great information for all going through this time.