Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunshine After the Storm, a.k.a. the book I co- wrote but don't want anyone to need

I'm a walking contradiction sometimes, so bear with me.

Several years ago now, I started to finally share the story of my miscarriage, of the diagnosis of infertility that ended up being completely wrong.

Sharing that story, and some of the other experiences in my life, have brought many amazing people into my circle. A while back, one of them, Alexa Bigwarfe, contacted me asking if I might be interested in this project she was working on.

A book.

A book about grief.

Specifically a book for grieving mothers who have lost their children, however they have lost them, written by those of us who have been there.

I said yes immediately, threw out some names of other writers I knew who had stories to tell that I thought should be included.

Then I stared at the computer screen for a long time.

A very long time.

Though I had shared the story before, this time I had to write it not just for me, but for them. All the people out there who might someday read it.

It took a few weeks to work up the courage to do it, and when I finally did get to it, there were tears. Many tears. It has been a long time now since I lost her, but when you open up a vein like that, it all comes back and hits you all over again.

I sent it off, then we waited through edits and drafts and finally the book was live.

It is out now.

If you are interested, if you've experienced infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a child, I would recommend it for one reason and one reason only: that you will know that even if it feels like the most isolating experience of your life, you are not alone. There are other mothers walking this earth without the children who should be here, and we hear you.

The book is available for free electronic download through tomorrow. It will be available to purchase as an ebook after that, and the print copy can be ordered now as well. 

I wasn't prepared for the emotional onslaught the release of the book would bring.

I'm conflicted, to say the least.

It took me a good long while to articulate my feelings about this earlier today when my therapist asked me what was going on. I am glad that I participated in this project, but I hate that it exists. I hate that it needs to exist.

It feels wrong to promote a book about grief, because anyone seeking this book out won't be doing it for a happy reason.

It feels wrong to be excited about something that still hurts me all these years later, even if my story is probably one of the mildest in the book.

It feels wrong.

If no one ever had to read this book, my heart would be filled with joy.

If no mother ever needed to seek comfort in the words of someone who understood the pain she is feeling right now, my soul would be rejoicing.

Everyone who reads this book, aside from those doing it just because they know one of us, or the therapists or medical professionals who read it to understand, will be reading this book because they joined a club no one wants to belong to.

And that breaks my heart.

It is my sincerest hope that this anthology we've created helps someone out there, that somehow our words can rise up from the pages and wrap her in love and acknowledgement, that she won't feel alone, that she will know that we understand.


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