November 22, 2013

For Grieving Mothers

By: Amy

Hi, friends!  I was asked to review a book for grieving mothers.  It's called, "Sunshine After The Storm".  The book was compiled by an amazing momma, Alexa, who lost one of her twin girls at birth.  (Oh my gosh, can you imagine caring for all the needs of an infant, while going through the physical and emotional strain of recovering from childbirth AND grieving for a lost child!?)  Here at SOM, during the next few months, several mommas will share their own experiences with losing a child.  I feel like these are important topics that often stay too hushed; but women are hurting and need to share and connect with others who have experienced similar journeys.  I believe we can all learn and reach out by hearing their stories.  (If you have would like to share your experience with losing a child, please send me an email at amy.the.graham(at)gmail(dot)com.  We'd be so honored to share it here!)

Contemplating this review, I kind of felt like a big fake: "Do I have any right to review this book?"  I have never experienced losing a child or baby and I've never had a miscarriage (I've only been in the momma scene for a little over 2 years--thats when I got pregnant with my son, Hayden.)  So, how could I, a person who can't understand the depth of that sorrow having never experienced it, review a book on such a hard, hard topic?  But, as my friend said, she wanted women from all situations to read this book, to see how it could help and apply to them.

And I did want to read this book.

I wanted to read it to better understand.  I've seen friends and family members go through the pain of losing a child, and I always feel helpless wondering what I could possibly do to ease their sorrow.  I never want to say/do the wrong thing, and be in their face if they want to be alone--or leave them alone, when they desperately need someone there!  So, I've often become paralyzed and done nothing.  Which is probably the suckiest way to respond.  No, I think that even reaching out clumsily is much better then not reaching out.

So.  This book.  This book made me bawl.  I was kind of putting off reading it, because it scares me to go there.  It hurts to imagine the grief of losing my precious son.  He is such a stinker and SO busy and fun and sweet and hilarious....if I lost him, my world would be empty.  Not truly empty--I'd still have a loving Heavenly Father, husband, family, and amazing friends, but still--my world would feel empty.  I can't even fathom it, and it's painful to try.  (I am a pretty emotional person--I blame my parents...they both bawl in church all the time, ha!) 

But, once I started reading, my heart was so full from hearing these mothers' stories.  Their courage and love and honesty--they helped me to understand better how it effects a woman's heart and life to lose a baby, whether from a miscarriage, having a stillborn baby, or losing an infant or older child. 

Now this surprised me: I couldn't stop reading this book.  After I read the introduction of this book, and started reading those personal experiences of those brave, incredible women, I could not put it down.  Sitting in bed, next to my sleeping hub, late at night, I was bawling my face off; their courage in sharing their real, raw, and deep emotions in such tragic circumstances touched me deeply, though I've never lost a child of my own.  But it wasn't was amazing to read about how they were able to find the strength to carry on, feel happiness again, care for their families, and how they are now reaching out to other hurting moms.  There were also stories that had such happy endings, that my heart wanted to burst!  One mom, who had experienced 5 miscarriages, found out that she was yet again pregnant, but she was so scared she could barely even have hope...she ends the story by saying, "And that little lima bean on the ultrasound is celebrating his 15th birthday this December."  I let out one of those awkward out-burst sobs-of-joy!  (I'm surprised I didn't wake up my hub!)  Then, I started crying again in the shower the next morning, thinking about her story and that beautiful ending.

That morning after reading most of this book, I held my little boy tighter, smooching him, and said I love you probably 5 times before breakfast (when he refused to eat, ripped off his bib, then spread strawberry jam all down his clothes, then started licking it off his shirt...haha, oy.)  I am SO grateful to have my son.

In this book, there is a chapter sharing the experiences of grieving families who have other children: how the parents chose to explain what happened and how to help their children through the grieving process, while they are grieving themselves.  (Oh my gosh, that sounds SO hard.)  I especially loved hearing about the special things that mothers and families do for the family to remember their baby who died; making a ring or necklace with their birthstone, celebrating their birthday, telling stories about their baby, having pictures displayed with a stuffed animal, etc.  There is also a chapter for dads, where a few fathers share their experience of losing a child and the way their grief effected them.  I loved the chapter on faith and religious belief (or having no religious beliefs) and how that effected each couples' grieving process.

I found it so helpful to hear ideas and tips from real women who have lost a child, of how to reach out to grieving friends and family.  It's interesting that many of the women stress the fact that everyone grieves differently, and different things will be helpful/hurtful to each.  So there's no one-size -fits-all answer.  But, surely a hug, a phone call, expressing love, bringing meals, etc. will never go wrong.

Most of all, every loss matters, whether the mother loses a baby after six weeks of pregnancy or much later.  For all mothers (and families), it is a loss that is deep and profound; so many hopes and dreams and expectations for that child that are crushed.  So, ignoring or minimizing any loss is deeply hurtful.  And, though I can't fathom the depth of this sorrow, I do know that grief can be very isolating.  I think it's human nature to feel alone, like no one else can know our pain.  But, there is healing in sharing stories and experiences--in connecting with others who actually know.  Friends, if have ever lost a baby, or know someone who has, this book could be an amazing resource.  It could be a thoughtful gift, too!  So, yes I fully recommend it! :)

Click on this link for their super helpful blog for mothers who are hurting.   You can buy this book on Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions.  Thank you, Alexa B. for reaching out to other women, in the midst of your own heartache!

Thanks for reading, and love to all you ladies--mommas, (whether your baby is with you or in heaven) future mommas, those who desperately want to be mommas, sisters, and daughters!  God loves you!  :)

And, if you're new here to SOM, welcome!  We're so glad to have you.  Click here to see what we're all about!  If you'd love to connect with other women, hear their stories, and share your own (wink, wink) be sure to "LIKE" or "Join this Site" to stay in the loop!  :)  Also, please share this post with any woman you know who could benefit from this book.  It could mean a lot to them.  :)

P.S.  Here are two great posts by Tracy (a mother who's been there) giving super helpful advice for reaching out to grieving families and how to help when friends/family have a child in the hospital.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that book. I think we all know someone who has lost a child either before or after birth. I think it must be one of the hardest things a mother can go through. I really want to read this book! I'm not in the boat of having lost a child, but in the boat of having to wait and wait for the children I want to have and I don't know how or when they will come. I love reading about strong women who have overcome hard things. It gives me courage and strength!

    1. Hmmm, strong women who have overcome hard things...sounds like you, Elise! I so hope that you are able to have those children you are waiting for! Thanks for your comment. :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely review of the book! Your review almost made ME cry! Thank you for sharing it and I am glad that I found your blog through this review, because it is REALLY cool! Alexa

    1. Alexa! I'm glad you liked it, cause I wanted to do justice to your amazing book! :) Ah, and thank you so much for the kind feedback on my blog!!! I'm sure you know, a blog is a labor of love, and it can be easy to think, "man, does anyone even care?" So, thank you for the support! :)

    2. I totally understand that! It's nice to hear our efforts are appreciated!

  3. Thank you for your beautiful review of Sunshine After the Storm. I am the mom of the soon-to-be 15 year old "Lima Bean"! Thank you for mentioning my story and that it moved you. It was such a difficult time in my life yet after I had my son I realized that the babies I lost helped me enjoy my beautiful son and the two(!!) babies that came after him so much more than I thought was humanly possible!! Yes, I now have three children!! I am so glad you are enjoying your little guy!! Motherhood is pretty great,isn't it? Thanks again. xo

    1. Oh my GOSH!!!! You have three!? Oh, I love miracles. I'm so happy for you!! :) Thank you so much for your comment, Kathy, I was actually wondering if the Lima Bean ended up with any siblings...yay! :) I admire your strength and your love/attitude about your kiddios!

  4. Aw, thank you Amy for being so brave and loving to tackle such a heavy topic. My second pregnancy (with my daughter) started out as a twin pregnancy, but we lost one of our babies in the first trimester. I feel so blessed though to have one ultrasound picture of the two babies together. The baby who is in heaven right now is as real to me as my daughter. I so appreciate this post because you validate what I and many other moms have gone through. Thank you. :)


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