The thing I remember most starkly about the days and weeks after I first miscarried was how immensely alone I felt. I knew (logically) that other women had gone through this – had walked this awful path before, yet somehow I didn’t feel able to reach out to anyone in person.
Perhaps because I was trying so hard to hold it together, under the (misguided and damaging) illusion that miscarriage was some kind of non-event or failure – that admitting I’d had one somehow diminished me – I felt that if I received acknowledgement or sympathy from anyone face-to-face, I would simply crumble to pieces and become incapable of no more than giving voice to the raging torrent of pain which tore through me in every moment.
I sought solace online, knowing that words could heal, and that there simply must be women out there who had experienced this and written about it. I wanted to know that they felt the same bizarre, crazy things I did. That they had tried shutting off their feelings about it. Whether or not they thought the tiny, jettisoned life even counted as a child. Whether they were alright in the end.
The writing was amazing. It held me together. I drank it in and immeasurably slowly began to come to a place where I could be open in person, and ask for support.
Eventually I started writing my own story, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those unknown women who helped me.
I was contacted to contribute to an Actual, In Fact book, which would provide from the shelves, the solace I had found online (not everyone’s a clicky little internet bunny, after all…) and I was honoured and touched, not to mention FULFILLED to be offered this opportunity. This was BIG STUFF – helping For Real, to let women know that when they’ve lost their child, they are NOT ALONE.
This was one of the main motivations for each of the 30+ contributors, mostly mothers, but some fathers – all of whom wrote from a place of deep pain, to bring light and hope to those who suffer this unbelievable tragedy.
They have succeeded.
The stories are exquisitely painful, touching on some of the things we prefer to sweep under rugs and pretend never happens, but each ends in a somehow-positive note, and throughout the book, the authors offer their insights and wisdoms as comfort for the readers.
There is stark honesty, deep, abiding love, and above all, HOPE.
The message of this book, to every grieving parent: You are NOT ALONE.
Particularly relevant to me this week, as it was Mother’s Day in the UK, and I struggled (again) and reached out to some of those who knew my story, who I’d connected with because of this awful shared fact in our lives, and was comforted.
And because it’s Mother’s Day in the US soon, and there are women who REALLY need this book, but may not be able to lay their hands on a copy, Sunshine After The Storm is running a Kickstarter Donation campaign to make that happen through donated books.
SO – there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway, with all kinds of delicious prizes, and a $5 buy-in, to support the provision of this book to those who could benefit.
Roll up, Roll up, and whether you support the Kickstarter, buy the book, or just read this (and share it) and know that it exists, I shall be thankful.
And I hope you never have need of this book.