Before we lost our twin daughters after birth two years ago – suddenly, tragically, publicly – there was another loss.
Smaller. Earlier. Quieter.
Miscarriage was devastating. It upheaved what we knew about parenting. How we expected things would (naturally) go according to (our) plans.
How much more we’ve learned since then.
Today is the due date of the baby we never got to hold. April 7th comes and goes silently each year, a ghost of an anniversary.
But this year we get to fill today with hope. An announcement of new life all its own.
At the end of 2016, Our Sunday Visitor approached me and my husband about writing a book on miscarriage. After all that I’d written about grief, would we consider writing a book on loss for couples – as a couple?
Few Catholic resources exist on miscarriage, and the literature on loss is almost all written for women. Clearly there was a calling here: to speak to the grief of mothers and fathers together.
So we said yes.
For the past year we’ve been working on this book together (Lord have mercy, a journey all itself!). We’re close to finished, and I find my prayers turning from help us get this written to may it serve the couples who need it.
And today we’re ready to share the news with you.
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage is a companion through the common questions, crises, and grief that arise after miscarriage. We invited many couples to share their real-life stories in the book: first-time parents, multiple miscarriages, unplanned pregnancies, and miscarriage without living children.
The book gathers Catholic resources including Scripture, saints, official rites, prayers, and theological teaching that speaks to the toughest questions surrounding the loss of a child: Why did God let this happen? Is our baby in heaven? How could this suffering be part of God’s plan?
We wanted to make Grieving Together a helpful, hopeful guide that grieving parents could use individually or together. So the chapters range from practical to theological:
- help for the first days and weeks after miscarriage
- perspectives on how mothers and fathers grieve differently
- ways to navigate common cliches about miscarriage
- prayers for when you struggle to find the words
- creative ideas to honor the life of your child
- times to remember your baby throughout the church year
- hope for your marriage and future after loss
While miscarriage is the main focus, the book speaks to stillbirth and infant loss as well. It draws deeply from the Catholic tradition, with the hope that all who have experienced miscarriage will find comfort within its pages.
We also hope that it will be a resource for priests, parish ministers, hospital chaplains, and other professionals who seek to support grieving parents.
It’s the book we wish we would have had after our miscarriage. It’s the book we hope will comfort other couples and let them know they are never alone—and that their babies will never be forgotten.
Our prayer is that if you need it, you will find your story in its pages.
Today we remember, in a quiet way, the baby we never got to hold. This book is for that little one – and for all of you who loved us through.
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage will be released in fall 2018 from Our Sunday Visitor. Sign up for my newsletter for more details!