The book is done. Edits complete, permissions secured, page proofs underway.
We spent months writing on miscarriage, my spouse and I. Grief and loss, marriage and parenting, sacraments and prayer. All the themes of our life together, wrestled and woven into words on a page.
Writing a book together was a work I never expected to tackle with that bright-eyed groom at the end of the aisle. He and I were going to have better, not worse, thank you very much. Health, not sickness. Richer, not poorer.
Weren’t we all? Would any couple stand up and say “I do” if we knew what waited on the second half of every phrase?
Yet what breaks us is what makes us, too. We cannot unweave our love from our loss.
Writing this book has been the same. Better mingled with worse. Richer mixed with poorer. Sickness swirled with health.
Gathering stories of suffering, then getting up from the desk to make dinner for four healthy, growing, astonishing children.
Trying to translate theology for grieving hearts, then scooping up a bouncing baby of a boy who would not exist if his sisters had lived.
Wordsmithing with the one person who has journeyed every step of each grief with me, both of us agreeing that ours is a story we never would have chosen.
The irony has been daily and palpable. But this is how truth’s hard edge teaches me. Paradox has been my guide through grief, showing me that only in endings do we discover the road of living.
We finished the book. This chapter of co-authoring has ended. (And mercy, we both laugh that this is our one and only book together!)
But the work is not finished: walking alongside those who mourn, writing about loss and love, grieving together as a way of life.
Again I have a heightened awareness—as if the griefs were yesterday—of how short our time is here and how much we’re called to love. There are no guarantees, but there is still goodness. We cannot forget it.
Suffering overwhelms. But hope is tucked in breathing corners and we cannot lose that, either.
We can do so much with the short days we have. So many people we can love and serve and try to understand, so much small but lasting good we can give and make while we are here.
Every grief I’ve suffered has torn holes in my heart. But I have come to see these wounds are the holy point: they are what makes us porous enough to love.
I used to shudder at that story of Thomas putting his hands in the wounded side of Christ. Too invasive, too bodily, too intimate.
But now I see how stretching out his fingers might be the holiest moment of faith. To enter fully into love’s woundedness and find it transformed.
All our hearts will break while we are here. But if we can hold each other together, we do not have to shatter. Transformed, the shards can shine.
. . .
The holiest part of writing this book was the gift of holding others’ stories. So many couples—including readers of Mothering Spirit!—shared their experiences and love for their children in this book. My awe in the resilience of the human spirit has been redoubled by their strength and their faith.
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage will be published this fall by Our Sunday Visitor, and I’ll keep you posted here. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon (via my affiliate link).
Thank you again for all your love and support.
If it were not for you readers, I never would have written a word.