Sitting at my desk, working on words of loss, I watch a thousand cottonwood seeds drift by the window. White wisps rising on the breeze, lifted from my sight. Summer's snow globe, shaken and set to spin. I remember noticing them, as if for the first time, the summer after our twins died. One afternoon the blue sky was filled with a million floating puffs, light and airy. As I stumbled staring up at them, circling, I could see, startling: it's like every small soul who's leaving this side of life and rushing to whatever comes next. Right before my eyes. Suddenly I could see. The flash of an instant when the tiny and the cosmic connect. They weren't nothing, these babies we lost, so many of us, millions. They weren't just seeds either, mere possibility and potential. They were life, they were hope, they were real, they were all around us, they were too many to count. We wanted them to stay, but they floated just beyond our reach, and every time we grasped after them, the … [Read more...] about in an instant
life after loss
Starting today, you can get Grieving Together: A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from Our Sunday Visitor (with free shipping)! We're thrilled that Grieving Together is making its way into the hands of parents who need it after infertility, stillbirth, miscarriage, or the loss of a child. The greatest joy has been hearing from couples who are reading it together or talking about aspects of grief they might not have shared or understood before. (In the words of Billy Collins' poem on sending a book out into the world, "stay out as late as you like, don't bother to call or write, and talk to as many strangers as you can.") Learn more here and here about what makes the book unique. To learn more about Grieving Together, check out these resources: Franco and I did a live webcast with Our Sunday Visitor to share more about why we wrote the book and how all of us can support people in our lives who are grieving. You can listen … [Read more...] about p.s. the book is here!
Two years ago in February, our twin daughters Maggie and Abby were born. As identical twins, they had developed a complication called twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome. They needed to undergo in-utero surgery to try and save them. The surgery was unsuccessful. The girls had to be born via c-section at only 24 weeks old. Maggie lived one day. Abby lived two. As we have dealt with our grief at our daughters' deaths, we have decided to remember their lives each year by supporting an organization in their honor. This year we're inviting you to join us in supporting the Flint Water Fund of the United Way. When news broke in 2014 of the contamination of Flint's city water and its horrific impacts on the health of Flint residents, I was devastated - but unsurprised. I grew up next to Flint. The Flint River winds through my parents' backyard. Every morning of my childhood, I looked out my window at the river's sparkling (but unclean) waters. So the Flint Water … [Read more...] about remembering maggie & abby: how you can help!
It's steadily fall now. Even I can admit it, a summer-loving girl who hates to kick the flipflops to the dusty back of the closet. The light is lower each afternoon, the mornings darker. The seasons have turned again. I'm trying to soak up what's good about this one. The splash of colors on trees, the clarity of sunlight through bare branches. Autumn is a beauty to behold. We only need to appreciate its brilliant golds and reds. The startling turn of trees from one day to the next. In spring you have to search for the spectacular. Be willing to get your boots mucked in the boggy earth, your fingers muddy in the cold dirt and meltwater to uncover its raw becoming. But autumn is unearned. All nature's work, our gift. You can take it all in from the passenger seat. . . . For months now I've been living off-season. I wrote the Blessed Is She Advent journal this summer before Benjamin was born. I'd wake early, the house already flooded with outrageous June sun. I … [Read more...] about a turning of seasons