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!
If a word is mysterious and also a mouthful, it’s sure to become my favorite. When I heard “anamnesis” for the first time, I was sparked. The concept is deceptively simple. By calling to mind the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ (as Catholics do at Mass in each Eucharistic prayer), we enter into these mysteries of salvation. Let me put this more simply and shockingly: we do not simply remember, in a past, passive way. We participate in a present, palpable reality. Memory is a powerful, potent process. We return in our minds to a time and place that is not here and now. We sift through the impressions of experience, in constant conversation with the changes that have happened since. Beyond mere recollection, memory is the deeper imprinting of what mattered in the past that we carry with us into the future. In Catholic theology, memory is an act of prayer, faith, and transformation. Celebrating communion is not a memory of the Last Supper; it is a participation in … [Read more...] about do this in memory of me
He and I stare down at the freshly laid gravestone, edged by spring-green grass. "When people come into our office for this," he trails off, shielding his eyes from the morning sunshine, his weathered face suddenly young in disbelief. "It's the absolute worst when this happens," he shakes his head, unable to speak the words "baby" or "dead" in the same sentence. I nod. I can say anything; I have already baffled him with my sunny cheer, interrupting his silent, solitary task by jumping out of a minivan full of (living) children to ask if this was my daughters' gravestone he was laying. When you start having a Strange Conversation with a Stranger, you can say anything and it is marvelously freeing. (It wasn't theirs; there is another baby buried next to them now; she lived two months; my mind calculates the math every time; dates are codes in this terrible club.) "It's not like Grandma who got 80, 90 years, lived a full life," he continues, waving a heavy hand toward his … [Read more...] about hearts of flesh & hearts of stone
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 … [Read more...] about it is (not) finished