10-06-2015, Capture Your Grief - Day 6, Books
This topic is just comical to me. Carly mentioned in her post that many of us turn to reading, and asked us to share anything that was helpful or encouraging. You all know that I'm a bookaholic. So it might come as no surprise that since Abigail passed away 6 weeks ago today, I have spent a lot of time either on my bed, or curled up in my chair in the living room with a blanket and a book. I have read 10 books all but one of them on the loss a child. I might have a list of about that many more that I've saved on Amazon since the library doesn't have them. I am rereading one of the first ten, and I have another one sitting on the nightstand by the bed to read. And of course I'm reading my Bible a lot.
So I'm going to give three suggestions, well maybe I'll give four.
On the topic of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. My hands down favorite book so far has been Miscarriage: Women Sharing from the Heart. This was a work from a scholarly point of view by two women who had experienced miscarriage. They interviewed more than 50 women and some of their husbands in the course of their study, and liberally share their own words. It is a relief when you feel like you are going crazy to know that everyone else experiences this too. That you aren't crazy, or if you are that at least you aren't the only one.
For just a great read, some of you know that last year I got to read Elizabeth Byler Younts new book "Promise to Cherish" before it came out, to review it. This year I was again privileged to be able to read her newest book, "Promise to Keep." I read it all yesterday. This book centers around Esther an Amish woman, who has been through enormous loss in her life. She's slightly older than myself, and has lost both of her parents at 5 and 7, lost her best friend and cousin just 4 years earlier, loses her grandmother in the first pages of the book, and faces losing Daisy, the child of her cousin that she has raised as her own four the last four years as Daisy's father returns from WWII. Alone in the world, in many ways and facing incredible loss she remains a strong woman, she doesn't become bitter, she doesn't become hard, she still retains faith, and love, and an ability and desire to serve others. At times it was an incredibly hard read, but it was also a really encouraging read. It was exactly what I needed to read yesterday.
Obviously though, the best source of comfort other than prayer has been time reading my Bible. Three separate people who had experienced losing a child, suggested I read Job. I'm reading it now. I have read alot in the Psalms. David has always been the most honestly real character from the Bible to me. Maybe it just because we know so much more about him because of all of his writings. But most of all I have read over and over the verses that were used at Abigail's funeral (Ecc 3, Isa. 57:1, II Sam. 12, Isa 65:17-20, I Thes 4:15-18), and the verses I have engraved on the bracelet I made for her, the one I wear every day (Psa. 106:1, II Cor 12:9, I Thess 4:13-18, Rev 21:3-5).
Finally as my bonus book, "What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage." The author of this book is a woman who has experienced two miscarriages and who also happens to be a Methodist minister. I don't agree with all of her theology or ideas, but there was a lot of good stuff in her book. Most especially there was a chapter on who God is. It showed that he doesn't cause the deaths of our children for his plan, but that neither is he powerless in our daily lives. It was a really well written chapter for what I've always believed in balancing His power, His providence, and His love for His people in a sin cursed world.