two people sitting on a dock

 

Written by Sarah Rickerd

 

Losing a child may be one of the most difficult challenges in the world, but it isn’t one that families have to go through alone. In addition to seeking support from groups, therapists and other resources, any of the following books can provide the parents you serve with a much-needed sense of comfort and community. Consider adding them to your funeral home’s lending library or offering them as recommendations to parents facing miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.

 

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An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Author: Elizabeth McCracken

 

an exact replica“A prize-winning, successful novelist in her 30s, McCracken was happy to be an itinerant writer and self-proclaimed spinster. But suddenly she fell in love, got married, and two years ago was living in a remote part of France, working on her novel, and waiting for the birth of her first child. This book is about what happened next. In her ninth month of pregnancy, she learned that her baby boy had died. How do you deal with and recover from this kind of loss?”

 

“Of course you don’t — but you go on. And if you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, the company of this remarkable book will help you go on. With humor and warmth and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the nature of love and grief. She opens her heart and leaves all of ours the richer for it.”

 

Baby Dust

Author: Deanna Roy

 

baby dust“The five women sitting in the circle of chairs all had great dreams of motherhood. Then their babies died. Melinda sees blood on the floor every day after her loss. Dot believes the wrath of God caused her baby to die. Teenage Tina is trolling internet dating sites for a father for another baby, and Janet’s failure to cry means her wedding is off. Stella, the support group leader, must help them while facing the old choices that cost her ever having a family of her own.”

 

“Based on the stories of dozens of real survivors, Baby Dust is a moving tribute to the strength of mothers who must endure this impossible loss.”

 

Three Minus One: Stories of Parents’ Love & Loss

Authors: Kelly Kittel and Jessica Watson

 

three minus one“The loss of a child is unlike any other, and the impact that it has on the mother, the father, their family, and their friends is devastating — a shockwave of pain and guilt that spreads through their entire community.”

 

“But the majority of those affected, especially mothers, often suffer their pain in silence, convinced that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone. This anthology of raw memoirs, heartbreaking stories, truthful poems, beautiful painting, and stunning photography from the parents who have suffered child loss offers insight into this unique, devastating and life-changing experience — breaking the silence and offering a ray of hope to the many parents out there in search of answers, understanding, and healing.”

 

Still: A Collection of Honest Artwork and Writings from the Heart of a Grieving Mother

Author: Stephanie Paige Cole

 

still“When Stephanie Cole’s daughter died of unknown causes one week after her due date, it shook her to her very core and set her on a journey into the depths of grief. Stephanie faced her loss head-on, using creative expression as a tool to navigate her way through the intensity of her emotions, and allowing herself to grieve honestly and on her own terms. In her new book, Still: a collection of honest artwork and writings from the heart of a grieving mother, Stephanie invites us in for an intimate look at that first dark year without her daughter.”

 

The Good Grief Club

Author: Monica Novak

 

good grief club“Written by a bereaved mother, The Good Grief Club is the true story of seven women who discover that their new friendships have the power to heal the pain of losing their babies in miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. One by one, fate weaves their lives together in the wake of tragedy misunderstood by those around them. Set around support group meetings and restaurant rendezvous, these seven soul sisters find a new normal. Through tears and anger, compassion and laughter, late nights and French toast, the sun slowly emerges from the darkness bringing with it love, hope, and healing as, together, they rebuild their lives.”

 

The Still Point of the Turning World

Author: Emily Rapp

 

still point of the turning world“What does it mean to be a success? To be a good parent? To live a meaningful life? Emily Rapp thought she knew the answers when she was pregnant with her first child. But everything changed when nine-month-old Ronan was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. He was not expected to live beyond the age of three. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting and to learn to parent without a future.”

 

“Even before the book’s publication, Rapp set the Internet ablaze with her New York Times op-ed piece about parenting a terminally ill child. An immediate bestseller, The Still Point of the Turning World is Rapp’s memorial to her lost son and an inspiring and exquisitely moving reminder to love and live in the moment.”

 

To Linger on Hot Coals

Authors: Stephanie Paige Cole and Catherine Bayly

 

to linger on hot coalsTo linger on hot coals was born from the imaginations and lives of two mothers. Artist-writer, Stephanie Paige Cole, and poet-teacher, Catherine Bayly, crafted their brainchild in memory of their first daughters, Madeline and Sophie. Both girls were stillborn at full term, and the experience of mothering their memories became paramount in the writing and daily lives of their mothers. As the years passed, the need to mother them has changed, but the desire to keep them at the center of Cole and Bayly’s work has remained.”

 

“This book represents a multitude of women’s voices, at various stages of grief-mothering. Within the pages, you’ll find cerebral iterations of the infinite ripple effects of grief and the raw visceral howls of grief’s earliest days. Cole and Bayly hope the book will take part in an ongoing complex conversation about motherhood and work — and that it will speak to the hearts and minds of those mothers who’ve lost.”

 

Have you come across any other good baby loss books that should be added to this list? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment below!