Grief comes in so many forms, both visible and invisible . . . . Until now, there was no book series dedicated to sharing and embracing all the various life struggles. By publishing our stories, we help others who share our journey feel less alone. In turn, our stories help raise awareness and educate, which paves the way for better support. Lynda Cheldelin Fell
I came to Grief Diaries through Mary Potter Kenyon. Mary was one of the first readers of my book, and kindly supported my work. Her own book on grief, Refined by Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace, was good for my soul after my newborn died of trisomy 18. I reached out to Mary and we connected through love and loss. She messaged me one day telling me that she was working with Lynda Cheldelin Fell on a book of poetry and prose for Grief Diaries. Would I submit some of my poetry? I agreed, and then wrote to Lynda. After hearing about Mary Rose, she asked if I would write for a new anthology called Surviving the Loss of a Pregnancy. Mary Rose’s story, or rather my grief journey, is in this book, as well as Grief Diaries: Loss of an Infant.
Lynda’s daughter, Ally, was killed in a car crash at age 15. Two years before Lynda had a dream that her daughter died in a car accident. In the dream an open book appeared where Ally’s body was. Last summer Lynda began collecting stories of bereaved people whom she met at a convention. In one year Grief Diaries has published several books with many more titles on the way. Lynda says that “the individual stories highlight the spirit of human resiliency.” Her focus is on telling the stories of our grief. “When we share stories, our written words become a portable support group for others,” she says.
Lynda has created a community of bereaved who are writing to help others. Grief Diaries books address various losses such as the loss of a child, spouse, loved one by suicide, and many more. She has published My Grief Diary: A Workbook through Grief, A Companion Guide & Confidante through the Aftermath of Heartbreaking Loss with writing prompts to help a grieving person start to make sense of great loss. I like the list of what not to say in the book How to Help the Bereaved. I wish that we could pass out cards of “A toolbox of what not to say . . . and why.”
Grief Diaries read as diaries do. The writers answer questions about their experiences, so each chapter focuses on one question or aspect of the loss. The entries are not essays, but rather a record of what we went through and how we coped. There is rawness. There is love and beauty. Every page in the book Surviving the Loss of A Pregnancy is about loss, and it is a tough read. It would be most appropriate for someone who is in the midst of grief, someone who will be comforted by other people’s suffering. For those trying to become pregnant and move forward from pregnancy or infant loss, I would advise waiting to reading this collection. I would not want this book on grief to discourage a woman who is pregnant, who has hope that everything will be fine. In the midst of our grief we might forget that most pregnancies have good outcomes, and that most babies thrive.
In my introduction to Surviving the Loss of a Pregnancy, I write “I hope that this book will shift that aloneness [of pregnancy and infant loss] as we build bridges that connect our grief. Instead of one more lonely and depressing birthday, anniversary of the due date or holiday, I hope that Surviving the Loss of a Pregnancy will offer a way for us to connect with each other, and the spirits of our babies . . . .” As I continue to write about my own experience I meet people who are dealing with the unsayable. Another miscarriage, another fatal diagnosis, another death. It is important that we create a web of light (as Sandra Ingerman instructs us in her Transmutation News website) to catch the bereaved as they fall down, to connect to other humans who are suffering. We are more similar than we are different. In the awakening that comes after such depths of darkness, we notice the sunshine and the birds singing. They were there urging us on all along.
To read my introduction and more of my story and purchase Grief Diaries: Surviving the Loss of a Pregnancy CLICK HERE
To purchase Grief Diaries: Surviving the Loss of an Infant CLICK HERE
Grief Diary books are available on amazon.com. To find out more about Lynda Cheldelin Fell, her website is www.lyndafell.com. To submit to forthcoming Grief Diaries anthologies visit www.griefdiaries.com.