he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
It’s been some time since I posted specific news about my writing projects, and I do have some significant news to share. In November, I signed a contract with Reformed Fellowship in Grandville, Michigan, for the publication of my book tentatively titled, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss.
The manuscript focuses on miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn loss. It grew from an article about infant loss that I wrote for Christian Renewal (which appeared in the May 12, 2003 issue). I didn’t want to write that article, but I kept receiving suggestions and proddings that finally convinced me to write it.
In the preface to the manuscript, I explain how I didn’t want to revisit my own miscarriage experience and how the reality of my guilt and grief didn’t hit me until I began writing the book.
But I wrote the book because that one article generated more response than most of the hundreds of other articles I’ve ever written. Many women thanked me for writing it and shared their stories with me. One wrote how the women in her family sat around the kitchen table, talking about the article, sharing their stories, and craying. She concluded, “Thank you for finally giving us permission to grieve.”
Early infant losses are often ignored or suppressed, but they are just as significant as a loss at any point in life. And they can be just as traumatic, although they encompass a wide range of human experience and emotion. The chronic ache of infertility is often an unacknowledged loss of a child the parents never knew, and a section of my book deals with this heart rending issue.
The manuscript takes a thoroughly biblical look at early infant loss from the perspective of God’s sovereign providence and His covenantal love. It is written in accessible language and short chapters to make it easy for grieving readers to digest. The 27 chapters are organized into six sections.
Part One sets the stage by Acknowledging Our Loss with chapters titled: The Hole in My Heart, Society’s Paradox, Knit Together, and Common Occurrence.
Part Two shares specific stories of couples Losing a Child with their varied experiences: Repeated Loss, Medical Dilemmas, Hopeless Labor, Father’s Love, and Delivery Distress.
Part Three focuses on different facets of the wrenching struggles of couples Bearing Infertility’s Loss: Empty Womb, Childless Marriage, and Supernatural Children.
Part Four examines aspects of Finding Our Comfort: Not Lost, Biblical Comfort, Covenantal Comfort, Confessional Comfort, and Only Comfort.
Part Five relates how we can be Grieving with Hope in chapters on different dimensions of grief: Hopeful Grief, Guilty Grief, Being Forgiven, Forgiving Others, and Family Grief.
Part Six points the direction toward Healing Our Pain through: Prayerful Work, Graceful Acceptance, Remembering Life, Compassionate Care, and the concluding chapter regarding The Hope in My Heart.
Since Reformed Fellowship is currently working on several other projects, it may be a year or more until it is published.
It is my prayer that God will use this book to increase awareness of the significance of early infant loss, to grant those who have suppressed their loss the freedom to grieve, to comfort grieving parents and other family members, and to assist many in ministering to those who grieve a “little one lost.”
© Glenda Mathes, 2010