Book 85 of my 2014 Reading Challenge
Three Minus One: Stories of Parents' Love & Loss
edited by Sean Hanish & Brooke Warner
Summary (via the book jacket)
The loss of a child is unlike any other - and its impact is devastating. This collection of intimate, soul-baring stories, poems, and artwork by parents who have lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death - inspired by the film Return to Zero - breaks the silence about this tragic, earth-shattering experience and offers a ray of hope to the many parents out there in search of answers, understanding, and healing.
The stories were primarily by parents but there were a few by other family members, such as grandparents, as well. I expected the sadness but was surprised by the hopefulness many stories ended with.
There was a pattern for the mothers of children lost in utero. Most had a sentence along the lines of "a good mom would know when it had happened", feeling guilty when they were shocked to discover no heartbeat and/or her baby had passed away between appointments. Hopefully by sharing their stories and seeing they're not alone in their feelings, they can find peace and take that weight off their heavy shoulders.
There is a documentary, Return to Zero, and a blog, The Return to Zero Project, that I plan to look at as well.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"For those of you who are afraid to turn the page - terrified of the horrors that you might find - I hope you will understand that at its very essence this is a book about love.
Love for our children who we lost but for whom that love endures.
Love in our hearts for the beautiful lives which were here with us for only a brief time but which left and indelible impression and a lifetime of memories.
Love for those beautiful ones who are, and will forever be, our precious children.
"Being pregnant is like carrying the future inside you. This collection of cells spinning into life was not merely the tiny blurred body on the sonogram, it was all the things this baby might grow to be: the little blonde girl who looks like her sister; the toddler who stumbles forward on shaky legs; the kindergartner and the college student, the bride, the CEO. Imagination melds into reality the instant the pregnancy test reveals two pink lines." ~ from the story Called to Motherhood by Stacy Clark