Experts in the field of grief therapy believe that the loss of a child is the most difficult tragedy that a person can experience. It is not the way it is supposed to happen in the natural course of events that a mother mourn a child. It’s supposed to be the other way around. The author makes that painfully clear, but she does not dwell on the pain; instead, she provides support and hope.
That doesn’t mean she glides over the pain. She freely shares her struggles, with all the feelings experienced with the death of a loved one, but she moves on to the chapters that suggest ways to cope with the grief. What she offers may not be new information, but the way she correlates coping with loss to the trimesters of pregnancy is unique.
In what she calls the first trimester of grief, she recalls the first weeks of her pregnancy, when she felt overwhelmed with the physical challenges and how she had to look for the “good news” in the midst of the challenges. She suggests doing the same with grief: “It may not be evident at first through all of this intense agony and suffering, but somehow, some way, I have sought out good news.”
Ziccarello is a singer, songwriter, poet, and teacher. She holds a Master’s degree and an Educational Specialist’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University and has taught elementary school for fifteen years. She lives in California with her husband, Thomas, and son, Joey, where she continues to write lyrics and poetry. She has included some of those poems and song lyrics in the book, which is as much a testimonial to her love for her son as it is a manual for grieving.
Most of the information in the book is based on sound approaches to grief work: the need to express feelings, rest, exercise, healthy eating, and finding support through faith, family, and friends. Unfortunately, some of the material is not well organized, leading to some repetitions that were intrusive. Some poor word choices and rambling sentences also detracted from the overall quality of the work that perhaps just needed the assistance of a good editor.
Those small problems, however, do not diminish the significance of this book or its potential to help other grieving parents.