Every year over 100,000 families in the US experience the death of a child, leaving behind parents, siblings, families and communities who must find ways to deal with their loss.
In 1980, my oldest son, Victor, died in a hiking accident in Yosemite National Park, one week before his 18th birthday.
Although I was a professional therapist and grief counselor at the time, my knowledge and training did little to soothe my devastation and pain. How could I live after my child died? How do you survive with a broken heart? But I knew I had to. I had two other children, a husband, family, friends, and clients. But still I did not know if I could make it.
I made a vow at that time that if I did survive, I would do what I could to help others survive this unspeakable loss. And to help bring comfort and hope to them in the midst of their grief.
As part of my healing, and through the course of my work, I interviewed surviving parents who shared their stories in hope of helping others. I kept notes of my journey, as well, from the onset of my deepest grief through the process of my on-going years of healing. I’ve counseled hundreds of grieving families through the years and have seen the unique way the death of a child affects each of us.
I’m completing my book THE UNSPEAKABLE LOSS: How Do You Live After A Child Dies? It’s a groundbreaking book of collective wisdom from bereaved parents. A journey of over three decades of survival, hope and healing. It’s written intimately to bring comfort and support to each member of the family, as well as friends and anyone who has lost a loved one.
I invite you, on behalf of all those suffering in their grief, to please make a contribution, to join me and to help this book get published. All funds received will be used to cover the cost of editors, designers, publishing and marketing consultants.
We will also create a book of poems called ‘SPEAKING THE UNSPEAKABLE LOSS.’ These poems are the words of the mothers, exactly as they spoke them. Names of the mothers and their children have been removed to let the poems speak as the universal voice of a bereaved mother. The book contains line drawings from Kristin Jakob and the botanical photography of Margery Diamond.
I’m honoring Victor’s memory by launching this campaign. Please consider making a donation to honor someone you love, in memory of someone you’ve lost or for a loved one who needs healing. Any amount you can contribute is greatly appreciated. If you feel my campaign will touch your friends and family I encourage you to share this with them. Thank you for your love, support and helping to make this book available to those who need it. Thank you for your support!