Reviewer June Maffin:Living on an island in British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Maffin is a neophyte organic gardener, eclectic reader, ordained minister (Anglican/Episcopal priest) and creative spirituality writer/photographer with a deep zest for life. Previously, she has been grief counselor, broadcaster, teacher, journalist, television host, chaplain and spiritual director with an earned doctorate in Pastoral Care (medical ethics i.e. euthanasia focus). Presently an educator, freelance editor, blogger, and published author of three books, her most recent (Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture your Spirituality) has been published in e-book as well as paperback format and a preview can be viewed on YouTube videos. Founder of Soulistry™ she continues to lead a variety of workshops and retreats connecting spirituality with creativity and delights in a spirituality of play. You can find out more about June by clicking on her Web Site.
Author: Ann Faison
Author: Ann Faison
Death happens. It’s part of the life cycle and everyone meets it some time, some where, some place in their life. Some of us meet death as a child when a grandparent or special elderly relative/neighbour dies. Some meet it along life’s highway when a friend/colleague/sibling/parent dies through illness or accident. And some meet it in the death of a child.
It is understood that death happens – to those who are old, who are ill, who encounter an unfortunate accident, but few understand that death also happens to those who have not yet “lived” … to those who have not lived beyond infancy ... to those who die in utero and are stillborn.
Such is the journey of author Ann Faison who shares her experiences of the loss of her unborn daughter, Kiernan, to whom she dedicates the book.
The brevity of Faison’s book (large text, few pages, very few words) is reflective of the brevity of life of Kiernan who is very much a presence: “It’s not that we talk about her constantly, though we did at first, but her absence is more of a presence and time proves that presence to be sustaining.”
Kiernan is very much a part of this family for “it is normal for us to talk about Kiernan and death … the conversations are a reach into the unknown for all of us.” The author is mindful of the importance of openness and honesty with Kiernan’s sister Grace: “I never give her pat answers about life’s great mysteries. I enjoy letting the words No one knows be the answer.” When Grace and a new friend begin to get to know one another and share stories about themselves and their families, the friend mentions she too had a sister who died but she wasn’t certain what happened to her or how old she was when she die, Grace says “We do. We celebrate her birthday.”
Through prose, poetry and artistic illustrations, this book offers a glimpse into the private world of a parent who grieves the loss of her unborn child, how she remembers, grows in her relationship with her husband, deals with her deep emotional responses to the reality of carrying and birthing a stillborn child and how, through it all, she parents little Grace.
It is poignant, touching, heartfelt and a very personal portrayal of one mother’s grieving process and offers hope to those who may find themselves in a similar situation that there can be healing – life – after death.Click Here To Purchase Dancing with the Midwives: A Memoir of Art and Grief