How to Find Hope in the Sea of Grief
GRACE LIKE SCARLETT: GRIEVING WITH HOPE AFTER MISCARRIAGE AND LOSS
By Adriel Booker
Adriel Booker's book Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss is a powerful and poignant look into the grief and suffering women feel after losing a child to miscarriage.
Having experienced this tragedy three times, Booker is able to compassionately talk about the many different ways grief appears, even in the same woman. She talks about the rage, the guilt, the shame, the tears, the nothingness, the hope and the happiness (and of course the guilt and confusion that can go along with feeling happy so soon after losing a child).
"The most dangerous myth about grief is that it's linear and ordered and predictable--that it can be confined and conquered," Booker explains at one point in the book. "Because grief is not linear, you can't work your way through the stages, crossing them off a list as you go" (72-73). It'll look different for everyone, and you might find yourself cycling through the different emotions.
For Booker, she said the experience was most like circling a mountain and instead of panicking when she went through the same stage again she'd simply ask herself if she was scaling the mountain or falling back down. Booker also quotes Patrick O'Malley and his belief that it is more healing if you think of your grief as a story, because it takes the pressure off of you to move on before you are ready.
Booker also fills her book with scripture and reminders that "even there in the dust, God is present. He sees. He hears. And he will not leave us in the wilderness to die" (55). And, unlike some other books I have read recently, she assures her readers that God can handle all of their emotions and questions no matter how difficult or pointed. As she explains "God loves our honesty because it gives him a chance to set the record straight" (140).
While the book is mainly for grieving mothers, Booker doesn't want to let the fathers drift away unhelped through their own grief. So at the end of her book there is a letter from her husband to grieving fathers that has a few tips and suggestions to help them through their grief.
She also mentions a few times throughout the book the different ways friends and family hurt her (or hurt the women she surveyed) through insensitive comments or by not acknowledging her pain. So she has an appendix that includes some pointers for friends and family on how they can better support their grieving loved one.
NOTE: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.