The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen

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I received this book from my book buddy Colleen in December. I just recently finished it. As I have mentioned many times…I love books. So when I get a book it is a treasure.

¬†This book had a lot of sadness as you can discern from the title. It centers around one family that had the death of a new baby. It had a formative disease in the womb and the mother knew that the baby was not going to live long, only 57 hours after birth. The term was Anencephaly. The mother learned this during a routine ultrasound in the 5th month of pregnancy. She didn’t disclose this to her husband until right before the birth. They have two other children, a boy and a girl but this death has just affected the whole family in different ways. The story keeps unfolding and a daughter of the husband (from a previous relationship) comes to visit one day and stays for a while because she told them her mother kicked her out. She was pregnant and somewhat unknowingly brings the family together. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but give the story a chance because it starts making sense. I got very frustrated with the woman because she kept making excuses and was not appreciating what she had, but she eventually saw the light. I like happy endings and this book had one, but the family had many dark clouds over their heads before they saw the sunshine again.
I found the perfect poem to go with this story from The Best Loved Poems of the American People.
IF WE KNEW
If we knew the woe and heartache
Waiting for us down the road,
If our lips could taste the wormwood,
If our backs could fell the load,
Would we waste the day in wishing
For a time that ne’er can be?
Would we wait in such impatience
For our ships to come from sea?
If we knew the baby fingers
Pressed against the windowpane
Would be cold and stiff tomorrow-
Never trouble us again-
Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow?
Would the print of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now?
Ah! these little ice-cold fingers-
How they point out memories back
To the hasty words and actions
Strewn along our backward track!
How these little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns-but roses-
For our reaping by and by.
Strange we never prize the music
Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown;
Strange that we should slight the violets,
Till the lovely flowers are gone;
Strange that summer skies and sunshine Never seem one half so fair
As when winter’s snowy pinions Shake their white down in the air!
Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away,
Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth today;
And sweet words that freight our memory
With their beautiful perfume,
Come to us in sweeter accents
Through the portals of the tomb.
Let us gather up the sunbeams
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and roses,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweetest comfort
In the blessings of today,
With a patient hand removing
All the briars from the way.
-May Riley Smith-
Enjoy the day, enjoy your moments.  Thanks for stopping!

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