For several years, many people have encouraged me to write a book about my personal journey through grief, which began with the death of my dad, when I was 12 years, and was intensified and lengthened after the sudden cardiac death of our youngest son, Kevin, in 2002.
I have always written, but never imagined that I would complete a book and be in the process of publishing. I put pen to paper on this difficult, but very important subject, as someone with the experience of loss and grieving, and a long walk with God.
Once I began to write, I couldn't stop. My personal story of loss, grief and healing poured out of me. After my husband, Bob, read the first few chapters he said, "Honey, this needs to be published. This will help a hurting mom in her grief and I'll support you anyway I can." One way he has supported me is by reading each and every page several times, and not so much as flinch at the cost of content and copy editing.
Several close friends, as well as Dr. Alan Wofhelt, Director for the Center of Loss and Transition, have read the completed manuscript with very encouraging responses that keep me focused and committed to publishing.
My story is a story of tragedy and a testament of praise. It is a comprehensive, conversational look at loss, grief and how it affected me, my husband and our family. Our grief was intense. What grief isn't? We were not prepared or equipped for what was to come, after the sudden death of our youngest son, and as we stepped into the "valley of the shadow of death." (Psalm 23:4)
Early in my writing the book, I realized that my heart and soul were still so very tender, while I was also amazed at how God was fully present to me every step of the way. I spent most of my grieving alone, and He was my primary source of comfort and strength. He became my "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1 (NIV).
In writing, I had to revisit some very painful and emotional times, and I also realized that the pain of such a great loss is always just a thought or a memory away. After nearly 20 years I think I tried to convince myself that the more time that past, the less it would hurt. Now, I know even more than before that time doesn't heal, God heals. He is truly El Roi, the God who sees; El Shaddai - the All Sufficient One; Jehovah-Jireh - the LORD will provide and Jehovah-Rapha - the LORD who heals.
"A Mother Like Me" is dedicated to mothers who have suffered the loss of a child. We are an uncommon community of moms connected by loss, and because of our love for our children. I would have had little to say about grief without the blessing of knowing all the moms who have journeyed with me through the years. Knowing these "heroes of hope," as I call them, has been an amazing blessing, considering and because of the context of our relationship.
I hope that the words of my hurting and hopeful heart will encourage a hurting mom somehow, somewhere. It seems to me that God is why a book finds it readers. If my book finds someone and encourages someone who is hurting, my hope and fervent prayer will be fulfilled.
Please pray that I will find the best publishing option, as there are many and the world of publishing is changing fast and can seem overwhelming. However, "with God all things are possible!"
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"