Sunshine After The Storm

Sunshine After The Storm Review Sunshine After the Storm

My dear friend AnnMarie from Tidbits From The Queen Of Chaos asked me to read and review Sunshine After The Storm.  I was deeply honored to take on what I believe was an incredibly enormous challenge.  I knew this book would be difficult to read.  I knew that I would be opening my heart to grief and so many stories of loss, that I wasn’t sure I would be able to bear the weight of it all.  I had heard about so many beautiful contributors that have suffered the loss of a child, and knew many personally.  I took a deep breath, and started the book, prepared to soak in the sadness and embrace each mother’s story with the prayerful compassion she deserved.

I did just that.  But I wasn’t anticipating how the book would read with HOPE threaded throughout the pages.  I wasn’t prepared to take in the beauty of so many hearts, reaching out and offering encouragement from the very souls that have suffered.  I didn’t plan on feeling an immense community and connection pouring out from the pages.

Most of all, I kept thinking to myself…

Everyone needs to read this.

Everyone.

This book opens up an entirely new world of broken hearts that embrace the reader with an outpouring of grace and giving.   Whether you are a grieving mother, or know of someone who has lost a child…  this resource is and can be a lifeline for you.  I believe it should be at every single OB/GYN office, every grief counseling center, and available at every hospital.  I feel so passionate about this, that I want to march over to my doctor’s office and leave her a copy.

I could write pages and pages telling you about each story and how it broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces-

I could go on and on telling you about the passionate advice each mother and father offers-

I could share the incredible women’s outreach programs many have successfully orchestrated in creating purpose from their pain…

I could tell you how passionate each precious voice was about the possibility of hope…

Sunshine.

After the storm.

But most of all, I would like to express my intense gratitude for having the privilege of being allowed in this fellowship of broken hearts.  Although I have not experienced such pain, I know many who have.  And this book so profoundly echoes support and embraces the reader, as though they were all sitting in one cozy room together- sharing, crying, holding on to each other…tight.

I love that men were also given the opportunity to share their experience as well.  That was eye-opening to me, to read about their own suffering and the weight of the pressure to keep strong for their family.  I also love that the book offered several insights into these tragedies through many various faiths.  I loved the quotes of encouragement, thinking each one could be in a frame.  And the tips for survival seem to be a critical component that threads the book together perfectly.

As I read the book, so much penetrated my heart, so many words and moments shared.  I have chosen a few that struck me in encapsulating this powerful piece of work.  It weaves together a masterpiece of so many monumental life moments, filled with a message of surviving hope.  It’s personal.  These amazing souls have opened their broken hearts and shared the shattered pieces, for a purpose.  The hope that they will help another grief stricken parent heal.

Wow.

When you are done reading these small but significant snippets, go buy the book.  Buy several.  Keep them on hand.  I pray you won’t have to give them to someone you know and love, but the reality in this world is-

You probably will.

Take it in…

*The following are excerpts from Sunshine After The Storm.*

“-But most of all: I can choose HOPE. I can be HAPPY again. Today I have hope. Today I know that he lived and died for a higher purpose, though the fullness of that has yet to be revealed.”    Xoxo, Regina

“Grief isn’t linear. It looks different for each person. There is no timeline. There is no right or wrong way to do this. What works for someone else may not help you. Find what does help and cling to it.”  xo, Kelly

“It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to say, ‘I need to talk about this,’ or ‘I can’t talk about this right now.’ It’s okay to be a little selfish and do whatever you need to in order to make it through the day.”   AnnMarie G.

“There are two types of people: those who will know what to say and do, and those who don’t. It’s not entirely their fault and has little to do with how close you were before. You’re an unwilling initiate of a private club, and those who are not members don’t understand the rules.” Jennie Goutet

“Inside myself, I realized a small but very real comfort rising up from within me. I was still hurting, yes, but this experience taught me something. It was in slowing down and moving closer to my loss, not further from it, that I began to heal.  As one miscarriage turned into two, two turned into three, and three turned into four and then five, I discovered that contrary to popular belief, words could be thrown like sticks and stones, and words could hurt, but at the same time I realized that words could help me heal.”  Xoxo, Suzanne

“I wanted people to understand that even if she wasn’t real to them, that even if I never got to hold her in my arms, that even if I never had a single picture of her, and that even if I never could smell her skin and count her toes and feel her warmth against my chest, she was real to me.”  xoxo, Kelly D.

Once again, I’d failed at being a nurturing mother; my second baby was dead within me.”  Lizzi

“The fear I experienced weighed heavily on me; why had I miscarried? What was wrong with me? I worried that my body may never be capable of sustaining a pregnancy. The lack of insight into what had gone wrong was overwhelming. I wanted answers; there were none. These things happen.”

“Honoring my own authentic beliefs and feelings, giving myself permission to fully grieve over every aspect of my loss, protecting myself from potentially hurtful comments from outsiders, and finding another mother to grieve with were all instrumental in my healing.”   Hugs, Stephanie

“You’ll never be the same person again. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing”.  Sean Hanish

“A year after my son died, I passed a stream of sunlight coming in through the window; it danced across my face, and fell on my toes. Toes I had painted purple, that lit up in the semi-dark hallway. The warm sun on my face felt like a brush of love from my son, and the purple on my toes let me know that I cared enough to paint them. I was climbing out of this hole, and someday, I’d be okay.”  Starr Bryson

First Peter 1:6 from the New Living Translation of the Bible reads, “So be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead even if it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.” If you are suffering a new loss, know that this tragedy has come into your life for a reason. You are now faced with a choice. You can succumb to the dark feelings and give up (which at times is a very tempting option), or you can choose to work through the pain and wait to see what blessings lie ahead. Love, Christina

Alexa Bigwarfe (0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00). Sunshine Ebook (Kindle Locations 3122-3126). Kat Biggie Press. Kindle Edition.

 

  Sunshine After The Storm Review Sunshine After the Storm

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Comments

  1. says

    I cried reading this the whole way through. I can’t imagine anything worse than losing a child. And yet, I never actually let myself think about my own “loss” as a loss, because it was so early, but this book made me realize it truly was.

    • says

      It’s the kind of book, you can’t help but mourn over and over again for each precious soul that has gone through any loss-

      And we all mourn differently- perhaps this ignited something in you that you didn’t realize existed. Praying for peace with your own personal experience, my friend.

  2. says

    I am so truly honored that you did this for me. You are the kind of person that someone can put their broken heart in your hands and somehow, they get a whole heart back. That’s how I feel with this review. You gave us all a little piece of our heart back. I am so blessed to call you friend. Love you! XO And thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • says

      OH AnnMarie… you don’t know how much your comment means to me. Wow. It penetrates my heart deeper than you will ever know….
      Something so gravely traumatic as losing a child, I can’t even imagine… but I can honor each and every precious heart that is broken- as best I can.

      Thank YOU- for giving me the privilege of sharing the courage and strength and wisdom of so many beautiful grief-stricken parents.

    • says

      I can’t tell you how much I was devastatingly touched by it, Jen. All parents- who suffer such a loss- should be bound together in love and grace and support for one another.

      I am heart-broken that you can identify with it so easily, my friend. Praying for you and the countless others who suffer.

  3. says

    Wow Chris! I.can’t.even.imagine. My heart AND prayers go out to ALL those beautiful parents who lost their children! So thankful they shared their stories in order to minister to someone else! All of the statements were so profound, but the one that stood out the most was Lizzi’s…”Once again, I’d failed at being a nurturing mother; my second baby was dead within me.” Oh how I hate that the enemy planted that seed of a lie! So many mothers who miscarry believe they are a failure and that is so far from the truth! As I said I can’t even imagine losing my children, I’ve always prayed that they outlive me and I get to see them get married and have beautiful children of their own, God willing. When our youngest was a toddler and we almost lost him in the ambulance ride to the hospital, I told God that I didn’t want to be one of those mothers who had the testimony of getting through her child’s death…I just didn’t want that testimony!! Some people may say that was selfish, but that was all I had Chris and I wasn’t ready to let him go! Looking back on it now, I remember pleading with God and promising Him that I’d teach them His ways and make sure they stayed in His house. Not that I was trying to wheel and deal with God, but I was desperate mother! And I kept my promise. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this Chris, it sounds like a beautiful, heartfelt book that will minister to sooo many…oh but I pray, that you nor I will ever have to read it as therapy. Blessings my friend! xoxo

    • says

      I’m so glad you didn’t lose your son! How terrifying.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding my comment. And for identifying them as lies. It’s very hard to disconnect from the idea that I’d done something wrong, or been somehow unworthy. I’ve been working hard at changing my attitude and understanding that baby loss has nothing to do with ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ – it just is. And it’s awful.

      • says

        Thank you so much!!! My prayers to you for the loss of your child and for your continued healing! THANK YOU for being transparent with your feelings…so many others are probably feeling the same way and needed to hear that! And YES, you are more than worthy my friend! Blessings!!

    • says

      Your experience makes me think about each one of these incredible parents, and how they probably pleaded with God as well…

      But they lost their child anyway.

      Wouldn’t THAT be a test of our faith? And yet, these precious souls somehow survived what I can only imagine the greatest tragedy of all.. Amazing.

      • says

        IKR Chris…heart wrenching isn’t it? My heart cries for them! And it IS the ultimate test of faith…they are definitely heroes in my eyes. Thanks again for sharing this!

  4. says

    I’m currently reading it. I’m only in the first few chapters but I agree with you so much! Everyone should read this. Everyone. It gave me such unique perspectives and I hear what you are saying – it’s also about hope. It’s not a collection of losses – it’s a collection of survival.

    • says

      Yes, Tamara- it truly is about that. And it so deeply touches and pulls on my heart and twists it and turns it over and over again… just thinking of the unimaginable.

      These parents have an incredible purpose in this book. To reach out and embrace those precious souls that have to face this tragedy- and survive. That’s why I love this book so much.

      It’s purpose is to help heal…

  5. says

    I’ve got it downloaded! Thanks for the inspiration I needed to get started. I’ve been avoiding it a bit as I’ve miscarried before but know so many of the amazing authors that it’s time!

    • says

      Aiiiiiieeeee. Okay, okay, if you’re gonna take the plunge, so will I. I’m gonna start reading yours. Because I know lots of the amazing writers in that, and I’ve been putting it off.

    • says

      Oh Kristi- it’s truly a book you do need to read…

      And take in. And allow it to nurture you in ways you may not have been cared for.

      Prepare yourself for healing and hope.

  6. says

    I should get this book – I have several friends who have lost children in the past number of years. Thank you for sharing such a great review. Love to see the sunshine and hope!!!

    • says

      I truly believe if you know some friends who has suffered such a loss, THIS book would be the perfect gift.

      I am going to buy a few copies to just keep for when the need arises…

    • says

      Oh Laurie! I can’t imagine that kind of loss!!! And bless your parents’ suffering hearts! That is just so terribly awful.

      I am dreadfully sorry, my friend.

  7. says

    I have started the book but have a long way to go. I agree that everyone needs to read it. Everyone. Especially mothers. I think this book is a reminder, of the most humble kind – that as mothers, we all really want the same thing – for our children to be healthy and happy and that we can never take that for granted. Ever. When you’re a mom, the playing field is really that level. I am so reminded of that when I read these stories.

    • says

      It’s like we are all in a bond of motherhood, and out on the battlefield- the risk is high and the war is never won. We must stick together in the trenches and lift each soldier up when they get hit… carry them until they are healed enough to go forward on their own.

      It’s a constant state of caring for each other and knowing the terrifying and intense danger is surrounding us always- that is where we live. Wounds and all…

      And we honor those that have survived some immense blows…knocked to the ground. We hold them with reverence.

  8. says

    What a beautiful review, Chris. As with everything you do, reading this was just lovely and loving. This sentence is *exactly* how I felt reading the book, but you said it better than I could hope to “I would like to express my intense gratitude for having the privilege of being allowed in this fellowship of broken hearts.” Yes. This exactly. Thank you Chris for this review and thank you to the authors of this book who gave us the privilege of reading their words. –Lisa

    • says

      Oh Lisa- I think we are so much one and the same… your heart=my heart, dear friend.

      We are incredibly “privileged” to have been invited into their world of suffering, healing and hope.

      It’s truly an honor, isn’t it? I felt like they gave me their hearts to hold in my hands for a time, and I had to cherish each one with the best care I could possibly give…

  9. says

    I haven’t read the whole thing yet. But I do agree that everyone should read this. We all know someone who has gone through this pain. Unfortunately we don’t always want to talk about it or know how to support those who are grieving. Such an important piece of work!

    • says

      Exactly Jen! As “outsiders” to their world, I think we owe it to our beloved friends in motherhood, to take the time to open our hearts to their experiences and their journey of pain and loss.

      We are in this motherhood gig together- and especially in our suffering, we can create bonds that are deeply significant.

    • says

      It might really knock you over with your prego hormone waves crashing through… but it is a must read for all mothers. Because we must cling together in finding hope and healing for one another- their loss- their stories-

      The least we can do is honor them.

  10. says

    Beautiful review Chris! I have not read the book. In some ways, I have felt it “didn’t apply to me” because I haven’t been through anything like they have and, honestly, was afraid it might be a bit of a downer. I am happy to hear that it gives a message of hope and I will download it!

    • says

      I know exactly what you mean, Lisa. It was a tough one to open… and yet, I felt an incredible responsibility to honor each precious soul that has survived such a terrible tragedy. I wanted to take in each and every word, and try to imagine their pain- as a mom, I felt compelled to- in the very least, make their stories known, and valued. I believe there is a part of us in each one of them… a heart for our children, and the strength of a mother.

  11. says

    I read and reviewed as well and I totally agree with you Chris, everyone does need to read this book! Seriously, I could not put it down and all the wonderful voices and hearts shared here in one place was just amazing!

    • says

      It truly was an inspiration and an incredible testimony to the power of strength and light in a dark world of loss. I feel honored to share such an incredible book with everyone!

  12. says

    Chris, thank you for such a gorgeous, beautiful review, and your wonderful words and spirit poured out into this labour of love. Thanks to AnnMarie for asking you – I kinda wish I’d thought of it first! You’re both amazing.

    And thank you for sharing so much that it’s a message of hope, in the end, that there *is* that sunshine, and that none of us in this are alone. Ever. And never need to be.

    Thank you for you *HUGS*

  13. says

    This is an absolutely AMAZING and heartfelt review Chris! I’m sorry it took me a little while to get over here, but this is just absolutely so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this and for helping us spread our message of hope and encouragement! This is the best review so far – BY A LOT! Love you friend!

    • says

      AW!! I am SO thrilled that you approve of my review Alexa. YOU, my friend are amazing… in every way. It was a tremendous honor to read it, and review it and I pray parents everywhere read it. XOXO

  14. says

    Chris, I just started reading this last night. I’ve only made it through the intros and I’m already moved. There is such a genuine, raw honesty that pours through. I’ve been hesitant to read it but your review, worded so beautifully, makes me realize I don’t have to be afraid of the emotion it’s sure to bring about. I admit it, I’ve been a little afraid.

    • says

      I get that Stephanie… it is hard to face the unthinkable and read so many devastating stories… BUT it is threaded with hope and healing. I love that. Powerful purpose. Indeed.

  15. says

    You know I read this review ages ago when you first wrote it- and I wasn’t able to comment at the time. I promised myself I would come back and I guess I forgot.

    Of course in December I’m a mess and I can’t be expected to remember much else then to breath and keep getting up every morning.

    Thank you so much for reading, for the beautiful review and for your kind words on my blog when I wrote about my son.

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