When Your Baby Dies: Religious Exclusion
a review by Kara L.C. Jones

When Your Baby Dies: through miscarriage or stillbirth
by Louis A. Gamino & Ann Taylor Cooney
From the Hope & Healing Series
Augsburg - www.augsburgfortress.org
ISBN 0-8066-4355-2

Interesting, surprising, somewhat exclusionary:

This is the smallest book with a serious content that I have ever held in my hands. It is only 48 pages, yet it is beautifully printed with a laminate, full color cover, and it is perfect bound! That's purely a publisher's surprise in a "trade" sense. But the even bigger surprise comes from my perspective as a bereaved parent. This little book covers every base you can imagine.

They address mom and dad directly and make a point of talking about communicating in your marriage or partnership as opposed to pigeon holing males and females into gender specific ways of grieving. But they do segregate the information into chapters called "for mothers" and "for fathers" and they really don't address grief in a same sex couple. In a way, even though the information transcends gender, the presentation promotes segregation of men and women.

A great surprise is that they also address the *rest of the family!!! Grandparents, siblings!! All included. Grief acknowledged, suggestions for how they might support the parents and express their own grief. Amazing. Now that's something you don't see all the time. These authors assume that the rest of the family will want and should be supportive on a long term basis to bereaved parents. Oh, that it really was that way in most families!

One other draw back to this book: Must tell you that in the last chapter about "acceptance" (actually throughout the book) there are references to scriptures from the Christian Bible. So there is a Christian base and motivation here. That might prove to be very unhelpful to those of different cultures. So just know that there are some points and supports made here that can be applied anywhere. But there are also some religiously motivated expressions that can prove exclusionary.


Kara lives on Vashon Island which is a much more awesome place than she ever imagined it would be. She is a poet, bookmaker, wife, teacher, bereaved mom, facilitator, receptionist, founder, struggling p.t.barnum, turtle faithful, editor, artist, and a million other things that will prevent you from putting her in any one particular label box! Kara teaches through local art centers, artists in the schools programs, KotaPress and independently. To find out more about her, see:


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