Tiny Hands Change the World by Cathy Fritea
book review by Poppy Hullings

Tiny Hands Change the World
Written by Cathy Fritea
Published by Jasmin Press, 2003
77 pages
ISBN: 0972944206
Retail Price: $10.00

Tiny Hands Change the World by Cathy Fritea is a real-life account of the author’s experience with pregnancy and stillbirth told in poetic form. Since I am both a poet and bereaved parent, I had a special interest in reading this book.

Fritea uses poetry as her vehicle to travel through her ups and downs, from the natural high of her pregnancy to the unexpected low of her son, Daniel, dying before birth. People who have never experienced a death during pregnancy can never truly realize how it feels. Parents can both love and grieve for their dead children, often simultaneously, no matter if it‘s one week or twenty years after the loss. With each poem, Fritea expresses how it feels to be a bereaved parent dealing with day-to-day living while coping with the emptiness of losing her baby. She probably best captures the feelings of a bereaved parent in the poem “The Next Few Months“:

I’m on a teeter-totter,
I feel good, I feel bad,
I feel good, I feel bad.
I don’t know if I will ever
feel the same.

There are also poems by a few other bereaved parents included in this book which proves that what happened to Fritea is not an isolated, or even rare occurrence.

With thirty-something poems, several inspiring quotations, some Q & A about grief and society, and a few blank pages for personal thoughts, this book would be beneficial to bereaved parents, mostly those who have experienced stillbirth. Family members and friends could learn something from the book as well. It could also be enlightening to almost anyone willing to learn more about stillbirth and its emotional effects on families. Fritea occasionally references God, heaven and angels throughout the book so if anything about those beliefs bother you, this book may not be right for you. Also, I wouldn’t recommend this book for young children, at least not without parental guidance. The book has no obscene images or language, but the subjects of birth and death can be a bit much for young people to grasp all on their own.

If you are worried about the poems being too hard to understand, let me assure you there‘s no need to worry. Actually, by offering the raw emotions in bite-sized pieces (aka poems) in a casual, almost conversational tone, Fritea makes the harsh reality of child loss somewhat easier to digest. The reader can absorb the experiences a little bit at a time instead of being overwhelmed by an ’encyclopedia’ type book.

Author Cathy Fritea has worked in the Health Care Industry for over 10 years. She created RainbowMaker after the death of her son, Daniel. Her work has appeared on KotaPress.com and in "A Different Kind of Parenting." She has been writing for the "Healing Garden Journal," a holistic magazine, since 2001. Cathy can be found on the web at: http://www.rainbowmaker.org.


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