Whisper Their Names by Jennifer Harris

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

Thank you for asking about my book. This book is titled Whisper their Names.

The journey to peace after losing your child. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and major distributors. This is my second book. The first is called The No-B.S. Guide to Breastfeeding. Advice for the new mom from an experienced lactation consultant. This book covers all the questions commonly asked by new parents attempting to breastfeed their infant.

I wrote this book for a variety of reasons. I have recently retired from nursing after thirty-five years.

I worked in the maternity and pediatric areas of a large hospital. I was a breastfeeding nurse for a large portion of this time, a Lactation Consultant. I saw so many children die over the years. In reviewing charts of my clients, it became evident that a large portion of females in my care had lost a child somewhere along the way. Of course in my practice I witnessed young children die and it was devastating for the family and for the nurses as well. But I had also experienced loss. As a twenty year old I gave up my daughter for adoption. In my own marriage I had miscarried. And most pivotal was the estrangement and brief loss of communication with my children at the time of my divorce.

In a period of introspection I realized how much we, as a society, silence those losses.

I knew that my family would be uncomfortable if I brought up the topic of my adopted child. I did later find her and although we have not met, they really still left that topic alone. I witnessed that although we surround a parent in their immediate loss, as time goes on, that person is largely left alone in their grief. You never heard other women talk about the loss of abortion, the shame and the grief. But the loss didn’t always include death. You can lose your child in estrangement, addiction and divorce. They are not dead, but no longer a part of your daily life. And this loss is terrible as well. The judgement from others that you must have “done something to deserve it” was pervasive. I wanted to speak to those losses. Love is love, as is grief. Death or loss, it is a lifelong struggle that we must learn to live with. With or without support.

I reached out to the public, who kindly shared their stories.

I asked them to be frank and real in their stories, and only edited for length and clarity. It was a chance for them and myself to speak of the hard emotions of grief. The anger, the guilt, the treatment they received from those they expected to support them. But it also offered hope. I speak of love and hints from beyond, that the souls of our beloved children still are present for us. I did explore different views of different cultures. I wanted to show that you can continue to have a happy life, in addition to your grief. The book offers an inspirational quote or poem that is relevant to each loss, and some pause pages to reflect the emotions this book stirs.

This book is my heart song. I poured my own stories and reflections into it and in turn, my contributors shared the truth of their losses.

I hope that by reflecting on our experiences, others will find a place where their thoughts and feelings are validated. Being judged in our grief only heightens the pain, and I wanted to write a book that felt like a friend.

My goal is to write “books that matter”. I hope “Whisper their Names” delivers. Jennifer Harris.

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