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ss triple helix - spring 2013,  Letters to My Unborn Children

Letters to My Unborn Children

Meditations on the Silent Grief of Miscarriage

Shawn T Collins

  • Quill House Press, 2012
  • $11.00 (no UK price given) Pb 100pp
  • ISBN 978-1-933794-58-7

Miscarriage is unexpected before it happens, frequently unexplainable when it occurs and rarely discussed afterwards. Yet there can be little worse than losing a child.

Mothers and fathers will often grieve in different ways, and sympathy can be primarily directed to the mother, which can leave fathers with less support. This book is written by a father, and while it touches his wife's feelings it is primarily about the reality of paternal grief.

Shawn Collins wrote letters to his children after three of them miscarried. It was his way of saying 'hello' and 'goodbye'.

It is a short book, comprising letters to each child miscarried, two laments and a longer letter to all his children, including his three living children. Collins describes how the first miscarriage was about shock, the second about a shattered worldview and the third about despair. This book does not offer simplistic prescriptive solutions to painful and complex questions but will help people (especially fathers) legitimise the grief process and roller coaster of emotions from miscarriage.

Philippa Taylor is CMF Head of Public Policy.

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