Saturday, May 19, 2012


More than once in my life, I have thought about writing a book. At first, it was fiction. Creative writing has always been easy for me and story lines have a tendency to just pop up out of nowhere. But I have never been able to write more than a handful of pages before abandoning the project.

After Abigail died, I had an epiphany that I should write a book. A memoir. I would document all of my thoughts and all of the events and all of my feelings so that others would know what I was going through. So that maybe, just maybe, they would get it.

I had read such a book written by a mother of a stillborn baby shortly after Abigail's death but unfortunately, it was devoid of emotion, which I found odd but maybe that was the only way she was able to write. There were facts of her pregnancy, facts of her daughter's death and birth. But no emotion. I wanted to know what she was feeling. Did she ever scream or yell or hate the world?

Did she ever feel like I do?

And then there was Elizabeth McCracken's book (An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination) which was, in my opinion, fantastic. It isn't my story but maybe others who read it will get it. Unfortunately, I have found that unless you have been through it, you don't and never will get it but maybe you'll be a bit more understanding.

Our June is filling up with events and family functions and I'm well aware that I should be planning a sixth birthday party. Five years and some odd months later, I realize that my book, Abbey's story, will never come to fruition. I'm not foolish enough to believe that my writing style is good enough for a book. I once had a college professor (for a music industry class, no less) tell me that my sentence structure is awkward. And I know that my writing style isn't poetic or flowery like those super popular blogs.

I can only be myself.

Rich, the girls and I all visited Abbey at the cemetery back in March. The girls like to run around and collect rocks to place on her headstone. Rich and I have never suggested that they hug the headstone but they all do. I suppose it's their way of connecting with her. I can't recall the exact question that was asked but I do remember the answer: "You're here because of her." I don't know everything but as I sat there on the dry winter grass under the wide blue sky with my face turned to the sun, I knew that much was true.


Hope's Mama said...

I don't think my book will ever come to fruition either. Plus, when would I have the time! (Not right now,that's for sure!)
I too loved Elizabeth McCracken's book. I think I know the other book you speak of and I felt the same way.
Angus has just started to understand the cemetery a bit more. In that, he knows we go there to see Hope, and we take flowers. He likes to put the flowers in the little vase provided. It is beautiful and terribly sad all at the same time.
Love to you, Sarah.

Tracey's Life said...

Hugs to you Sarah. You are correct in your statement that if you haven't lived it you can't know. None of us can ever truly know how another person feels. But your writing here in your blog is so honest, that you give us glimmers of who you are and some of what you are feeling. Don't give up your dream of writing your book. I think you might just do it one day.

Can you, Rich and the girls release six balloons on Abbey's birthday? Would that help at all?

If you let me know the date, I will release six balloons here in NJ for Abbey.

Debbie Hein said...

Never say never. There my be that time in your life, when the hustle and bustle slow down a bit, and maybe, just maybe you will write it then.
When Timmy died, I spent a great deal of time going to the library and bookstores looking for books that would "help" me. You have to remember that this was 30 years ago, there was no internet, no blogs, no facebook that would help me connect to those who understood.
This is so wonderful that now Moms who are left with empty arms are able to find each other. But, if I were you I would not close the door on writing a book. Only you will know when and if the time is right.
In the meantime, maybe you would like all of us who read you help to celebrate your little girl's birthday. Maybe it could be to wear a special color or release a baloon, etc. If you think of something, let us all know. We are here, we are listening, and we understand.
Hugs to you...

Heather said...

You sell yourself short:) I remember a similar post about not being able to be a photographer and I must say your pictures are fantastic! As good if not better than several photographers in my area that do very well! If your writing is as good as your photography I say give it a shot!

Sophie Slim said...

Dont you think this is your book? Her memoirs and part of her legacy?

We know about Abigail because of your blog. Her life changes our life with each post you write.

~S said...

When my daughter was stillborn in 2004, my grandmother sent me a sympathy card and in her letter she wrote about losing her son in 1935-before my mom was even born. I could tell the hurt was still there underneath even all those years later. We know the pain never goes away, but just because you haven't written a book yet, don't give up on the idea. Maybe when the girls are older, maybe even when they are about to become mothers themselves you will find the words to write what you want to say. I love your writing Sarah and don't find it awkward at all. :)

~S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Sarah, I think your writing style is perfect for the stories you have to tell. And I disagree about the poetic blogs being the popular ones. I think the blogs where people are honest about who they are and what they are going through are the popular ones, the successful ones. I know May is a really hard month for you, but I don't think you should give up. If you feel like you need to share Abbey's story, then I think you should try. Even if it doesn't get published, at least you'll have given her a voice.

Karen said...

I just wanted to say that regardless of whether or not you write a book, what you have written on your blog here has touched people. I know that I don't understand completely, but a part of me understands more, and I have become more sensitive to other people in my own life. Thank you for that.

Alice said...

Your blog is a book for your daughters to cherish forever. I can see them on a lonely night in college, regardless of whether you are still writing them, lounging with their laptops (or whatever technology we have then!) and reading fondly on the time Emily wrote her name on Angela's bureau. These words are a testament to your love.

Sarah said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I spent time away from the computer this weekend and when I did read your comments, they touched my heart.

Yes, this blog does tell her story but not all of it. In fact, there is so much more that I've never written. I'm afraid of losing the details with time. I know that what is important will remain but I don't like losing any of it b/c it is all I have.

I'm not sure what we are going to do for her birthday. Probably balloons again - but we leave them tied to trees.

Alexandra Rose said...

Your writing is lovely and captiviating and you should definately write the book.

Cindy said...

Sarah, that last paragraph is pure beauty and truth. If you don't write a book, fine, but write for yourself so you don't lose it. There is so much we lose due to time. And that is sad.

Laura said...

Sarah, your amazing blog is the start of your book. It's obvious you love writing, and you don't need to write to please an old college professor or others; just write for yourself and it will come. As another poster said, never say never. Someday you may have the time or inclination, and what a great start you already have.