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A Silent Sorrow


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About the Author

Ingrid Kohn, M.S.W. , was a founder of the Pregnancy Loss Support Program of the National Council of Jewish Women in New York City. She is currently in private practice in San Diego where she is also the supervisor for Jewish Family Services and is author of Understanding Grief and Coping with a Loss (19 ). Perry-Lynn Moffitt has served as the lay counselor with the Pregnancy Loss Support Program since 1984. She is author of Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood (1994) and Understanding Your Pregnancy Loss (1998). Isabelle A. Wilkins, M.D. is a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.


Nothing can erase the sense of loss when a pregnancy doesn't come to fruition, but this book may provide some measure of comfort and hope (as well as a good bit of guidance) for those who have lost a wanted child (or ended a pregnancy because the fetus was impaired). Kohn and Moffitt know that no two grieving processes are quite alike, but certain patterns do show up often, and always there are both medical and emotional matters to attend to. Their first section is devoted to the grief after such a loss, covering the emotional stages that the mother and father go through, as well as grief's impact on their relationship during the crisis. The second section considers early losses due to miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, crisis pregnancies, stillborn and newborn deaths, and the terrible burden of choice--carry to term, or abort?--presented when the fetus is impaired. Finally, the third section prepares one for the reaction of others. A sensitive medical practitioner can make all the difference, and religion, too, can offer solace--the authors identify a pronounced need for formal death rituals to give the grief process a sense of closure. Even after their extensive experience with bereavement, the authors conclude that it is a long-term thing: ``Neither sorrow nor the children lost are ever truly forgotten.'' (Jan.)

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