Miscarriage has been in the news cycle recently. Former President Bush confessed in an interview last week that his mother, after miscarrying, kept the baby in a jar and showed it to her young son. Bush says that act solidified his pro-life stance and went on to shape his presidential policies. His confession started a conversation about cultural attitudes toward miscarriage in post-war America and today.

Contemporary American culture offers plenty of rituals surrounding birth and death. We know how to hold baby showers, congratulate new parents, offer condolences, attend funerals, and bring casseroles through it all. Why is it, then, that we don't seem to know what to do after a miscarriage? The grief that women experience after miscarriage is intense, and the people around them—family, friends, and co-workers—are often unable fully to understand that grief, finding themselves at a loss for words and acts that might bring comfort. Women themselves may find themselves surprised and confused by their own grief, struggling to walk through it and to understand it in light of the Christian faith. Though I've never had to walk down that particular valley, chances are that you or someone close to you has walked it: The American Pregnancy Association estimates that between 10 and 25 percent of all medically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Which is why Elise Erikson Barrett's recently published book is for you.

In What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage (Westminster John Knox), Barrett, a United Methodist pastor, candidly recounts grieving the loss of her first child through miscarriage. More than a memoir, it is a remarkably comprehensive resource both for women enduring miscarriage and for their ...

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