Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother



1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage or infant loss, and thousands of other mothers lose an older child. Whether the loss comes only a short time after finding out you’re pregnant, or when your baby is 29 years old, one thing is certain – all mothers are heavily impacted by this horrific event.

Alexa Bigwarfe held her two-day-old infant as she took her last breaths on this earth. This event propelled her to begin writing on loss, grief, and supporting grieving parents. When her dear friend delivered her baby stillborn at 37-weeks, only 18 months after Alexa’s own daughter died, Alexa wanted nothing more than to help her friend navigate this devastating time, and help her move forward. Alexa was motivated to try to do something to encourage and support other mothers who said goodbye to their babies and children too soon. She coordinated all of the contributors in this book, who have different stories from early losses to the unexpected and tragic death of a 12-year-old.

The personal stories provide hope, encouragement, and advice to mothers (and fathers) who do not know how they will ever smile again. More than anything, the parents in this book want the reader to know that “you are not alone”.

– Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. Clinical psychologist and writer specializing in women’s reproductive health describes the book as: “A compelling read from start to finish, this supportive guide to navigating pregnancy and infant loss will arm you with life-changing tools that will help you feel part of a dynamic community. The complexities of pregnancy and infant loss are explored by survivors themselves rendering this must-read book a first hand personal narrative that invites people to feel less alone in the aftermath of such devastating experiences. Grief knows no timeline and this thoughtful book does an exceptional job of explicating ways that society could more sensitively embody this concept by normalizing the spectrum of mourning. Profound losses create seismic changes in self-image, relationships, and overall identity. Many women blame themselves for their reproductive hardships and harbor monumental shame as a result. Contributors delve into crevices of their minds and hearts and courageously express the complexities of their processes- journeys that should be shared and not silenced, providing enlivening inspiration and raw accounts of how life perspectives are invariably altered in the wake of loss. This accessible guide provides valuable tips and resources for grieving families which serve as a grounding way to acknowledge the pain, ease the grief, and explore pockets of hope. A vital resource for anyone who has experienced these kinds of losses and those who love them.”

Contributions by: Alexa Bigwarfe, Amy Hillis, Anna Whiston Donaldson, AnnMarie Gubenko, Christina Russo-Sporer, Dana Weinstein, Heather O’Brien Webb, Jennie Goutet, Jessica Watson, Kathy Glow, Kathy Radigan, Katia Bishops, Kelly DeBie, Kelly Powell, Kristi Bothur, Lizzi Rogers, Marcia Kester Doyle, Rachel Raper, Regina Petsch, Sandi Haustein, Sarah Hackett, Sarah Rudell Beach, Sheila Quirke, Starr Bryson, Stephanie Sprenger, Suzanne M. Tucker, Tova Gold, Wendy R. Smith. Includes special contributions from Sherokee Ilse, Dr. Jessica Zucker, Sean Hanish (Director/Producer of “Return to Zero”) Will Chippich, Eric Bothur, and David Webb.