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Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death Paperback – January 5, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0960945665 ISBN-10: 0960945660 Edition: 20th, Revised & enlarged

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Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death + Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby + When Hello Means Goodbye
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Wintergreen Press, Inc.; 20th, Revised & enlarged edition (January 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960945660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960945665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I wish the hospital had given me Empty Arms to read immediately; instead I finally found it and opened it a month later. If someone had read it to me right then, especially the section 'Decisions You Might Face Right Away,' my regrets would have been so much less. Sherokee's gentle words and advice could have guided us to make better decisions after Bryce died and would have informed us of options that we didn't even know about. Her comforting messages touched us, and we felt less alone and crazy during our grief journey. -- --Lori Martini, bereaved mom/stillbirth advocate

Thank you for your lovely book, which we were given before our baby was even delivered. It gave us the courage to make the hard decisions that proved to be the medicine to mend our broken hearts. -- --Debbie Crippen

This book was a tremendous inspiration to my patients. I feel you have done a great service to bereaved parents --Stephen Larson, M.D., Ob-Gyn
--Stephen Larson, M.D., Ob-Gyn

Thank you for your lovely book, which we were given before our baby was even delivered. It gave us the courage to make the hard decisions that proved to be the medicine to mend our broken hearts. -- --Debbie Crippen

This book was a tremendous inspiration to my patients. I feel you have done a great service to bereaved parents --Stephen Larson, M.D., Ob-Gyn

About the Author

Sherokee Ilse has had many personal experiences with loss which motivated her to reach out to others to aid them in their grief work. She has suffered a miscarriage, full term stillbirth, and an ectopic pregnancy and has two living children. Sherokee helped create a national non-profit organization which she directed for ten years, authored many books including her most popular one, Empty Arms (over 300,000 in print) and has served as a bereavement support professional, a consultant, and international trainer for over 27 years.

A guest on Oprah, Donohue and many other radio and television shows, she continues her mission to promote compassion, understanding, and excellent care for these special families.


More About the Author

Sherokee Ilse, a Mpls author, has written/co-written over 17 books and booklets on infant loss and bereavement as the result of her miscarriages and the fullterm stillbirth of her son. Her first and most popular book, Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death has over 300,000 copies in print, and has recently been revised.

Ms. Ilse has been a guest on Oprah and Donahue and many local, regional, and national radio and tv shows. As a respected international speaker/trainer on grief and loss, she has given thousands of talks during the last almost 3 decades. Her practical, friendly speaking style earns her comments like this one, "I feel like we spent the day having tea together."
With a background as a teacher, a founder of both a private school and a national non-profit pregnancy and infant loss organization, and a parent advocate, she has inspired and learned from many. "Traveling to New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, England, and Japan to speak to international audiences lately, has shown me how universal parenthood and grief are. It doesn't matter what our cultures are, we who have had babies die are intimately connected and understand each others' heartache and love...a love that goes on forever."

Sherokee's personal experiences and her philosophy to leave the world a better place, continue to motivate her to reach out to others in need.

She is a bereaved mother (miscarriage-Marama, stillbirth-Brennan, ectopic pregnancy-Bryna)and is also (gratefully) the mother of two living sons. Ms. Ilse also has business experience consulting on communication and team-building and enjoys the creativity of making things for others (beading, arts, crafts, needle-work, and sewing.)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I would highly recommend to anyone suffering such a devastating loss.
Lindsay Black Roper
These books are both wonderfully helpful and comforting at an unimaginably difficult time.
Marie C. Smith
I read many books on this topic after our son was stillborn in July of 2008.
April Lieder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lori A. Martini on May 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
Why didn't we know about this wonderful book??

When our son Bryce was stillborn a few years ago, we made mostly terrible decisions and felt all alone in our time of great need. Why didn't we know (or why weren't we told by our caregivers) that parents in hospitals across the country are given the baby loss book, "Empty Arms" by Sherokee Ilse...upon hearing the devastating news?

Why didn't we get the chance to read stories and affirmations from the author about how to proceed, the pros and cons of the decisions we faced, and learn there are tons of resources (including books, blogs, and websites) and a whole baby loss community supporting each other?

I know now that "Empty Arms" can truly be a lifesaver for so many newly bereaved parents and their family members...it could have been for us too (sadly, we only got to read the book years later after our loss.)

In the book, some people wrote that Sherokee was their best friend - guiding them gently with her words through the jungle, helping them to take the healing paths rather than the paths of regret. Why didn't we get this book from our doctor's office or our hospital? It could have changed how we met our son, how long we held him, the kind of pictures we took, how we included others during `his' time, and could have also helped us to cherish and increase the memories, mementos and all of the other very normal/healing parenting rituals that others (who were able to read Empty Arms during their loss experience) hold on to now...and that we lack because of not getting the chance to be guided by this enlightening and inspiring book.

In order to help other bereaved parents from the very beginning of their losses, I bought some of the "Empty Arms" books and donated them to the hospital.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Charmayne on January 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the very first book I read following the loss of my son. I felt like Sherokee was sitting right beside me holding my hand telling me that I was not alone on this tragic journey! I read this book cover to cover, even through the tears! Sherokee's words gave me courage to put one foot in front of the other, and to not allow the grief to overwhelm me. Thank you for your word of wisdom Sherokee!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a good book if you want something simple. It is in the question, answer format and fairly short. You can easily find what you are looking for without having to search through the other stuff you don't want to think about right now. It would have been extremely helpful right when my son died. It would be good for the hospitals to give out. It didn't have as many stories of other couples (they do help you to feel less alone) as I would have liked, though. There is some advice on how to go on and answers to questions I would not have even thought of, though so I do recommend it. It shouldn't be the only book you buy on loss, but if you can afford more than one, get this one.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By kmarye on March 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From experience, Sherokee Ilse created a foresighted text for folks coping with loss, even--amazingly--loss in progress. She verbalizes the commonality and individuality of loss, gently expressing "aloud" the thoughts and emotions one cycles through. It may seem counter-intuitive in the moment, when you're simply struggling to survive the devastating experience, but Ms. Ilse encourages mothers and fathers in the process of actual loss, to savor and honor those moments, respectfully providing suggestions for how to do so. At 22+ weeks I lost my baby, and EMPTY ARMS resonated with depth and precision. As I read it weeks after our loss, I kept thinking how much more we would have benefited from reading this book BEFORE losing our baby, but who seriously considers the possibility of losing a child before experiencing perinatal loss at some level? I recommend this book for the education of anyone planning to have a baby or to anyone who has a loved one planning pregnancy. And I pray that the reader never actually needs the sage advice or solace within its pages.

In addition, I recommend the powerful and cathartic visual work THE ANGUISH OF LOSS by Julie Fritsch and Sherokee Ilse:
The Anguish of Loss: Visual Expressions of Grief and Sorrow
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Stamm on September 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was so happy, I was going to have a baby. Then it happened. I didn't understand, why had my baby stopped moving. I thought, oh she's must be to big. However,deep down something felt all wrong. The next day I delivered a very perfect, beautiful, little girl. Only problem, she was stillborn. We were devestated, I became withdrawn & depressed. My sister came with,"Empty Arms" & I was a little disappointed in her. How could she think a book would make things better. She left it on my bedside table since thats where I always stayed. I don't know why I picked it up, but I did. It changed my life & made me realize I had to get up & live again. Today, after years of trying & the help of IVF.I have a beautiful little girl Isabella who is 4y/o. Her sister Sophia would have been 7.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ANGIE STORZ (sastorz@iquest.com) on November 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has it all. It covers real emotions from someone that's "been there." It helped me to understand and accept my own feelings. It also helped my family and friends understand what I was going through. I have talked with several grieving parents and have recommended this book to each one of them.
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