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Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing Paperback – May 7, 2004


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Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing + Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby + Grieving the Child I Never Knew
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: NewSage Press (May 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939165503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939165506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lorraine Ash, MA, is the author of "Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life" (Cape House Books, 2012) and "Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing" (NewSage Press, 2004). Both are spiritual memoirs, an old but evolving genre she believes in as a catalyst for personal healing and transformation and social change.

"We each were born as a character into a large family and cultural story," she said, "and not always in the roles we would have chosen for ourselves. Then fate takes us in unexpected directions. Writing spiritual memoir is a way to weave our outer and inner lives to create meaning and trace and direct our evolving identities over time, including that timeless core in each of us called the soul."

What does all that have to do with social change? Nothing helps the human race see and understand itself more than such honest witnessing in every corner of the human experience. There is no taboo territory in autobiographical writing, which the author William Dean Howells once called "the most democratic province in the republic of letters."

In her workshops and writing retreats Lorraine fuses rigorous literary techniques with a wide range of spiritual and philosophical thought. Participants learn to find their strongest writing voice, structure their stories in compelling ways, and see their lives from surprising and useful new angles. All these goals are achieved in an informal backdrop of serenity and relaxation. Why? Because gracious contemplation is a friend to creativity. The ultimate achievement always is for the writer to lead herself, and her readers, to some spiritual truth.

Lorraine also writes shorter memoiric works that have appeared in anthologies, including "Steeped in the World of Tea," and various journals and webzines such as Cairn, Journeys, Ducts, and Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing. But she doesn't always write memoir and autobiographical fiction.

A full-time journalist, Lorraine enjoys the challenges of writing stories about other people and the issues and forces that impact their lives. She has been an editor/reporter in her native New Jersey since 1982, the year she earned her master's degree in Communications from Fordham University in the Bronx. Currently, she writes for the Daily Record, where her feature articles and special series have won national, state, and regional awards. She belongs to the Story Circle Network and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
I would recommend this book to anyone who's lost a baby or to who knows someone who did.
A. Chambers
I like books written from a religious perspective but too many of them infer that love for God makes it all not hurt, which just isnt true.
Tammara Ruiz
This book is a great, unique book for parents who are grieving after the loss of a stillborn baby.
A. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan, Justin's mom on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by my grief counselor. I was a bit skeptical at first, as the author had a stillborn child, while I lost a 2 year old to Pediatric Cancer. However, it turned out to be one of the most helpful books I read. Lorraine Ash helped me heal, even just a little bit, and I am grateful to her. Reading a book actually written by a bereaved mom was infinitely more helpful than all of the books I read written by therapists who have not experienced the same kind of loss I have. I have copied quite a few exerps from her book, and read them from time to time when I need a lift. I believe I may actually get to meet the author, when she is in NY for a Walk to Remember children who have lost their lives. I hope so!

I am truly sorry for all of you bereaved parents who are searching for a book to soothe their soul. I hope you find this book as comforting as I did.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on July 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a great, unique book for parents who are grieving after the loss of a stillborn baby. My husband and I lost our first son, and were given lots of books on the process of grieving, the steps involved, and the rituals involved. After reading those books (which were very helpful and needed), this book was a breath of fresh air. This book contains one family's story about the loss of their child and what they went through after her death. It is written from the mother's point of view, which is both a great support for other Moms and a great window into the mother's mind-set for Dads. It was like listening to someone who has gone through this terrible loss, and knowing you can survive. I would recommend it to anyone who has lost a child via a stillbirth, and it would probably also be useful for family and friends to help them understand what the parents are going through.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Kennedy on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I, too, have lost a child--a beautiful son named Ryan who was stillborn at 28 weeks--and this book puts so much of the pain & sorrow that my family & I experienced into words.

This book should be read not only by those who've experienced the loss of a child themselves, but by those in the medical field--OBGYNs, neonatal nurses, labor and delivery medical staff--as it may help to educate them in dealing with bereaved parents in a sensitive manner.

This account of stillbirth is so personal, so vividly described, that Lorraine Ash could be considered The Voice for bereaved mothers who have so long struggled to put our loss into words & to try to make others (who are often insensitive or not understanding of the pain we endure) understand.

I am so sorry for anyone that loses a child to stillbirth, and I feel lucky to have found Ash's book. She was so brave--a loving and devoted mother of an Angel--to share her pain with us in this moving tribute to Victoria.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cpf65 on May 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to attend a reading by Ms. Ash this afternoon. I brought her book home and read it in a few hours.
There was not a feeling expressed in her book that I as a stillbirth mother did not either feel myself or completely understand. Ms. Ash makes stillbirth parents feel so less alone with her words. Lorraine has a gift, and through her total embrace of the life of her daughter Victoria, she has the power to help so many women and men facing the same tragic reality that she and her husband faced 5 years ago.
She reaffirmed my belief that our stillborn children's lives are a thing of beauty and that they have the power to do great things through us their parents, even though they are no longer physically present.
Thank you, Lorraine.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Murphy on July 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
DO NOT PURCAHSE IF YOU ARE RECENTLY BEREAVED.

My child was stillborn on June 5th, 2008 - just 5 weeks ago. I am desperate for spiritual guidance and for some direction from women who have experienced stillbirth and who have managed to regain their will to live. How can we accept this? How can we go on living after such a tragic loss of our baby and our futures??? Please offer some insight!
Lorriane Ash begins her story with the heartbreaking account of the day of the stillbirth. However, she instantly & miraculously finds hope within weeks after the death of Victoria, her child. She vascillates between time frames without being specific - is she in the 6th month? Is she in the 1st month? Lorrain Ash also cites 'pearls of wisdom' from numerous religions including Buddism, Shamanism, American Indian Spirituality, Christianity and Judiasm - without fully investing in any one of them. She tells stories of how she's helped others by interviewing them and feels a new 'kindness' towards them - but no insight on how to cope with the loss of your baby.

Lorraine Ash is obviously writing this book from a perspective of many years past the event. There is 'magic'in everything she does and in the very air she breathes. At this point in my grieving process - this is certainly not the case. This is a book for much, much later in the journey of grief.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen Phelps on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is such a beautiful book. God willing, it will help many heal. I read it with a box of tissues nearby. I found it so touching, so poignant. The reader is taken along to hell and back.
The resources in the back are an important source of help to everyone who needs a starting place in their own healing.
I admire Lorraine's honesty. It is all the more powerful because she didn't make it nice or pretty or idealistic. This is more than just a memoir about the tragic loss of her daughter at birth. It is a story about grief, how to grieve, the different forms grief takes for men and for women. It is a book about the different reactions people have to loss. It is a book about coming to terms with the incomprehensible things that happen to us in the blink of an eye. It is a book about living richly and fully because of tragedy--and becoming better from it. Above all, it is a book of hope and renewal.
I do not have children and I have never been pregnant. But I have experienced loss. I will recommend this book to many others who will benefit from its wisdom.
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