Customer Reviews: I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy
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on May 1, 2010
I've been following Angie's blog since the day Audrey was born so I knew much of her story.

One thing I really wondered about when ordering the book was whether or not it would be different than her blog. So, I will attempt to answer that for others wondering. The answer is yes, and no. It's not insofar as Audrey's life was very short, and Angie has blogged about it openly and comprehensively, so at some point, there's only so many ways you can tell the same story. So for anyone who has read her blog, there will be a familiarity about the book in both the details of the story and Angie's uniquely sensitive, poignant, and poetic style of writing.

However, there's a depth that comes in the book that I don't think is reached on the blog. By spending the entire book on essentially one topic, she takes you farther into her journey and their thoughts and broken hearts than is possible in any single post on her blog. While most of the details shared are not new (though a few are), but there is a cohesiveness and complexity that is new. Rather than getting bits of the story, one post or page at a time, you can weep with her through the entire journey at once.

The story is gripping anyway, but Angie's writing is artistically, beautiful. It is so intimate and delicate, that you really feel like you're sitting in the waiting room with her, wanting to yell at the lady in Target with her, standing at Audrey's funeral with her, ministering to other women with her, listening to her sweet girls with her, crying your heart out to God with her. The book is breathtaking and challenging.

While never preachy, the book is incredibly instructive on grief and fear and expectations and surrender to the Lord. Because it's not written as a lecture or discourse, the reader feels safe and free to explore her own journey as Angie invites you down hers. She displays an intimacy with the Lord that is a wonderful model to her readers, but does so without a hint of pride or self-righteousness.

Angie's book really helped me deal with the balance between the grief of the past, and the hope of the future. Her conclusion is that they are inextricably connected, which is such a welcome change from the general notion that they are mutually exclusive. By processing Angie's conclusions, it helped me be freed of the pressure I was putting on myself to "get over" my grief and "move on" and from the guilt that came when I did allow myself to feel hope again.

You will weep. You will be challenged. You will question. But Angie guides the reader through these things delicately, and always pointing back to the fundamental truth that despite our feelings, our God remains unchanged. She continually directs the reader back to the Word, and back to the Lord.

I like that there are some very practical sections of the book, including a section for loved ones of the bereaved, and for how to explain grief to young children. Her husband Todd also writes a short section, which is very instrumental in sharing the man's heart in a story like this. It helped me understand my husband a little more in our own grief story.

While this book is specifically about the loss of a child, I believe it would be helpful to anyone who is bereaved. Some details are pregnancy or parenting specific, but the questions asked of God in a time of grief and the overarching themes of faith and love and trust are universal.

Even if you know Angie's story, I highly recommend you read this book. If you've NOT read her blog, do so. It can be found at audreycaroline[dot]blogspot[dot]com And then, get the book, too.

Thank you Angie, for allowing God to minister through your life and through Audrey's.
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on April 17, 2010
I "met" Angie through her blog just a few short weeks after the death of my 15 year old daughter Rachel on April 28, 2009. Angie's journey is intimate, transparent and one that glorifies Him. This book is for anyone who has lost a child, I will be sharing it with some mother's that share our loss. The "Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy" is just that a dance... a dance with the ONE longs to comfort us. I too am an "injured dancer, and yet one who wants her life to bring glory to the one who allowed sorrow and joy to dance at all." Thank you Angie for sharing Audrey with us and yes she is changing the world. I know that she has changed me!
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on April 17, 2010
I discovered Angie's blog just before sweet Audrey was born and have been held captive ever since! I pre-ordered the book and actually forgot about it! It arrived just before we were leaving for Spring Break and I put it in my purse to read while on vacation. During our drive, something made me grab the book and decide to open it up. I don't normally read in the car, like most people, it makes me car sick. I started the book and 3 hrs later, set it down, finished. What an eye-opening and wonderful journey Angie took me on. Yes, I cried, even though I know how the story ends and even read parts out loud to my husband, who might have teared up as well, but I'll never tell! I also enjoyed having her husband's point of view. This was an excellent read and I'm so glad I bought it. It forced me to dig deeper into my relationship with Christ and for that, I am so thankful! Well done!
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on April 30, 2010
I first met Angie in 1997 where we both attended college together. I was honored to call her my friend. Angie has a way with the world that is indescribable. With her book, she has a way with the world through her words. Not only did she help me with the grief of losing a pregnancy, but she helped me cope with the loss of my father recently through her words.

I am so honored to have gotten to know sweet Audrey through her book.

"In that moment the Lord took her from our arms into His. Right before our eyes, she passed from this world to the next, and all she had ever known was love." (p. 87)

I am so proud of you Angie. So proud of the woman you have become, so proud of your strength.

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on April 26, 2010
A year and half ago my second son was given a fatal prenatal diagnosis at our 20 week ultrasound and I went through a situation very similar to this. I will just say that this book really hits home and reading through it I kept saying time after time how much I agreed with what she was saying and I felt the same way.

If you have a friend or a family member who has lost an infant or been given a fatal prenatal diagnosis then you MUST buy them this book and buy a copy for yourself too so you can understand what they are going through.

I can't say enough good things about this book and the scripture that she uses to accompany it.
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on April 17, 2010
I've followed Angie's story (the entire Smith family's story, really) on Angie's blog, so I knew what happened to Audrey. However, Angie's words were written so well and with such a sense of grace and sorrow that I found myself crying as I read Audrey's diagnosis, when she passed away, and as Angie (and later Todd) shared their grief and how their family processed their loss.

What I love about this book is its simplicity in telling the story of Audrey, and how God has used her to minister to others. Angie's words hit home -- they aren't over the top, and they don't seem like they're trying to force you to believe what she believes. I'm not super religious, but her words are so gentle that you feel peace as you read, and you want to know Angie's peace as well. I'm so glad I got to know Audrey through this book. Thank you, Angie, for sharing her, and what she has meant.
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on April 18, 2010
I, too, knew the story of Audrey. Somehow, though, knowing the end to the story didn't prepare me for the emotional ride this book takes you on. Angie's deep connection with God and her soul-abiding love for Audrey and her entire family jumped out of the pages and into my heart. I cried more times than I can count while reading it. Angie's writing is so fluid and beautiful that one page seems to turn the next without even a rustle.
What I love most is how she clearly and without apology struggles and yet praises God through her journey. Sorrow and joy. Her trust in God's power and providence touches much more than the loss of a child and can bring healing and peace to people facing many different trials.
I'm so thankful that Angie chose to share her daughter with the world. Sweet Audrey, I can't wait to meet you.
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on April 12, 2016
Excellent read for providing hope and encouragement during difficult circumstances! I ordered and read this after receiving a similar diagnosis with one of our children. It was great to walk through such similar circumstances with the author's Christian perspective. The scriptures at the end of each chapter on grief, suffering, and hope were so very helpful; I kept a list to refer back to frequently, and still have that list that I pass on to others. This is a great read for anyone suffering through infertility, miscarriage, or other struggles along the lines of fertility/child baring.
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on October 17, 2013
Although I never lost a baby I did lose my oldest son at age 37. He left behind a wife and two daughters that have never been the same since. This book deals with loss and in a very real way. It deals with the emotions from beginning to end and in a way that is understandable. Angie, brings the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus into life. She stressed how Martha brought the problems to Jesus without trying to say what she wanted Him to do about it. She just brought the problem and left it at His feet.

Angie takes faith to new levels but also shows how faith can encourage, but it doesn't remove the hurt. You may know what God is doing, or you may not, but loss hurts and it is different for everyone. I loved the way she brought her three girls into the loss in such a way that they could learn to cope with the loss of their baby sister. She allowed them to learn and discover God's goodness in the midst of tragedy and heartache. Children understand way more then we give them credit. My granddaughters lost their father, ages 11 and 4. They have never been the same since. It will be 10 years this coming May. The oldest is turning 21 in April. She still hurts more than she can express in words. The younger one actually saw her father on the floor (her mother did not realize she had gone in the room) and carried the effects of seeing her father, his face totally blue from having cardiac arrest. She is a lovely girl now with a wonderful singing talent given from God and a heart that loves God. But she too still hurts.

This book can help, parent, siblings, friends and everyone else deal with emotions, feelings and loss caused by death of a loved one. Read it, share it with friends. It will help. Angie is gifted with being able to write what she is feeling and experiencing. Let her walk you through your loss.
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on June 30, 2016
Do you want to cry!?!? This give a great understanding and brings more compassion to me for the family that looses a child. I need to read this to know that is is OK to feel this way and go through the gamma of emotions/feelings with my own loss.
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