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Catch Me When I Fall: Poems of Mother Loss and Healing Paperback – May 9, 2023

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Editorial Reviews


“Poet and prophet, traveler in the realms between the worlds—the here and the greater there—Donna Stoneham is our guide to the landscapes and the inscapes of grief, loss, and the quickening of the human heart. Through this potent telling, she mentors and helps us renew and recover the connection with the love and spirit that never dies.”
—Jean Houston, PhD, co-founder of the Human Potential Movement and best-selling author of The Possible Human, The Search for the Beloved, and A Passion for the Possible

“The other day I ran into a friend who told me, in a halting voice, that she’d just lost her beloved mother. The first thought I had was that I wanted to give her a copy of Donna Stoneham’s beautiful book.
Catch Me When I Fall is a balm for the grieving heart, a reminder that love never leaves—it just shifts dimensions.”
—Julie Barton, New York Times best-selling author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself

“Whether or not you are religious, spiritual, or believe in life after death, Donna Stoneham’s beautiful poems about loss and her letters to her dead mother will reach into your own grieving heart and guide you towards healing. Although
Catch Me When I Fall is Donna’s personal story, anyone who’s had and lost a mother will relate to the connection and pain and will be uplifted—because Donna shows us that although death may end a physical life, it does not end a relationship.”
—Virginia A. Simpson, PhD, Bereavement Care Specialist, and award-winning author of The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life

“Navigating grief is both an individual and collective experience, fraught with the vagaries of family history and unique personal struggles. This universal theme is turned over and over again in Donna's effective and honest writing. It is an intimate recollection and fearless accounting of the uncharted paths of grief, but it is also a metamorphosis, as she, and I believe her mother, discover the tenuous connection they thought they had with each other was not tenuous at all, but one of strongly wrought love.”
—Cindy Eastman, author of Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered To Write Down

“One suggestion, given my own tears, before you even crack open Stoneham’s collection of poems—maybe don’t start reading in a public space. I say that because even though we have our whole lives to prepare for the moment we become motherless, are we ever really prepared for, as Stoneham describes, ‘the slack tide’ of our ragged hearts? But persevere, and you will begin to understand what we call the restorative power of grief. How it moves with you, guides you, and then loosens its grip.”
—Nina Gaby, editor of Dumped: Women’s Stories of Women Unfriending Women

“This very personal story of mother-daughter love captures the longing that never leaves us. The umbilical cord of mother-daughter love is twisted by conflicting values and individuation, but unwinds again at the end of life, when mind gives way, and reason steps aside to let love and longing be fulfilled. Written as a dialogue that extends even beyond death, Stoneham’s masterful weave of prose and poetry is a primer on moving through sadness toward understanding and peace.”
—Mary E. Plouffe, author of I Know It in My Heart: Walking through Grief with a Child

“I began reading Donna Stoneham’s 
Catch Me When I Fall shortly before the one-year anniversary of my beloved mother’s death. As I walked beside Donna through her own grief journey, I rode the too-familiar waves of sadness and overwhelm, of love and transcendence. With her powerful poetry and prose, Donna reminded me to look to the Universe for signs from my mom, to trust in the ultimate plan, and to honor our lost loved ones by spreading joy and positivity. I will forever be grateful for the healing power of this book.”
—Katrina Anne Willis, author of Parting Gifts

“The primal wound of losing a mother is something most of us will be asked to endure in our lifetimes. Donna Stoneham has given us the gift of letting us move with her over the rough ground of her own profound loss. Her poetry, poignant letters to, and communications from her mother invite us to descend into the darkness, let our hearts break wide open to love and walk the hard and holy path of grief and loss as a portal to our own becoming.”
—Suzanne Anderson, author of You Make Your Path by Walking: A Transformational Field Guide Through Trauma and Loss and co-author of The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love and Lead

“Amid the severance of earthly ties, walk with Donna Stoneham as she tenderly stitches and dresses the wound. This is difficult heart work which we will all have to do; here is a gracious reminder we do not have to do it alone.”
—Lt. Brian Bort, chaplain in the US Navy and author of The Strange Fish and Gigantic Brittle

“Donna Stoneham’s poignant collection of poetry and prose, 
Catch Me When I Fall, reminds us all—whatever our faith, whatever notions we may have about the afterlife—that our deepest relationships don’t have to end when a dear one passes from this life. Comforting, uplifting, and deeply moving, this book shows us that love’s form may change with death, but the conversations with those we hold most dear can continue, if only we keep our hearts open.”
—Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, marriage/family therapist and author of Filling Her Shoes

Catch Me When I Fall, Donna Stoneham provides us with not only a roadmap to the wild country of grief, but also an intimate travelogue. In poetry and letters, she documents every step of her journey, from the depths of bereft despair to the heights of transcendent communion. This book is a testament of a mighty love too strong for death to conquer.”
—Rev. John R. Mabry, PhD, author of Growing into God: A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Mysticism and coauthor of Soul Journeys: Christian Spirituality and Shamanism as Pathways for Wholeness and Understanding

“This collection of poems brings to mind Kintsugi, the Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery with gold. The Japanese believe that by embracing and lovingly repairing what is broken, a deeper beauty is revealed. Stoneham has spun gold in these words to repair her fractured heart. Anyone who has had a complicated mother daughter relationship, or is searching for closure after mother loss, will find comfort and truth in her words.”
—Hollye Dexter, author of Fire Season and The Shift

“Life comes with tangles. For many, the tangle that occurs in the mother-daughter relationship is painful and ongoing—but sometimes it can loosen, allowing a new avenue for love. Donna Stoneham taps into the deep longing that comes when her mother is trapped in her own collage of expectations and fear. Donna poignantly expresses the unfolding ability to see her mother, and I love that the transformation for Donna and her mom continues beyond her mom’s time on earth.”
—Gail Warner, author of Weaving Myself Awake: Voicing the Sacred Through Poetry

Catch Me When I Fall is a love story and a tale of metamorphosis that offers inspiration to all who suffer with wounds from our most primal relationship—with our mother. Interspersed with Stoneham’s lovely poetry, this touching, beautiful memoir takes us through the storm of grief to a peaceful resolution with the awareness that a relationship can thrive beyond physical death. The relationship between Stoneham and her mother continues to transform, giving us a message of hope and healing that is eternal.”
—Cheryl Krauter, MFT, author of Odyssey of Ashes: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Letting Go

About the Author

Donna Stoneham is an executive coach, transformational leadership expert, speaker, lifelong poet, former hospice chaplain, and spiritual seeker who was born and raised in the Texas panhandle. She is also the author of The Thriver’s Edge: Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love, and Lead. When Donna’s not writing, coaching, traveling, or volunteering, she loves to hike, ski, sail, kayak, and do anything else that involves communing with spirit and nature. She, her wife, and their rescue dogs live in Point Richmond, California.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ She Writes Press (May 9, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1647424283
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1647424282
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches

About the author

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Donna Stoneham, PhD, is a Northern California transplant with deep Texas roots. For the past twenty-five years, she’s worked as an executive coach, transformational leadership consultant, and educator, helping hundreds of Fortune 1000 and not-for-profit leaders, teams, and organizations unleash their power to thrive™ through her company, Positive Impact, LLC. Donna has written for the International Journal of Coaches in Organizations and Presence, is a certified Integral Coach®, and is a popular speaker and media guest. When she’s not coaching, she enjoys swimming, traveling, writing and spending time at home with her spouse and rescue dogs in Pt. Richmond, CA.

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