Mo(u)rning Joy, the story of our first son, Caswell, is now available. It’s been available for a very short time while booksellers worked it into their systems, but I hadn’t announced it until yesterday, the first of October, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

I got the sales report for September this morning. In the short time that it was quietly available, it sold way too many copies. Too many, because this means, that quietly, someone typed stillbirth, or miscarriage, or infant loss, or child loss, or grief into the search field of a bookseller’s webpage. People were looking for this book. People were searching for comforting words the same way I was. I cried hard tears this morning. For each sale, it means that someone is in pain.

I always give away early copies of my books to hand-selected readers. People I feel the book will touch in some way. For Mo(u)rning Joy, I gave them away in appreciation. I wanted all of the people that helped me heal, helped me grieve, helped me become whole, helped me become a mother, helped me be a mother, to know. To know that they mattered.

You know what I got back? Undeserved thank you’s.

Thank you for writing this.

Thank you for saying what I was thinking/feeling/avoiding.

Thank you for your help.

Undeserved thank you’s.

And every time someone reaches out to me, it’s bittersweet. I’m so very blessed that God gave me good words to talk about pain. I’m so very overwhelmed that there is pain.

But, with pain, there is growth, and perspective, and the morning. The bright, shiny, glorious morning. The kind of morning that only comes when you’ve managed to survive a shattered night.

This October, I’m dedicating most of my social media to Infant Loss Awareness. I’ll be annoying with it. Y’all will deal.

Will you light a candle for a baby whose parents never got to meet them? Will you say a baby’s name you’ve never met? Will you lift someone up, not by giving advice, or trying to offer empty words of comfort, but by just showing up? Will you acknowledge someone’s pain and meet them there in that space, no matter how uncomfortable? Could you acknowledge your own? No matter the source?

Will YOU post on social media your Morning Joy? The little joys that come out of healing through the crushing blow of what you thought something would look like, to get to the other side of what it does look like; life.

Use the #MorningJoy.

Spread the JOY.

In love and cowgirl boots,