by Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): In the face of loss, specifically the loss of an unborn child, how do mothers and fathers process their grief and move on with their lives?
That is the question Jihan Williams provides insight for in her first book entitled Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage: Healing Insights on Pregnancy Loss for Sufferers and the People Around Us.
The book, published on September 29, 2021, is described as “an emotional and raw recount of one woman’s journey in the six months following her second-trimester miscarriage.”
In the context of a black Caribbean woman, Williams uses her loss and grief to write her book to help other women and the people around them heal “by exploring her physical, emotional and spiritual experiences in that time.”
Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage is a book for the parents and the family and friends who now have to navigate having a loved one suffer such a loss.
“A lot of people say they don’t know what to say; they don’t know what to do. So the book tells you and helps to guide you on things that you can say, things that you should avoid. [It] even gives you sample text messages you could send… It’s really hoping to bridge that informational gap that we have when it comes to pregnancy loss… Especially for people who have had pregnancy loss as well. What can you do to help your healing? I give you ideas of what helped me and even go as far as to make recommendations to the state on how the state could help people who go through pregnancy loss,” explained Williams during the November 26 broadcast of WINN’s Island Tea.
The self-published author gave some insight into how, through journaling, she was able to keep a check on her mental state for her first paperback.
“Writing is always my preferred mode of expression. And it just started a day where I started writing down all the things that I was feeling. I was really scared. I wouldn’t; I wouldn’t even sugarcoat it. I was really scared that something was happening to me mentally because my anxiety was off the chain; scared to be around people, scared to go out in public,” explained Williams, further saying that she used the initial journaling as a way to get the feelings out for not just her relief but for others to understand.
“Down to the most morbid thoughts, down to the anger, down to everything I was feeling, I started to express it. And then as time went on, I started having experiences with people, the same thing where you had friends that tell you they don’t know what to say… What would I tell people who said it or know what to say? So I started writing those things down too. And the more I started to write, the more I realised people need to know these things.”
Apart from writing her thoughts and experiences down, Williams also figured out how to publish her work and distribute the book without dealing with gatekeepers’ approval of her journey.
Lifting the Weight of Miscarriage: Healing Insights on Pregnancy Loss for Sufferers and the People Around Us is available on Amazon or through the author herself.
Williams does not forget the pain and loss of the fathers in her book. In the aptly titled “The Forgotten Fathers” chapter, Williams reminds her readers that two parents suffered the loss together.
“Oftentimes, you know, the man in the story just has to step up and take care of the mother while grieving. There’s no real space for him [to grieve] even in the immediate aftermath of things because now he has to be the one who’s cooking or cleaning or getting medication. You know, just taking care of everything else in the immediate aftermath of everything. Of course, while the woman is healing physically… but he had to go to work, he had to wake up, and she had food when she [got] up and things like that.”
You can listen to the full interview here: