Book Review: Letters to My Unborn Children

In the interests of full disclosure: I work with Shawn T. Collins and I’m a friend of his.

Baby Holding Dad's FingerHe let me know about his book Letters to My Unborn Children, so I asked to borrow a copy and read it. I’m Catholic and we treat all human life as sacred, starting at conception. Shawn is not Catholic, but we certainly share this widely-held Christian belief. That said, it seems a travesty that we don’t really talk about miscarriages in either my faith or in Shawn’s. I’ve found that there are some Catholic books on the topic and that the Catechism of the Catholic Church covers the topic, but when have I heard this topic discussed? When do we hear about this in the secular world?

I was amazed to find out how common miscarriages are. Reading Shawn’s book alerted me to the fact that there are a lot of people around silently mourning the death of a family member that they never had the chance to meet. Shawn refers to parenthood as an “extreme sport” and I never realized how true that really is.

There’s a risk that a topic that isn’t brought into the open will be ignored, leading to an hidden but open wound and the source of a spreading infection. Grief can’t be ignored and it’s an important part of the healing process. In this book Shawn brings his family’s grieving out into the open and deals with it using his faith, a loving relationship with his family, and the act of writing letters to the three children that didn’t survive to be born. By no means does this solve the pain and make it go away for him or for anybody. By reading this book, however, we can get a renewed sense of the value of human life and a greater appreciation for the families that we have.

I heartily endorse this book for somebody who is going through the grief of miscarriage, and also for anybody who wants to gain further insight into just how precious human life is.

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