Authors Preface

Whatever good things we build end up building us.  Jim Rohn

Like many others, I always knew that I had a book (or two) in me – the challenge was to decide what I would write about. In August 2009 I sat with my mentor, feeling a mixture of nervousness and excitement, discussing the list of ten or more options that I had identified as potential best sellers. As he looked down the list I could see him dismissing each option mentally and on reaching the bottom he looked directly at me, paused and took a deep breath. My nervousness increased and my excitement quickly faded. After a few moments he asked, “Why aren’t you writing about something that you are emotionally connected to, something you have personally experienced?”

My mindset was focused on business, human resources and wealth creation options, all of which I had personally experienced, so completely dumbfounded I asked what he meant. “Why not write about your experience of losing a baby?” he said. I was taken aback. “Why on earth would I do that?” I quickly responded. “Have you got something to say about it?” he asked. “Well, umm yes”, I said with hesitation, “But why would anyone want to hear what I have to say?”  “Why wouldn’t they?”, he retorted. There was only one way to find out.

So began another chapter in my journey towards discovering my purpose.

The process started slowly. I was highly effective at procrastinating. I drafted outline after outline, changed the chapter headings a dozen times, worried about completely unnecessary and irrelevant things and then finally took some action. I started my research by creating a website and questionnaire for women and men who had experienced this type of loss. I wanted to seek guidance and get some idea of what others had experienced in the hope that I would also discover what people might want to read about.

I had no idea how profound this entire experience would be (and still is) for me. I was attending a conference where my pending book had been mentioned in passing by the facilitator. At the break I had over a dozen men and women thank me for starting along this path. They began to share with me stories of their loss as if they were desperate to find someone who knew, who understood. I was overwhelmed. A colleague and friend of mine asked if I would like her to share her story. I stared at her in disbelief as she told me about the loss of her little girl over 18 years previously, only a few weeks prior to her due date. We talked for an hour over lunch, and from that moment a shift occurred for both of us in different ways. Rose stepped on to a rollercoaster ride of emotions. She became acutely aware of how this experience was still impacting on her life, how it had held her back from being the person she knew she could be for nearly two decades. She became my inspiration to keep going. My heart ached as I observed her realisation of how immersed in grief she still was and the sadness that came with her understanding that she had not only lost a daughter, she had somehow lost herself along the way.

There was no coincidence in the collision of our paths. We had come into each other’s lives as catalysts for growth and healing.  While the road we each needed to take was different we both knew that our lives would be connected in some way from this point forward. As Rose recommenced her journey from heartbreak to healing I started along a different path – a path that was less about my own pregnancy loss and more about my need to re-connect with others. I continued with a great deal of fear about how this experience would affect me.

Within six weeks I had received over 500 responses to my survey. I was overcome with emails of gratitude. Many women were writing to me thanking me for simply asking them to share their story, something they had never been asked to do before, even by their closest friends and family. I was shocked and saddened. Why is it that a complete stranger can provide more comfort to these women than their own family?

It was then that I realised I’m not a stranger. I am inextricably connected to many beautiful people. It became clear to me that my purpose is not simply to write this book. My purpose is to become more of myself, to become comfortable in my own skin, to accept the beacon of light that I have within me and to shine this light unconditionally.

And so my story continues…