Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart: A Journey of Pregnancy, Grief and Infant Death breaks the lonely, silent suffering of bereaved mothers facing infant and pregnancy loss. Dianna Vagianos Armentrout details her pregnancy journey with her daughter, Mary Rose, who died an hour after birth of trisomy 18, a random genetic illness described as “incompatible with life.”
For five long months of pregnancy, she knew that her baby would not live and thrive, planning a funeral and seeking hospice for her unborn daughter. The heaviness of this grief, which most women bear alone, is shared here and will comfort mothers who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
With eloquent language, fierce honesty and a record of the rawness of grief, readers in the midst of their own suffering will recognize the path that bereaved parents walk. Dianna’s experiences with infertility, motherhood, infant loss and miscarriage infuse her writing with compassion for all women.
Through journal entries, essays and poetry, Dianna invites the reader to process grief and honor the life of the child, no matter how brief. In addition, readers will learn how to support the bereaved by remembering the baby and pregnancy.
Finally there is a book to honor the pregnancy, baby and loss, loving the children past their death, loving the wombs that nurtured them and accepting the sacred path of mothering children whose bodies are broken, but whose souls are intact and perfectly whole. This book shines with love and the knowledge that even the briefest life is holy.
Read it. Share it. Spread the word. We no longer have to grieve our infants and pregnancies alone.
This is a searing and wise telling of one woman's journey through the most difficult landscapes of faith and grief. Dianna Vagianos Armentrout writes with such honest and tender sadness that her words eventually merge with light.
Amy Wright Glenn, Author of Birth, Breath, and Death:
Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy and Life as a Doula
All grief is a meditation on the unexplainable. Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart explores the excruciating depths of loss in a tone of elegiac prayerfulness. We have no choice but to accept death and mourning, but in our hearts we never agree to it. Dianna’s beautiful book, through language and love brings us along this unendurable pathway to as much comprehension as is possible.
Joanna Clapps Herman, writer of No Longer and Not Yet
and Anarchist Bastard: Growing up Italian in America
Such a writing is divinely inspired, a balm and real hope for any bereaved mother’s heart, and is quite frankly a necessary guidepost of observations and lessons for every member of society. I am a bereaved mother, and if you consider yourself part of my village, my community, my society, I must ask that you read and heed the value of Dianna’s journey.
Heidi Faith, stillbirthday founder
This deeply emotional, heart-filled book could only have been written by a mother who has gone through the loss of her baby. This is a jewel of a book that can help other mothers walk this difficult path. May this book help them in their pain.
Jan Tritten, Editor and Founder of Midwifery Today
Dianna Vagianos Armentrout writes with the eloquence of a poet and the empathy of a grieving mother. Moreover it’s a must-read for anyone caring for and loving families who mourn for their children in the spirit world.
Terry Jones-Brady, Author of A Mosaic Heart: Reshaping the Shards of a Shattered Life
Dianna’s transformation from brokenness to wholeness, from suffering to healing, “turning pain into Light and Love” is a witness to the impact of one tiny baby girl and to the path that they both traveled writing their story together.
Nancy Mayer-Whittington Co-founder of Isaiah’s Promise
Author of For the Love of Angela
The female voice rises above the grief of carrying to term a child who will not live long and illuminates the “raw and holy” one-hour they shared together. The author celebrates her daughter’s life, no matter how short, with the certain knowledge that love never dies.
Dianalee Velie, Author of four poetry books including The Alchemy of Desire
CLICK TO READ MORE PRAISE FOR WALKING THE LABYRINTH OF MY HEART