Grieving Reproductive Loss: The Healing Process (about the book)

The grief associated with such reproductive losses is often minimized, denied, and considered to be outside the normal "grieving rules" of society. Yet individuals who have suffered these losses can experience profound grief and emotional pain. Their grief needs to be acknowledged by themselves and by others.

Grieving Reproductive Loss: The Healing Process acknowledges the devastating impact these losses can have. Written in "plain language," the book attempts to bring about a greater understanding of the grief associated with reproductive loss and, through the Healing Process Model(c), offers a holistic approach for constructive healthy grieving and healing of body, mind, and spirit.

The Healing Process Model©is especially helpful for individuals who have suffered a reproductive loss because it is derived from their experiences of loss and grief and differs from some existing models of grief developed in studies of widows and widowers. Bereaved parents present a special challenge due to the uniqueness of parental grief: they have experienced not only a reproductive loss and the tragic death of a child, but also the loss of part of themselves, the loss of a future life with that child, and the loss of hopes and dreams. The guidelines of the Healing Process Model© can be used for recognizing, acknowledging, and intervening in reproductive loss by the bereaved themselves, by friends and family of the bereaved, and by health care providers, whether or not trained in grief care.

The book includes chapters on grief; the body, mind, spirit connection; relating Worden's Tasks of Mourning to reproductive loss; facilitating the healing process; obstacles to grieving; issues related to reproductive loss; types of reproductive loss; reproductive loss as a family affair; establishing support groups; and caring for oneself while caring for the bereaved.


"As a member of the perinatal bereavement team at St. Mary's Hospital Centre, I am only too aware of how misunderstood is the grief involved in reproductive loss. The good news is that Montrealers Kathleen Gray and Anne Lassance have written a very comprehensive, sensitive book that can help families deal with this difficult issue. Grieving Reproductive Loss is 196 pages of excellent information for friends and families of the bereaved as well as for healthcare practitioners. I would strongly recommend this book to all health-care practitioners who work with clients affected by reproductive loss. I would also recommend it to anyone who is interested in understanding this topic further or the concept of grief in general."

Cindy Morneault

Director of Pastoral and Spiritual Services

St. Mary's Hospital Centre

The Catholic Times, January 2004

"This book speaks powerfully of the suffering long known by adults seeking the world of the parent, but often ignored, minimized or discarded by the world and the professionals who provide care. This book will serve well."

The Rev. Richard B. Gilbert

BCC, CT, Ph.D.

Resources Hotline, Volume 6, Number 6

"I found this book quite enlightening and clearly represents considerable advance concerning bereavement in the aftermath of reproductive loss. The authors are to be lauded for their efforts to fill a void in the literature by not only articulating issues related to reproductive loss but also outlining a healing process model specific to the unique grief experience following reproductive loss."

Mark Lukas

Ed.D., CT

"Some of our most profound suffering as human beings is produced by the loss of relationships with others. The grief engendered is most severe and harmful when the loss is denied, as can happen with reproductive loss. Kathleen Gary and Anne Lassance explore such loss and illustrate how a healing response to it can be elicited in individuals, those who care for them - whether in a personal or professional capacity - and society. Grieving Reproductive Loss will provide people who experience such loss, and those who seek to help them, with much needed suffering - and - harm - reduction approaches."

Margaret A. Somerville


Professor, Faulty of Medicine
McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law

"This very readable and timely book will appeal to all health professionals as well as to the bereaved and their families. Written by two experienced practitioners, it provides theoretical and practical information that is invaluable for appreciating the legitimacy of the process of mourning a reproductive loss."

Evelyn Adam


Professor Emeritus
Université de Montréal

"The extent of the grief due to pregnancy loss can be marked as I have observed, even when the loss of this new member occurs within the first trimester. This book from Gray and Lassance is a much needed and valuable contribution to the understanding of and coping with reproductive loss, as it relates their experience as practitioners in this field."

Reverend Louis Lussier

OSCam, MDiv, MD, PHD

"Grieving Reproductive Loss is a timely addition to the literature on grieving. The Healing Process Model provides a template useful in the evaluation and effective holistic treatment of grief, including the important area of spiritual healing, and is especially helpful for clinicians who often deal with questions of loss."

Richard Haber


Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics

"Grieving Reproductive Loss is a valuable and timeless book dedicated “to all those who grieve the loss of a child.” Its focus is on loss of a child due to reproductive-related conditions such as miscarriage, abortion, and still-birth, as well as post-natal death due to medical abnormalities or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But as someone whose daughter died in young adulthood, I can attest to the value of this book for anyone who has lost a child, even children older than infancy. Based on their extensive counseling experience, Gray and Lassance created this book for two types of audiences – both grieving parents and also those who counsel and/or support them. The book is thoroughly researched and referenced, is very empathetic, very practical, and I found that it addressed every aspect of the grief process that I went through. Grieving Reproductive Loss normalizes what parents go through, and helps friends and relatives to support parents through their mourning journey, no matter how long it is. I highly recommend this book."

Jennifer P. Schneider

M.D., Ph.D.

University of Arizona College of Medicine