“A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies,” by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel, 1998.
Two women who lost their children turned to literature when self-help, memoir, and other sources of solace didn’t fill void.
This is a heartbreaking, but beautiful collection of writings, annotated by the editors, including this one by William Wordsworth, whose daughter Catherine died at age 4:
“Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.”