The grief that follows a miscarriage is a uniquely painful experience. Shannon Potsiadlo shares her experience with grief in her new memoir Be Still My Grieving Heart in order to remind others that even in their darkest moments, love and light can still be found. Below, Potsiadlo discusses writing, her healing journey and how her faith helped her move forward.
About Be Still My Grieving Heart:
You are beautiful. You will survive this challenging heartbreak. While you grieve, love yourself, and find ways to create joy… Be still and listen to your heart.
While in the third trimester of pregnancy, Shannon Potsiadlo faced the heartbreaking diagnosis that her baby had a rare condition, endangering the baby as well as her own health. As a result of these complications, Shannon birthed and said goodbye to her baby during the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. She didn’t know how she would ever recover from the devastating heartbreak of this loss. Battling grief and depression, Shannon began journaling as a way to process her feelings and waves of emotions.
Years later, when faced with another heartbreaking miscarriage at eight weeks, Shannon began writing again and became moved to share her experiences of grieving with others.
Be Still My Grieving Heart shares her personal experiences of pregnancy loss, her struggle through grief, and the recovery of her spirit through healing and self-care. Through years of writing, counseling, meditation, support from family and friends, and other methods of healing, Shannon learned love can grow from loss.
Interview with Shannon Potsiadlo
Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to share your story.
My husband and I live with our two daughters in the hill country of Texas. In general, I’m a very sensitive person. I strive to parent with love and mindfulness. I experienced a lot of healing and caring support when I would talk about my pregnancy loss with others. Friends who listened to my story suggested that I share it with more people. My grief counselor said that when we share our experiences it can help light a candle for other moms who are walking a similar path. After receiving this feedback, my heart wanted to share something that could spark a light of hope for all the beautiful mothers who are grieving pregnancy losses.
Over the years, you’ve used writing, meditation, counseling, and other methods of healing to combat grief. What has been the most helpful to you in battling grief?
I think the most helpful thing that has supported me through grief was creating a self-care and self-love routine. I dedicated time for solitude. I set an intention to focus on loving myself unconditionally while I wasn’t feeling well.
What is your favorite inspirational quote and why?
is the bird
that feels the light
when the dawn
is still dark
I love this quote because faith has been an important part of my human spiritual journey. When I had faith that I would heal and that my life would continue to be blessed my heart felt lighter.
What advice would you give to someone who has recently faced pregnancy loss?
To seek support. It’s hard to find balance at the beginning. You don’t have to grieve alone and you are not alone. There are people who would love to surround you with guidance, comfort and support.
Can you tell us about some of the positive experiences you had during your healing process?
I received an outpouring of love that I didn’t know was possible. Even though my heart was broken from experiencing loss it was also strengthened by all the love, prayers, kindness and compassion that was showered upon us. Experiencing this magnitude of love was truly moving and life changing,
What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your personal experience of pregnancy loss?
That suffering sparked a stronger connection to the light and strength inside of me. My connection to God strengthened and my faith grew more than it was before pregnancy loss.
In your book, you talk about how animals and nature have had symbolism to you in connection to your first angel baby, Rowan. Which animals have symbolism to you and why?
When I see foxes I believe they are Rowan saying hello by communicating through nature that is around me. Foxes are wild and free. I’d like to think that’s what Rowan’s spirit is like. Foxes are one of my favorite animals and they are so cute to watch. I also love birds, they lift my spirits and make me feel happy.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
I am a nature enthusiast! Nature is the most calming and enjoyable place for me to personally connect to my family, God, mother earth, and my spirit.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love collecting rocks and gemstones while exploring new places to hike. I also love spending time on the water boating, kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding.
What’s next for you? Are you working on another book?
I recently received a Texas Real Estate license so we’re looking to buy some land in the beautiful hill country. I would love to write another book, some ideas are in the works.
About the Author:
Shannon Potsiadlo graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance, and she has been gracefully dancing her way through most of life ever since.
Shannon is fond of journaling, bird watching, and boating. She lives in Austin, Texas with her musical husband and two fairy princess daughters. She has a passion for holistic healing and loves spending time with her family and friends.
She enjoys sharing her journey with other beautiful mothers and connecting with her readers.
Visit her website here for more resources on grief and to keep up with Shannon.