“This poignant memoir contributes to the social movement of destigmatizing grief by reminding us that grief is just love.”

—Dr. Jessica Zucker, psychologist and author of I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, a Movement


When Skies Are Gray: A Grieving Mother’s Lullaby

Lindsey M. Henke’s debut memoir

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Lindsey Henke is freshly married and a newly practicing psychotherapist when she finds out she is pregnant with her first child. On a cold Minnesota night in December 2012, after a perfect pregnancy, Lindsey goes into labor—only to be told upon arrival at the hospital that her baby has no heartbeat.

After the stillbirth of her daughter, Lindsey grapples with the unbearable agony of losing a child. Over the next year and half, as she mourns the loss of one child while simultaneously trying to hold space for the joy of expecting another baby, she learns that grief can live side by side with joy.

When Skies Are Gray offers a poignant message to any mother who is grieving: Your pain is real. The sharp ache of the grief you feel will soften over time, though your love for the child you lost will always remain. And it’s okay to feel that love; it’s a mother’s love, and like lullabies, a mother’s love never dies.

Praise for When Skies Are Gray

  • “If you are a bereaved mother, you will feel seen and comforted, and if you love a bereaved mother, you will gain a glimpse into her deep grief in this breathtaking book.”
    —Anna Whiston-Donaldson, New York Times best-selling author of Rare Bird: A Memoir of Love and Loss
  • “Sincere, heartfelt, and real, Henke’s memoir is grief and love woven together, inextricably. Her wisely chosen and descriptive reflections belong to each bereaved parent, and all who support them.” —Amy Wright Glenn, founder of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death and author of Holding Space
  • “An essential memoir for bereaved parents. In this visceral and visual account, Lindsey captures the duality of life, its joys and sorrows, in this authentic, lyrical, and heartfelt story. Sprinkled with wit and wisdom on every page, this honest memoir feels like coffee with a friend. When Skies Are Gray is an invaluable companion on the unpredictable path of motherhood.” —Alexis Marie Chute, author of the award-winning memoir Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After Loss
  • “Through When Skies Are Gray, Lindsey cracks wide open the stigma that parental grief and bereavement are topics avoided in the ‘mommy-verse.’ The reality is not every mother leaves the maternity ward with a healthy newborn. Not every birth story can be wrapped up in a perfect pink or blue bow. But through Lindsey’s words, you’ll find there is beauty in talking about the sad stories, too. Her love for her daughter Nora lives on through each and every page.” —Jane Chertoff, former editor of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine
  • “Deeply moving, When Skies Are Gray is a testament to the fierce power of a parent’s lovea force unbreakable even in death. A sterling new addition to the babyloss library, Lindsey Henke’s candid account of loss, despair, hope, and healing should be required reading for the newly bereft. Not to miss!” —Samantha Durante Banarjee, founder and executive director of PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy

Meet the Author

Lindsey M. Henke is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist specializing in the grief that accompanies life transitions, specifically during motherhood. She founded Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS), a nonprofit for parents pregnant after a previous perinatal loss or infant death. Her writing has been featured on TODAY.com and in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Huffington Post, and the New York Times. Lindsey lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where during winter she can be found with her nose in a book. The rest of the year she enjoys hiking with her two living children and husband.

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Preorder now from your favorite bookseller