Founder of pregnancy loss app hopes to provide comfort with release of candid memoir exploring grief

Bloomington, MNEmbark on a poignant journey through the pages of “When Skies Are Gray: A Grieving Mother’s Lullaby” (May 21, 2024, She Writes Press), a compelling memoir by psychotherapist Lindsey Henke. Lindsey is the visionary founder of Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS), a nonprofit offering crucial support for parents navigating pregnancy after a previous perinatal loss or infant death. Her writing has been featured on Huffington Post and New York Times and she has been interviewed by USA Today and Romper. Lindsey’s candid narrative intimately unfolds her heart-wrenching stillbirth journey and the subsequent grief that enveloped her world.

“It really does get better, but not in the way you think. Your life and heart grow bigger to hold both loss and love.”

Newlywed Lindsey joyously anticipates the arrival of her first child, only to be confronted by every parent’s worst nightmare: the devastating news of her baby’s silent heartbeat. The pages of “When Skies Are Gray” navigate Lindsey’s agonizing odyssey through loss, portraying the simultaneous dance of mourning and the anticipation of new life. This heartfelt memoir serves as a comforting companion for mothers worldwide who may be navigating their own path of grief.

Through Lindsey’s personal experience, the book delivers a poignant message: the pain of loss is undeniably real, but with time, the sharp ache of grief softens. Yet, the love for the child lost endures, offering solace to grieving mothers everywhere. In the tender pages of this memoir, Lindsey assures readers that it’s not only permissible but essential to embrace that enduring love—an everlasting lullaby that echoes the timeless truth: a mother’s love never dies.

“When Skies Are Gray: A Grieving Mother’s Lullaby”

Lindsey Henke | May 21, 2024 | She Writes Press | Memoir 

Paperback | 978-1-64742-630-9 | $17.95 

Kindle | B0C9HSZDP6 | $8.99

Advance Praise for “When Skies Are Gray”

“A poignant remembrance with therapeutic underpinnings.” 

—Kirkus Reviews

“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

“A compelling memoir about the loss of a baby and the love that lives on after death. Lindsey Henke brings beauty and lightness to even the darkest moments of a bereaved mother’s broken heart. 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

“Lindsey has turned her grief story into an exquisite and moving love story about being a bereaved mother yearning for what should have been while she learns to embrace what is. 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 is an essential memoir for bereaved parents. In this visceral and visual account, Lindsey Henke shares her experience of pregnancy, loss, and healing. She 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

“This book is a must-read and a must-gift for anyone who has suffered loss or has loved someone who has. Lindsey’s words are so thoughtful, so poignant, so carefully placed on the page. She gently takes the reader by the hand and doesn’t just show them the way through grief, but walks with them. Lindsey, and her writing, are truly a gift.”

—Galit Breen, codirector of Listen to Your Mother Twin Cities

When Skies are Gray is a powerful story sharing the loss of a baby and the struggle of living on. Written with grace and vivid descriptions of the journey of the loss of Nora, Henke shares her climb back into a life that will never be the same alongside her continued bond and attachment to Nora. Although written mainly for bereaved parents, this book can provide helpful insight to health care providers’ understanding of parental grief. I am privileged to endorse this book.”

—Joann O’Leary, PhD, prenatal parent-infant specialist and author of Meeting the Needs of Parents Pregnant and Parenting After 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 and director of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death and author of Holding Space

“Full of bravery, wisdom, and insight, When Skies Are Gray is a tender retelling of resilience. My heart ached and tears flowed as Lindsey welcomed me, as both a reader and a friend, into her invisible motherhood… While every reader may not know the loss of a child, Lindsey’s words offer something to us all.”

—Rachel Lewis, author of Unexpecting: Real Talk on Pregnancy Loss

“Deeply moving, When Skies Are Gray is a testament to the fierce power of a parent’s love—a 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 Banerjee, founder and executive director of PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy

When Skies Are Gray comes from Lindsey’s unique viewpoint, grounded in her own experience as both a grieving mother and therapist whose knowledge couldn’t prepare her for the unfathomable loss she experienced… Bereaved parents reading this memoir and those who have not experienced this loss personally will find her story illuminating while also learning strategies for navigating life and pregnancy after loss.”

—Kiley Krekorian Hanish, founder of Return to Zero Center for Healing

Lindsey Henke is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist specializing in the grief that accompanies life transitions. 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 TODAY, Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Huffington Post and 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. Find out more about her at her website.

Follow Lindsey on social media: 

Facebook: @LindseyMHenke | Instagram: @LindseyMHenke 

Pregnancy After Loss Support Instagram: @pregnancyafterlosssupport

In an interview, Lindsey can discuss:

  • How she navigated life after stillbirth grief, including learning that grief doesn’t go away, you just make room for it
  • Love and grief’s endurance and resilience when journeying back into pregnancy after baby loss
  • How to harness the power of writing for healing purposes
  • How to discover joy and illuminate life’s path after stillbirth loss
  • Ways to guide mothers who are navigating grief and loss, with compassion and insight

“I had learned grief was just love longing for its beloved—my keepsake for loving.”                              –Lindsey Henke, When Skies Are Gray: A Grieving Mother’s Lullaby

An Interview with

Lindsey Henke

1. How did you navigate the aftermath of your daughter’s stillbirth and find strength to endure?

What helped me the most during the aftermath of my daughter’s death was writing. Putting my pain onto paper and expressing my grief through words became the path toward healing for me. This was further bolstered by a supportive community of fellow bereaved parents. Additionally, I prioritized self-care by nurturing my grief, practicing self-compassion, and purposefully moving through the world at a slower pace in the days, weeks, and months following my loss. Seeking therapy was another crucial step in finding understanding and validation during this challenging time.

2. What guidance would you offer to parents facing a similar loss, based on your own experience?

I believe the most important part of grieving the death of a child as a bereaved parent is honoring the need to sustain the bonds of attachment and continuing the relationship with your child who died. This can be done by incorporating rituals that feel right for you and your family into your daily life, which serves as a form of connection to your child who passed away. These rituals help us, as bereaved parents, realize that our child will not be forgotten. For instance, lighting a candle on your child’s birthday, writing letters to them, or participating in acts of kindness in their honor, can assist in maintaining a connection that validates they did exist and that they do matter. Finding ways to continue this bond with your child who died is probably the most important way of tending to your grief as you move toward healing.

3. In what ways did the process of writing your memoir contribute to your personal healing journey?

Everyone’s path toward healing is different, and research indicates that expressing grief through creative outlets, aligned with an individual’s unique style of grieving, is one way of processing pain. For me, writing became that crucial outlet. It served not only as a means of expressing my grief but also allowed me to continue being Nora’s mom. On the page, I could still parent her daily as I wrote. Sharing her story with the world is my way of publicly proclaiming that I am still a mother, that I am still her mother.

4. What key message or insight do you aspire for readers to glean from the pages of your memoir?

It might sound cliche, but my biggest hope for my memoir is that it can help validate and acknowledge the pain of other bereaved parents, making them feel seen and understood in a world that often shies away from witnessing their suffering.

5. Can you share your post-loss journey and the transformative moments that led to finding peace and joy after the loss of your daughter?

The moment that transformed my mourning into post-trauma growth and, ultimately, acceptance occurred about five months after Nora’s stillbirth when I no longer perceived my grief as suffering. Instead, I began to view my grief as love for my daughter that will never die. This change in perspective was achieved by surrendering to my mourning—the crying fits, the physical ache in my empty arms, and the new normal that sucked. Surrendering to all of it created a shift, which helped me reach the conclusion that my grief is just love for my daughter—a keepsake for loving her. This realization of creating space for grief as love eventually resulted in creating space for joy to resurface in my life, too.

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