Books authored by Emma Mellon, PhD

Still Life. A Parent’s Memoir of Life Beyond Stillbirth and Miscarriage” by Emma Mellon, PhD 

Available online from Amazon or Sunstone Press.

“Just as the light of a new star continues through the universe long after its explosive beginning, the experience of stillbirth accompanies parents through the years. Far beyond pain and grief, the story continues.” –from "Still Life"

      My son Zachary was stillborn in 1988. I grieved and moved on like so many other parents. 
      But recently, I’ve become aware of the silence that has accumulated around his short life. His name rarely comes up, and when I look at his picture, I see the face of a stranger. 
      So, I decided to look back for traces of him over these twenty-eight years. Do we have an ongoing bond? Does the child who flashed through my life like star light leave anything behind? And how has his little life and death shaped my life over the years? 
      What I found surprised me. “Still Life” tells that story. I hope it will help other parents see the ongoing influence of their stillborns in their lives.
       Here is an excerpt.

Do You Have Children?

         For parents who have lost a baby, this isn’t a simple question, especially at the beginning.

         In the years since Zachary’s death, I’ve tried on many answers to the question. The problem is that there are so many variables: who asks the question, how well do I know the person, is the setting personal or professional, how am I feeling at the time.

         It’s complicated.


         “Do you have children?”

         “No. I don’t”

         During the early grief, I just said no. Unless the question came from a close friend, I wasn’t ready to share my feelings or tell our story. But I was denying him. I could feel myself shrink and fade and rage every time I said I didn’t have children.


         “Do you have children?”

         “Do I have children!?

         There’s something so piercingly direct about the question as it’s phrased. It feels like a test, and I am going to fail. Do you have? Do you have the answer? Do you have proper identification? Do you have the secret word? Do you have what it takes? Do you have what just about everybody else has?


         “Do you have children?”

         “Yes, I do.”

         I walk through my forties and fifties learning how to handle these conversations. In the seconds between question and answer, I feel the chasm opening under us. The questioner doesn’t know that we’re about to fall into a different conversation than he or she had expected. A conversation that will connect us in an intimate way.


         “Do you have children?”

         “I did.”

         It’s like I’ve thrown a bomb into the room. This is no longer a leisurely, getting to know you chat. I’ve brought in the darkness. The asker backs up, gasps, squints to see me more clearly, wonders what to say next. I feel exposed, embarrassed that I’ve caused shock and stirred sympathy.


         “Do you have children?”

         “I had a son, but he died.”

         How do I answer in a way that tells my story and his? How do I give my child his due in the sixty seconds that I have? Do I show photographs? Do I tell the story of my pregnancy? What is appropriate? I feed them information to get us over the awkwardness: “I’d taken two weeks off before my scheduled Cesarean. I spent the day looking at day care centers and interviewing a pediatrician. That evening, after supper, I noticed there was no movement.”


         “Do you have children?”

         “I had a son, Zachary, but he died two weeks before his due date. It was terrible, but I’m fine now. It’s always good to talk about him.”

         I worry less about the other person and about my own feelings. And I can say his name with pride. The conversation is about him.


         “Do you have children?”

         “I had a son, Zachary, but he died two weeks before his due date. It was terrible. It’s always good to talk about him. He changed my life.”

         I’ve found an answer that is simple and complete.

"Waking Your Dreams: Unlock the Wisdom of Your Unconscious." by Emma Mellon, PhD

"Dreams come as gifts, as learnings, as gossip. They can entice like an amusement park on a warm summer night or draw us into deep-sea territory. In dreams we seem to live other lives; we find companionship and sometimes magic. They offer us mystical experiences, jokes, surprises and warnings. Dreams draw us, too, because they bring answers and sometimes, salvation."

Available online at Amazon and at Health Communications Inc.