Catch Me When I Fall: Poems of Mother Loss and Healing
by Donna Stoneham
She Writes Press

"I could not have asked for more from a mother than what I received from you in the final chapter of your life."

Poet and writer Stoneham has constructed a special tribute to her mother, Mary, now passed, whose heart, she says, opened deeper in her last days, providing inspiration for these emotive offerings. Following Mary’s passing, Stoneham began composing letters to her, providing a portion of this collection. She also imagines her mother responding, giving timely advice and comfort. In one poem, she envisions her mother as a child, lost in the Texas terrain, rescued by brothers on horseback, and avows that now she has become her mother’s rescuer as her mother prepares to leave her home and join Stoneham in California.

“If Only I had Known” cites her regrets at not spending more time with her mother on their last visit, morphing into a wider range of other things she could have done. In one of her letters, Stoneham pays homage to the great women named Mary in the Bible and to her mother, each of whom she holds “with reverence and gratitude.” The collection concludes with a letter from Mama, expressing her own regrets and reminding her daughter that when she passes, her mother will be waiting to take her hand.

Stoneham, who is a transformational leadership expert, has written other books directed toward women in crisis, advising them on how to use their gifts. She proves her own talents here as both poet and creator of highly imaginative dreamscapes that encompass her feelings about her mother and her conviction regarding her mother’s reciprocation. At times, the segments provide an almost day-by-day progression along with the perspective of several years. In more than two hundred pieces, her book gives gentle, enheartening counsel. Stoneham’s poignant poems and prose can offer hope and challenge for anyone living with and trying to process grief at the loss of a loved one.

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