Today I am reviewing Ask Me His Name by Elle Wright. A very emotional read, but one I am very glad I decided to pick up.
What do you do when the unthinkable happens?
Elle Wright had an admittedly easy pregnancy, and in May 2016 she and her husband welcomed their son, Teddy, into the world. Just a few hours later, they woke to find him cold and unresponsive, and the happiest day of Elle’s life had turned into every parent’s worst nightmare. Three days after delivering him into the world, she sat with Teddy as he took his last breaths, and tucked him in for the final time.
Ask Me His Name is a moving account of Elle’s pregnancy, Teddy’s life, and what happens when a mother leaves hospital with empty arms. In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, but conversations about the heartbreakingly frequent experience are few and far between. In this honest and hopeful exploration of mothering, Elle shows us how she navigated a parenthood no one had prepared her for.
I will start off by saying do not read this book without a box of tissues handy. I sobbed my heart out whilst I read it, the story of Teddy is truly a heartbreaking one. That said, the book also made me smile, laugh, and feel how much love there was (and still is) for little Teddy. He may no longer be here with us but he certainly will never be forgotten!
I was particularly interested in reading this book as I know people in my life who have lost their children, so I’ve been stuck on that other side of the fence, the ‘I don’t know what to say’ club. Sometimes words just aren’t enough. Reading this, and seeing the situation from Elles side, was actually a big help in that respect. Though, like everyone, I hope to never have to deal with this sort of situation ever again, I feel like I’d be more prepared now for having read this, I feel like I’d know better how to act around grieving parents, what to say or what to do.
The pure, and sometimes brutal, honesty with which this book is written made it a refreshing read. Elle puts her thoughts and emotions on the page, completely unfiltered, which gives us a raw insight to how she felt as she worked through her grief. Everyone grieves differently, I know, but I think Elle and her husband are both incredibly brave and strong for what they have achieved in the time since Teddys passing. Publishing a book and creating a blog that will go on to help so many other people, raising insane amounts of money for the NICU unit that took care of Teddy until the end. All whilst battling with their own grief and emotions.