The Best Book Review I’ll Ever Receive

As some of you know, on March 15, 1998  my wife Tammy and I lost our son Ethan.  It was his due date and he was stillborn.  I know it’s cliche to say that a part of us died then, too, but there’s just no better way to phrase it.  Ethan did not die alone that day.

The other thing that happened that day was that the seeds of my first novel were planted inside me.  Obviously, there are things that happened before and since that day that made me who I am and shaped the story, but the seeds of this story were planted that day.

On Saturday November 22nd, I will be joined by dozens of people that I love and admire to celebrate the release of my novel Where The Broken Lie.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that night, but probably not for the reasons most people think.  I honestly don’t view this as a celebration of either me or the book.  I am going to be surrounded by people I love and admire.  People who have in some way or another played a part in making me who I am and thus contributed to the making of this book.  I want to celebrate all of us.  And I want you to know that:

  • When you wrote and sang your song, it lifted me.
  • When you took your pictures, it encouraged me.
  • When you made your cupcakes, it made me fat and gave me cavities. But it also inspired me.
  • When you sacrificed your dreams for those of your children, it moved me.

And I want to celebrate Ethan.  And I want this party to be the unwritten epilogue of the book that was born from his death.


One night when I was confessing to Tammy my fears that this book was inadequate, she said something that made everything okay for me – which is something she has always done.  She said, “You’ve written a beautiful book that will be around forever.  What a wonderful tribute to your son.”

My goodness is that woman right for me.


“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell).

So, yeah, a part of Tammy and I died with Ethan.  But a part of Ethan is going to live forever.  In the pages of the book that his daddy wrote for him.  And in all of us Hearts Left Behind.





Filed under Ethan Merrill Rempfer, Loss of a child, Uncategorized, Where The Broken Lie

5 responses to “The Best Book Review I’ll Ever Receive

  1. Kitty Jouris

    You continue to amaze me with your ability to put into words your inter most feelings! I so wish I had that God given talent. You are a true blessing in my life! Much love, Aunt Kitty


  2. We are facing our own heartache as we are expecting our 4th grandchild and little Olivia is not expected to live long after her birth, if she makes it to then. Being a grandmother I not only hurt for the little one I won’t get to know, but I hurt for my son and his beautiful wife. I hurt for my other grandchildren who won’t get to know her.

    I think it’s wonderful that you have written this out of love for your son. And I’m sorry for the loss you and your wife are experiencing.


  3. Thank you for sharing your story, Anne. My mom was with me and Tammy through everything, even staying by Tammy’s side through the night of the delivery when we already knew we had lost Ethan. The role of the grandparent is a difficult one because your pain is going to be immense, and yet it will be overshadowed by the parent’s pain. And as a loving parent and grandparent, I am sure you understand that. I hope you can find your own peace and comfort in knowing that you will be a source of strength and comfort for them. God bless you and your family. And God bless Olivia.


  4. Pingback: New Release – Where The Broken Lie by Derek Rempfer | Derek Rempfer

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