Amy Wright Glenn
  • Birth, Breath, and Death

Birth, Breath, and Death

Birth, Breath, and Death

Amy Wright Glenn has written a remarkable book that I found very touching, reading it as I did when I was caring for my husband during the last weeks of his life. Because she's such a brave soul, I very much enjoyed her company as I journeyed deeper into that territory that had to be traveled.

Ina May Gaskin, Midwife and Author of Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta

Every book has a birth story…

I wrote Birth, Breath, and Death while my son slept. Over the course of five months, I awoke with sentences flowing through my mind. While my little one drifted through dreamland, I roused myself from slumber to honor the muse speaking to my soul.

Having experienced the profoundly intense transformation of motherhood, a significant career shift, and the immensity of a new love coursing through my being, I needed to write. I needed to integrate stories from my work with the dying, the birthing, and my teaching days with my love for philosophy and wonder.

Opening to new life through labor and delivery entailed the humbling opportunity to see anew a pristine vista clarifying what matters most. Love matters. Service matters. Life matters. My meditations on motherhood, chaplaincy, and life as a doula come from the depth of my heart. May my words help you to refine what matters most as you honor your own heart’s wisdom.


Available on Kindle and in print via Amazon

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Philosophy, religion and love infuse this thoughtful set of observations.

Kirkus Reviews

Amy Wright Glenn has brought her own great sensitivity and heart to the portals where we enter and leave this life, and to the loving presence that is our source. Filled with a wisdom that touches into the great mystery, Birth, Breath, and Death is a poetic and beautiful reading experience.

Tara Brach, Ph.D. Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

… filled with a wisdom that arises from her own journey as a thoughtful, intuitive human being.

Sharon Salzberg, Author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness

Glenn intertwines her academic study with personal narrative and achieves a professionally-informed and experientially-based ‘thinking out loud’ about the bookends of human life. Her writing is tender and her vision is thought-provoking.

Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Ursuline College

Birth, Breath, and Death is one extraordinary little book. I hope it will find its way into many, many hands: mothers-to-be, midwives, physicians, nurses, educators, doulas and healers of all kinds. Amy Wright Glenn writes about birth and birthing ourselves, as well as our babies. Five stars.

Suzanne Arms, Director of Birthing The Future and Author of Immaculate Deception

Tender, honest, and enlightening reflections on birth, death and what it means to be human. Highly recommended.

Sarah Buckley, M.D., Author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering

…impressive, succinct and lots to think about.

Christine H. Morton Ph.D., Stanford University's California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative

With her triple identity as yoga teacher, doula, and chaplain, Amy Wright Glenn brings a one-of-a-kind tenderness and empathy to her writing and she’s not afraid to talk about the difficult parts of life.

Peggy O'Mara, Editor and Founder of peggyomara.com

This small but powerful volume chronicles Glenn’s journey through life’s transformations. She shares wisdom gleaned from the interconnected roles of mother, hospital chaplain and birth doula. Through stories and personal narrative, Glenn creates an evocative search for meaning, suffusing readers with inspiration and hope for a better self and a better world.

International Lactation Consultant Association®

The journey that we call ‘birth’ embraces all the wonders and mystery of life, death and rebirth of one’s own life experience. It is a gift that reveals something divine within us, and I think that Amy’s book speaks to that gift clearly.

Marinah Farrell, President Midwives Alliance Of North America

I found myself re-reading, lingering, pausing to think and to settle into the peace and love that pervades every word in this little but powerful book… She probably doesn’t begin to consider herself A Teacher, but I would gladly sit at her feet and just soak up her inborn and learned wisdom.

Peggy Vincent, Author of Baby Catcher

This little gem is a must-read for all Yoga practitioners, parents and parents-to-be, caregivers, doulas and midwives, end-of-life care workers and anyone interested in storytelling at its best!

Brenda Feuerstein, Director and Teacher at Traditional Yoga Studios

Becoming a doula, even when she was unsure she wanted to be a mother herself, takes a wide-open mind and heart. Still, I can see why one might become a doula. To help a woman in labor is to be present at a miracle. But to help individuals and their family and friends meet the end is to surround yourself with sadness. That takes a kind of mettle that I cannot fathom, but am certainly grateful exists. Amy’s willingness to confront death in many forms, with fortitude and grace, is mind-bending… ‘We dance between form and formlessness,’ she writes. These words made me pause. Yes, so much exists before we are born and after we die. If we’re not dancing in between we are wasting time.

Tina Cassidy, Author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

Reading this book, I am brought ever closer to what I call “home” – that place of clear seeing and knowing from within, the place where I deepen my relationship to Self and the world around me.

Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, Soulful Life Coach and Senior Kripalu Yoga Teacher Trainer

Rarely is there a book that so deeply touches your soul and has you ponder, celebrate and reveal in life’s mysteries and connections. Birth, Breath, and Death does this and more. I smiled, prayed, cried and visioned as I shared Amy Wright Glenn’s journey. Her message helped me search deeper into my own life purpose.

Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Creator and Director of Orgasmic Birth, Chair of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization

Lyrical, gentle, contemplative, and touching.

Molly Remer, Founder of Talk Birth

Amy Wright Glenn is a seeker who takes us on an adventurous journey in this compact, insightful and inspiring book. We travel with her into self-discovery and into the healing of wounds from childhood – the destination is an openhearted motherhood. She has written a lovely book.

Kathryn Black, Ph.D. Author of Mothering Without a Map

Amy Wright Glenn has a poet’s heart and voice. I recommend Birth, Breath, and Death to any person who appreciates well-crafted narratives of growth and transformation, especially those professionals engaged in the work of spiritual and physical nurture.

Tedford J. Taylor, Director of Pastoral Care & Training at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

This exquisite little book is a delectable mixture of intellectual rigor and soulful poetic musings.

Penny Bussell Stansfield, (CD)DONA doula trainer, Author of Labors of Love: A Doula's Birth Stories

If you like narrative non-fiction about real women doing real work, their struggles, fears, failures and triumphs her story is for you. The energy of birth crackles on every page. Amy has delivered one amazing book.

Patricia Harman, Author of The Midwife of Hope River, Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey and The Blue Cotton Gown

This powerful book entices us to linger, reflect, and take inspiration to embrace our own lives with thoughtfulness and gratitude. Highly recommended.

Kathryn Los, Editor and Owner of Holistic Parenting Magazine

Amy Wright Glenn’s touching book emanates love and gratitude. She shares an emotional journey of healing our culture’s collective pain, starting in her own heart.

Jana Allmrodt, Founder of Birthing Without Fear

Spiritual seekers will appreciate the depth and breadth of the author’s personal experience of Western and Eastern religions and philosophies. Expectant mothers will be riveted by the author’s account of the birth of her first son. All of us who value our children and wish to see the bond between mother and child strengthened in the birthing process, will be heartened by the valuable contribution that midwives and doulas provide. Beautifully written and worth reading and re-reading.

 

Barbara E. Jones, Founder and President, Women and Children First Foundation

Amy Wright Glenn has written an inspiring, intuitive, and informative book that should fall into the hands of everyone working in the field of birth, including mothers. I found myself re-reading sections of them book because I found that one read through deserved another. An amazing piece of literature sure to inspire you.

Jessika Bailey, Founder and Editor Natural Mother Magazine

…this is a wonderful and thoughtful book that doesn’t dwell in any space for too long and gives the reader plenty of space to think of her own faith and life experiences.

Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist@ SQUAT Birth

This little book is exquisitely written and is full of profound insight, reflection and compassion which can take your breath away and bring tears to your eyes. Reading it is a meditation in its own right. I highly recommended it for spiritual practitioners, parents, doulas, midwives and end-of-life care workers regardless of spiritual affiliation. It is a book of soul which leaves you richer.

Lucy H. Pearce, Author of The Rainbow Way, Moon Time, Reaching for the Moon and Moods of Motherhood

Birth, Breath, and Death is a beautifully written meditation.

Jeanne Faulkner, Senior Writer/Editor for Every Mother Counts and author of The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion