Dictionary of Loss

... I have wept while reading your dictionary definitions - there is in fact someone outside of New Zealand who feels the way I do ...

Notes from Dictionary of Loss Lexicographer, Kara L.C. Jones

Permissions for use and reproduction

All contributions are covered by copyright here at KotaPress. If you wish to re-publish or copy this work anywhere for any purpose, you must get permission from us directly. We don't often say no. We just want to know where the work is being used and have the right to grant permissions or not as we see fit. Drop a note with your query to editor@kotapress.com with "DICTIONARY OF LOSS" in the subject line of your email, and we'll get back to you ASAP.

How it all began

This Dictionary started as my personal reaction to reading Dr. Sukie Miller's book "Finding Hope After A Child Dies." Upon reading the book I discovered that the American language is ill equipped to handle the death of a child. Afterall, if your parents die, you are an orphan. And if you partner dies, you are a widow or widower. But if your child dies, what are you? No words. So I set out to make my own language.

After creating the first installment of this Dictionary, I posted it on ThemeStream when they still existed, and to my surprise many other parents responded immediately and intimately with their own contributions. We are now permanently housing this ever growing Dictionary here at KotaPress. I want to thank all of you who have helped me to realize my dream of being a lexicographer and please know that I'm honored to have this chance to recognize your process and your children in this way.


Please note that this Dictionary is no longer accepting new submissions. But we gratefully acknowledge the following who contributed to it:

  • Vanessa Bevan
  • Angie M. Yingst, in loving memory of Lucia
  • Cherie Golant, in loving memory of Julia
  • Cherri Miele, founder of MCLG
  • Sarah Bain in memory of Grace
  • Debbie in memory of Janet
  • Diane Feeney, Sarah's mom
  • Amy L. Abbey, in honor of Solomon
  • Dawn Meisenheimer Lewis, Bereft of AA, CJ, and MJ
  • Floria Kelderhouse, in memory of her precious son.
  • Kahlilia, in memory of her precious MIRAcle.
  • Joanne Cacciatore, founder of MISS and mommy to Cheyenne.
  • Peg Rousar-Thompson, founder of Grief Warehouse and mommy to Ross.
  • Katie, mommy to Charles.
  • Christine Howser, mommy to Steven and Timothy
  • Nico, Nikki's mommy.
  • Tara Mullett, mommy to Jessica Hope.
  • Connie, Cassy's mom
  • Jana, Alyssa Brooke's mom
  • Max, founder of CampHeaven.com
  • Wendy Anderson
  • Hope's Mommy, Maralee.
  • Vickie, Faith Sophia's mommy
  • Sheri, Dakota's mommy
  • Diane, mother Cathy, Matthew, Peter - and the two obedient ones (the two who listened to "Mum's Rule" about outliving their parents--see definition in "M" words) Alan and Cassandra
  • Taffy Todd in memory of her two angels-- Stuart Todd and Jill Riley
  • Christy Schaefer in memory of Michael Paul and Peanut
  • Tiara Lynne in memory of Colin Michael http://www.geocities.com/SistersInSorrow/
  • Kara L.C. Jones, in memory of her sons Dakota, Mizuko Star, and Baby J
  • Plus to those who wish to remain anonymous
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