Jenni's book Hello Baby is possibly the most read book I own. I have lent it to so many friends and every homebirthing family with older children that I have journeyed with, I have read it to my own children countless times, read it to myself in quite moments when I just happened to spy it near, I love it. It is honest and real, simple and beautiful. I get lost in the howling of the wind the roaring fire, the family and the midwife. Illustrations by Julie Vivas are round and welcoming, soft but bold and beautiful...they too are real; a baby's head birthed between its mothers thighs, a placenta ~ healthy and teaming with blood filled veins but drawn so carefully it looks like the tree of life.
"After her death, Jenni's family were able to read her ponderings on life and death for the first time and her words were her final gifts of written wisdoms. One of her final poems reads:
If I noticed the warmth of the sun through the window
Or felt the cold of wattle blossom against my lips
Or kissed my husband, feeling the skin of his back under my hand
Or noticed the way the late sun glistened on the grass
Or the way new leaves sprouted from the stumps left by last summer's wildfire
Or heard how the blackbird's sweet voice filled the bottom of the garden
Would I then feel I was ready?
Ready to leave this world because I had drunk wholeheartedly of her richness
Loved her open mouthed
Wept tears of unknown joy
Could I pass through that door blithely, knowing it was done? Completed?
I cannot tell, will not know, til that portal beckons me …
And even then …
Maybe not …I am so sad that such a wise woman is gone.
The full obituary by Sunny Overend is here; it is worth reading, she was a wonderful woman