By Martha B. Jacob –
The loss of a newborn baby can be devastating to the mother and father of that child, but the loss can also cause deep pain and confusion for siblings who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new brother or sister.
A St. Michael’s Catholic School teacher, and Ripley resident Laura Dewire has recently published a book on the subject of infant loss. The book is appropriately named “A Corner of Heaven.”
The book is illustrated by Kailen Offutt, a student of Dewire who, along with her two sisters, lost a baby brother several years ago.
“I had Kailen in first grade as a student,” Dewire said. “I had assigned the class a special project to draw and color a portrait of their families. When Kailen handed in her picture, it showed her mom and dad and herself and her sisters, and the family cat.
“And up in the far right hand corner, was a cloud in which she had drawn and colored a little baby with an angel beside it.”
“When I asked Kailen about the picture in the corner, she said… ‘This is my family, most of us live on earth, but my baby brother, Kulen, lives in heaven with God.’”
Dewire said that what she heard Kailen say was heartbreaking but at the same time touching to see how the six year old dealt with the loss.
In the months that followed, Dewire researched the statistics on infant loss and learned that 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a baby. She said the numbers bothered her.
“I couldn’t imagined what it would be like for Kailen to be excited all those months to meet her baby brother, only to be told he wouldn’t be coming home from the hospital. They had dreamed about the day and waited anxiously to meet him.
“That’s when I began thinking how comforting it would be to have a book for families experiencing such a loss.”
She said breaking the news to children would be a very difficult and emotional thing to do, and having a book on the subject could be used as a tool to help break the news.
“At first I looked around for an illustrator for the book I planned on writing,” Dewire said. “Then it dawned on me, who better to illustrate it than Kailen. So we put our heads together and produced “A Corner of Heaven, which has just been released.”
The book was published by KiCam Publishing and Produc-tion Company. The company is dedicated to changing the world one great story at a time.
A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, (NILMDTS), which provides beautiful heirloom portraits to families facing the untimely death of an infant.
The book can be purchased at www.kicamprojects/shop.