NORWAY — When Melissa Eshleman lost her 4-day-old son, Lucas, in 2001, she didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
“When I lost my child, I did everything I could to find out how to deal with the intense emotions I was feeling, including reading everything I could get my hands on and joining infant loss groups,” said Eshleman, who has just released the second of two books about grieving the loss of an infant.
The loss of her infant led Eshelman on a journey that connected her with others who suffered the same loss and the realization that she could help parents deal with the accompanying trauma and complex emotions through her writing.
Eshleman said since the publication of her first book, “Always Within: Grieving the Loss of Your Infant,” in 2011, she was asked by other parents to write more.
“I had a few parents contact me asking if I’d consider doing another book,” she said. “After the third request, I decided to go ahead and do it. Once I told them yes, they reached out to others in their support groups and circles, and then parents submitted their stories to me,” she said.
Eshleman’s second book, “Always Loved: Grieving the Loss of a Baby,” features stories from parents across the country who have experienced a miscarriage or loss of an infant and what it takes to get through the difficult time.
“The loss of a baby is an issue that impacts countless parents across the country and around the world, and it’s such a difficult subject to address,” Eshleman wrote in a statement introducing her new book. “Through this book, I hope to give people inspiration and a sense of strength as they confront what could be the biggest challenge of their lives. The stories of other parents who have lost young children helps provide guidance and comfort, giving readers hope that they will one day be able to move on and live happy lives.”
Eshleman said she also hopes readers will learn “creative ways to keep their children’s memory alive through the years, and will also gain inspiration through comforting quotes, poems and Bible verses.”
The publication of the second book had been met with as much enthusiasm as her first book.
Eshleman revealed the contents of an email sent from a parent who lost a child whose story is in her latest book.
“Seeing our babies’ names in print was just so affirming, that yes, they did exist and have had a huge impact on my life and the life of my family. I was so excited and yet tearful as I looked through the book and started to read about the others’ experiences,” one woman wrote to Eshleman. “As I read my story, it was though I had never read it before. It was quite emotional, yet very cathartic! I want to thank you for dedicating an entire chapter to each family. Words really are not adequate to express my thanks to you for giving me a forum to briefly share my story, in hopes that it can help others. To be honest, it was such a healing experience for me and I thank you for that.”
The book has been released by Find Your Way Publishing Inc. (http://www.findyourwaypublishing.com) and is available at Books N Things on Main Street in Norway, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other online retailers.
Find Your Way Publishing was founded in 2009 and has supported a number of self-help books written by Melissa and her school-age children Maare, author of “Guaranteed Success for Grade School: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today!” and “Guaranteed Success for Kindergarten: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today” and William, author of “Prank and Pray You Get Away!” which features more than 60 playful pranks for young siblings that can be done without being mean or cruel.