Thursday, April 10, 2014

Borrowed Angel: Coping With the Loss of a Child by Erica Keifer

Borrowed Angel is the poignant story of a mother who lost her first child to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In this captivating book, the author describes her journey through the gauntlet of grief and reveals how hope can be found, even amid tragedy. Weaving spirituality with a practical approach to healing, Borrowed Angel reflects on motherhood, the grieving process, and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.


March 14, 2014 marked the 22nd anniversary of my second son's birth. Unfortunately, he had died 13 days before. David's birth brought full circle the reality that the child my husband and I had planned and prayed for would NOT be ours to raise in this life. While waiting to go into natural labor, I cycled through many ups and downs, trying to deal with the new reality that wouldn't result in a sweet, playful, noisy bundle of joy straight from heaven. 

I remembered reading a book called "Gone Too Soon: The Life and Loss of Infants and Unborn Children" by Sherri D. Wittwer shortly after losing my first child, a baby we named Promise. "Gone Too Soon" brought me a lot of comfort when I could swear my heart was literally breaking. So, when asked if I would review the book "Borrowed Angel: Coping with the Loss of a Child" I didn't hesitate to volunteer.

Books like: "Borrowed Angel: Coping With the Loss of a Child" by Erica Keifer resonate hope and inspiration that one dealing with such a devastating loss needs to find ... and maybe even cling to for a while. To know there will someday be peace, light, and understanding again while trying not to succumb to hurt, sorrow, anger, and numbness is a HUGE blessing. 

Erica and her husband, Dan, navigated through the choppy, undesired waters of losing their son by clinging to one another, their friends and family, and their Savior, Jesus Christ.  They share their struggle for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is a memorial to their angel baby, Ty, and his memory, bringing clarity for themselves, and helping other parents going through the same pain and loss.

Time does soften the pain and heartache, but will never erase the longing that things had turned out differently. Borrowed Angel deals with Erica's and Dan's journey through infertility, to conceiving their sweet son, Ty, to their adjustment as new parents. And then ultimately, finding him lifeless in his crib--a victim of SIDS--and dealing with the reality that their son would no longer be a part of their daily lives. Borrowed Angel deals with their journey to accept this harsh reality. The emotions Erica and her husband experience mirrored my own, raw at times, including grasping and clinging to whatever scrap of hope offered them through someone's hug, kind words, or thoughtful act. 

Erica and Dan coped differently with the loss of their son, and yet managed to strengthen one another when they needed it most. Both parts of this equation--recognizing that grief manifests itself differently for each individual AND choosing to allow each person to find their way while making an effort to strengthen the other are important keys to maintaining a good relationship and keeping the paths of communication open. Often, the loss of a child leads to the loss of a marriage-- a doubly tragic blow to many couples. 

Borrowed Angel is an uplifting story that inspires others while dealing with the very real devastation of losing a child. It offers hope, understanding, and most importantly--it acknowledges that there is no one right way to grieve and "deal with" such a horrific loss. 

I highly recommend reading Borrowed Angel if you have experienced the loss of child or know someone in such a position, if only to gain insight and understanding. 

Laugh lots ... love much ... write on!

Social media:
Twitter: @ericarockkiefer

Author Bio:
Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007.
Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing, and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far.
Erica’s first book is titled Lingering Echoes, which was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November, 2013. Rumors, the prequel novella, closely followed. Borrowed Angel is Erica's third published work.


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