ATLANTA — The pain of losing a child is something many could never comprehend; A kind of grief in a league all its own.
But recently, a group of moms who have experienced that loss came together to write a book about their experiences and raise money for charity.
The book, called "The Last Kiss", is undoubtedly a tough read. Each chapter is written by a mom who lost a child. Through each chapter, they recount their deeply personal experience.
According to the moms, they are all sharing their stories for an important reason.
"I definitely want others going through this to feel like they're not alone and to have points where they relate or feel like even when they're in the depths of that grief initially that there is hope," said Danielle Biddy, an Atlanta-area mom whose is one of the authors.
In the book, Biddy detailed the loss of her infant daughter Caroline. Caroline was born via emergency C-section in 2019, where she fought for her life.
"After doing a bunch of testing, they realized that she was probably deprived of oxygen about 10 or 14 days before she was born, which left her with a severe global brain injury," Biddy explained.
“We brought her home on hospice care, knowing that her condition was terminal. We just didn't know how long we had with her. Every day that we got was just a miracle in our book. She was exactly three months old the day that she passed away,” Biddy explained.
Danielle said sharing her story in print was difficult, but something she felt called to do.
“If you have to go through it alone, or you feel like you are the only one feeling that way, then it can be very isolating," she explained. "I kind of vowed to be that voice that you will survive. Because it doesn't always feel that way. You don't feel like you will. And just to look for the good.”
A nonprofit known as My Friend Linkin published and released the book recently.
My Friend Linkin was founded by Naudia Greenawalt in 2017. The then third-grader wrote a book about her friend Linkin, who was battling cancer. The two sold more than 500 copies of the book to raise money for Linkin's care and other childhood cancer funds.
They've since published several books about childhood cancer written by kids.
"My Friend Linkin provides a positive and uplifting way where a child can take us on their journey and show us what really matters to them," the organization's website reads. "It also answers technical questions that many adults may shy away from. Lastly, it provides the child with a story they will be able to take forever with them."
Dolores Greenawalt, Naudia's mom and president of the nonprofit, said: "The Last Kiss" was born as an opportunity for grieving moms to share their stories, too.
"I felt like we really needed to do a collection of stories about women who have experienced childhood loss and tell their stories, both the child's story and then the story of how they actually were able to get through it and how they handled their grief," Greenawalt said.
The book is not only for moms who have experienced child loss, but Greenawalt also explained it's helpful for those who want to understand grief better, and how to help those going through it.
"It was important for us to include that because it was a way to bridge those that have experienced loss and those that have not experienced loss and say this is what we can all do," she said. "Grief is messy, grief can be extremely ugly, but through that every day that you wake up you have a new day to start off fresh."
All proceeds will be donated to each mom’s charity of choice.
"We are going to donate our proceeds to the Miracle Babies Foundation," Biddy said. "It is a foundation through Northside Hospital that helps families in the NICU. They were just fantastic for us while we were in the hospital for so long with Caroline."
Danielle and her husband hope to honor Carolina in that way, and by keeping her memory alive for their new baby boy Jace.
“I feel like they knew each other in heaven before he was here," Biddy said, smiling. "We see like, glimmers of her in him. And that brings me joy.”
"The Last Kiss" is priced at $14. Learn more or purchase here.