BEAVERCREEK — As executive director of Hospice of Dayton, Kim Vesey knows a thing or two about helping other people deal with losing a loved one.
However the Beavercreek resident has recently used that knowledge to deal with the death of her own family members — her husband, Les, and daughter, Sarah. Vesey has published a series of books aimed at explaining death and dying to kids.
Vesey’s first book, “What Cloud Is My Mommy In?” was published in 2019.
“The death of my daughter led me to write the series of books,” Vesey said. “How others and I decide to deal with my grandson after my daughter’s death was one of the factors behind the process.”
Sarah, 29 at the time, died in 2017 after 22 days in the ICU due to an asthma attack. She was married and had a three-year-old son, Warren. Vesey’s husband, Les, had previously died of colon cancer.
At such a young age, Vesey’s grandson was now without his mother and due to his age, it would be difficult for Warren to understand the complexity of the entire situation, Vesey said. Initially, she was unsure about how to approach Warren about the death of his mother. By writing books for children that deal with loss and grief, Vesey has broached the subject.
Vesey realized that while she was able to help Warren and herself deal with the death of Sarah, she could help other people too. So three more books were published: “What Cloud Is My Daddy In?”; “What Cloud Is My Grandma In?”; and “What Cloud Is My Grandpa In?”
A book dealing with loss and grief for adults is in the process of being written as well, Vesey said.
“I wrote the books because my professional and personal experiences showed me that adults struggle with how to help children when they experience a significant loss,” Vesey said. “It is hard to support the child when the adult is grieving themselves.”
She added, “It is important to know that children do grieve even when they are young. They miss their mommy, daddy, grandma, or grandpa. They want to talk about them. If we (as adults) aren’t comfortable talking about them with the child, the child keeps it tucked inside.”
Although the loss of her daughter has never been easy for Vesey, Sarah’s death and memory have enabled the now 7-year-old Warren to be a teacher for his grandmother.
“My grandson taught me that it helps to talk about the deceased person,” Vesey said. “It helps to hear their voice or see their face in pictures and videos.”
Vesey’s career with Hospice of Dayton began in 1985 as a home care nurse. She worked in various places around the country before returning eight years ago.
Her books can be found at whatcloud.net, Amazon, and westbowpress.com. A portion of the annual proceeds from book sales is donated to non-profit organizations that support grieving children.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534