A Letter From Heaven

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Review and Giveaway!

“A Letter From Heaven” is a children’s book, written by Steve Butler, who is a chaplain at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, an Associate Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, as well as a stillbirthday mentor – but most importantly, Steve is Jamie and Alexandra’s grandfather.

“A Letter From Heaven” tells the story of a little boy named Jamie, who learns that his older sister, Alexandra, died on the day she was born.

In this precious, bittersweet tale, Jamie inquires about the ceramic jar that sits beautifully adorned with flowers around it, on a high shelf in their living room.  When Jamie is ready to learn about his sister, his mother pulls a letter from behind the jar; a letter on pink stationary and addressed from Alexandra to Jamie, as if it was written by Alexandra herself.

The book brings us through this letter from an older sibling, in Heaven, to her younger brother, still here on earth.  It brings us through the simple understanding that both siblings share the same family.  It answers some of the most complex questions about death and Heaven in a gentle way that even young children can understand.  Alexandra tells Jamie all about the day she was born, what she “remembers”, that she died, and that the most important part of her is in Heaven, and that she is “not small or weak or fragile” where she is.

In this letter, Alexandra assures Jamie that she is not jealous when he was born, and that she loves him very much – she is his big sister, no matter what.

Additionally, there are ideas that families can draw from in this book, as ways to help children understand about their siblings in Heaven, including planting special flowers and praying as a family.

Steve has shared this beautiful book with me, so that I can pass it along to you!

Share with us, how you have explained your miscarried or stillborn baby(ies) to your living children, or to your living nieces or nephews, or how you supported your adult children as they explained their loss to your surviving grandchildren.  Has the time come that it has been appropriate to do so?  How did you share about their sibling?  If you haven’t yet shared with your other children, in what ways do you imagine you might?

Share your experiences or your ideas!  One random person will be selected to receive an autographed copy of “A Letter From Heaven”!  The winner will be announced here on August 1.

This giveaway is now closed.

The winner is Amanda H.  Amanda, please email me at kcchristiandoula (at) yahoo.com to give me your mailing address.

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  1. What a beautiful book! We shared every step of the way with my two year old daughter. She knew Mommy had a baby in her belly and then she knew the baby was sick and then that the baby was gone. She tells us that her sister (we didn’t know if baby was a boy or a girl) comes and plays with her and that she walks on the floor. I am currently pregnant. We lost a twin with this pregnancy but didn’t really know how to explain that to her. On her own, she says there are two babies in Mommy’s belly. Children just know things.

  2. Our children are 9, 7, 3 and 1. Even the baby had started pointing at my belly and calling it a “baby”. We were all invested. We talked to our kids a few times to make sure they understood. Our most recent was our third miscarriage, and with earlier losses, they were too little to know what was happening. We sat them down and explained that our baby needed to go with Jesus to heaven, and we wouldn’t be able to meet the baby until we were in heaven too. When the day came to bury our little one, we talked again. I told the kids what we were going to do, and how we shouldn’t be sad. All our babies are together now, and they’re playing such fun games that we can even imagine them. Our 3 year old really liked this, and has asked if he will get to play the games too when he “gets old and goes to heaven”. I told him yes, that the babies will teach him the new games, and he was very happy about this. He sat and thought about it for several long 3 year old minutes. Our 9 year old said a prayer at the funeral, and thanked God for giving us guardian angels to help our baby get into heaven so we can see him again someday. <3

  3. I read this,but have no younger living children to tell about my babies , but I know that if I did I would tell them so much about my babies. I would tell them that there brothers ans sister in heaven were so strong and brave. I would tell them how very special Christopher, Tia and Eric are. About how very very much i loved them.

  4. My son is 5 and my daughter is 3. It was when my son was about 4 that we started talking about his older brother, Anudril, and our first child, Calan, who were both lost during pregnancy. We’ve taken our kids to visit our son’s grave since they were infants and always hang ornaments on our Christmas tree for them. My grandmother gave us a beatiful creche for Christmas the year Anduril was born, and we always refer to it as ‘Anduril’s Nativity’… We just spoke about the older siblings when we would go to the cemetery and when we place their ornaments on the Christmas tree and our son (and now daughter) started asking questions: “Are Calan and Anduril still babies?”, “Where are they?” The neat thing is when they say, “I love Anduril and Calan” or when they say “My brother Anduril wouldn’t take my toy!!”… It shows that they have integrated our sleeping babies into our family… It does hurt when they say they miss them… So do I… this is a grief we bear together. And I always tell them that Anduril and Calan are waiting for us in Heaven and that I can’t wait to get to hug them and see who they were meant to be!

    My children- and the loss of them- belong to all of us…

    Angie C

  5. Our daughter is only 2 but we tell her all the time about Makayla and how she is in heaven watching over us. We lost her 2 weeks after Kaydence turned 2 so it’s still a vague conversation for her. She just knows mommy and daddy sometimes are sad.

  6. i haven’t yet explained to my second son that his older brother was stillborn as he is only a year old. but to be honest, i still haven’t decided what i would say to him when he asked me about the pictures of the other baby or the blue box hanging up in his room. i suppose i would have just sat him down and came out with it. as gently as possible of course.but hearing about this book has really made me start to think about how i should really go about it.

  7. Our daughter is almost a year old so the time most definitely has not come to explain to her two siblings that we lost early on in the pregnancy (she started out as one of three), though I do tell her about them now. However, I documented everything through my pregnancy in a journal and our memory books, so I imagine we will share the story as we look through that book when she is growing up. My plan is to start having that be a birthday event as she grows so she hears about the babies all the time and it just is part of her story.
    The book sounds amazing!

  8. My niece, who is four, asks about my son all the time. It has been 11 months since he was born sleeping. At first, she didn’t understand how I was pregnant one day and then came home without my baby two days later. I talk to her about my son a lot and how he is in heaven with Jesus. I have his hand tattooed on my leg and wear a necklace with an E on it. She asks me about my tattoo a lot and is learning her letters so when she gets to an E, she says “that’s Ethan’s letter!”. It is very special to me that she thinks of him.

    I don’t have any living children but hope to in the near future. Since my son’s death I have always said I want my future children to know about their big brother. I will show them the pictures on the wall and share my photo book and memory box with my kids, tell them stories of how amazing it was to be pregnant with their brother, and take them to his grave. I always want them to know they have a brother in heaven who is watching down on them.

  9. Ive been wanting to read this book just never ended up getting it. When we found out that our Daughter was going to be born still at 31 weeks my then 14 yr old daughter was with me when the nurse couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat. So she saw first hand what was going on very sad. Our Son was 8 at the time, I lost it when I knew our baby was no longer with us and that I needed to be induce asap. So my husband had explained the best he could that his baby sister had gone to Heaven. My sister inlaw thought it was best to take our son with her but our 14 yr old would not leave my side. It was 4th of July when our daughter was brought into this world and left. Since our loss I became pregnant with our other daughter a couple months later. She is now 10 months old and everyday I talk to her about her big sister in Heaven. We have a bear that was made by Molly Bears we call her our Summer Bear (we named our daughter Summer Ann) and our 10 month old wants to hold Summer Bear everyday and gives her many kisses. It breaks my heart to know she could be growing up with her older sister, but God had other plans. Every yr for Summers Birthday we let go balloons. On the balloon I send always says I will see you soon in Heaven, plus a little note. As my 10 month old gets older I will always find ways to let her know about her big sister in Heaven. As for my other two kids who are now 16 and 10 they talk about there sister Summer all the time as if she is still here <3

  10. My boys are 11 and 7. I miscarried right before our youngest was conceived. We have talked openly about the baby that mommy didnt have since our boys were probably 9 and 5. The boys know it is a touchy subject but we talk about it about 2-3 times a year.

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