(Above) Author Michelle Watson shares her story with granddaughter Giana Dennis. - Photo courtesy of Kilah Watson
by Marianne Gasaway
Death is a hard concept for anyone to understand, especially children. That’s where Michelle Watson got the idea for her recently released children’s book, “Someone I Love is in Heaven Now.”
“I wanted to write a book that would help aching little hearts answer some of the tough questions about death in a way they can relate to,” said Watson.
Watson’s book is sensitively tuned into the particular emotions and questions children wrestle with in difficult times. The book is also written to provide hope and guidance for the adult reading to the children, since they have also lost a loved one.
“Even adults need to be reminded that they are not alone and that God is only a prayer away at the lowest of times,” said Watson.
The book also offers helpful resources, exercises and prayers that can be used by adults to guide children through a healthy mourning process. The book is written about “Grandma,” but the name is printed in red so it is easily distinguishable and can be substituted to fit the child’s need.
“My mother recently passed away. She was my five-year-old daughter’s best friend. I was given this book and through it she was able to not only learn about what happens after death, but with questions that have been so compassionately crafted, she gets to talk about her Nana and what she loved about her and what she misses about her,” said Alexandra Wessling.
Watson has always loved writing, beginning in her high school years at Clear Lake High School. She was encouraged by her English teacher, Mr. Gordon Sunner.
“I’ve always wanted to give credit to Mr. Sunner and what better place than in the Clear Lake newspaper, where others will remember him?” said Watson. “He was the first to recognize and encourage my writing. I remember him with great fondness.”
Watson has worked for various publications and has been a freelance writer. She currently works at the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter.
“I love my job at the Reporter. It lets me do a variety of jobs, from page design to writing. I love the Clear Lake community and I feel honored to be able to report on its activities and people every week.”
Watson said the book had been in the back of her mind for years and when her children graduated from college and moved on, she realized it was time to write it.
“When I wrote the book about helping children deal with death, I had no idea that someday it could possible help my own granddaughter.”
Watson’s daughter, Megan Dennis, married a widow who had a two-year-old daughter when they met. Since Megan and Jason were married in December 2018, Megan has officially adopted Giana.
“Someday my granddaughter will have questions about her birth mother and I hope my book will be a comfort to her,” said Watson. “God gave me the nudge I needed and helped me get the words right.”
Watson’s book is published by Christian Faith Publishing and is available online at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes and Barnes and Noble. Locally it is available at Larson’s Mercantile, K&B Emporium and the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter. In Garner, it is at Junkin’ Gal, and in Mason City it is available at the Mercy Hospital Gift Shop.