(ELK HORN) People cope with death in a variety of ways and finding a way to cope with the death of a child is not easy. An Elk Horn, Iowa woman and her family dealt with a tragedy in March of 2007 that lead to her decision to write a book that shares their challenges and blessings along the way.
Lori Hoflen has published a book called Heaven is Near… When a Child Dies. Hoflen says her book focuses on the events surrounding her son Zaeden’s death in March of 2007 when he accidentally choked on a piece of fruit.
“I have to admit, it’s a challenging book to read,” said Hoflen. “It goes over the timeline of the eight days from when Zaeden was in the hospital through his celebration of life service. And, obviously that tragic event is hard to talk about or read about, but along the way the blessings that occurred, which were based on our Christian faith and just turning to God when we were in desperate need of comfort and peace, were so profound that I had this feeling of just needing to share that story and that’s really what the essence of the book is about is just that when anyone would feel a time of grief or loss or go through a challenging time frame, they too can turn to God and experience perhaps some of the comfort and peace that we did.”
Holfen said this is the first book in a series, the second book is expected to be released this summer and the third book about six months after that.
And, Hoflen said with the help of her family they have also published a companion book called Zaeden’s Rainbow. Hoflen said this is a bright, fun book for kids to read and learn about colors and different aspects of farm life.
“Zaeden was an energetic 2 ½ year old little boy that just loved colors and learning about colors and pointing up to the sky and seeing the birds and the clouds and rainbows and such,” explained Hoflen. “So, we developed/designed this book specifically for Zaeden and it goes through the different colors of the rainbow and it depicts our family out at the farm and Zaeden calling out, ‘where is red, where are all the different colors’, and we in turn answer where we are working or playing on the farm and where those colors are and in the end it depicts the beautiful rainbow that’s been built because of all those different colors.”
Heaven is Near… When a Child Dies and Zaeden’s Rainbow are both available on amazon.com. Hoflen will also be attending a book signing at the Atlantic Public Library on March 3rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lori Hoflen and her husband Jim moved to the Elk Horn area a little over 10-years ago. They have 11 children.