Aine Healy Collins’ book “Hollie’s Journey” is a guide to help open up the conversation with your child about loss. Pictured is Aine Healy Collins with family at the launch of the book at O’Mahony’s Books, Limerick Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick
A mother whose baby daughter died just hours after being born has said she hopes her new book, Hollie’s Journey, can be a resource for other parents
Ballingarry mother Aine Healy Collins has written a children’s book to help children and families cope with loss.
Aine wrote “Hollie’s Journey” following the loss of her new-born baby girl, 12 hours after she was born on Christmas day 2022. The book which has a special significance for herself and her and aims to keep her daughter’s name alive.
Hollie was born on Christmas Day in 2022, but she passed away in hospital 15 hours later. Aine said the book became her diary and helped her on the way.
“It really kind of helped me on that journey in my depths of grief and missing Hollie,” she said.
Aine is a secondary school English teacher at Mungret Secondary school. It was incredibly traumatic for Aine, her husband Mark and their little boy Kai to lose Hollie. Inspired by trying to find ways to help her own little boy Kai deal with the traumatic loss of his baby sister.
Aine said she hopes the colourfully illustrated children’s book will help other bereaved parents to cope with such loss.
The book is about the unbreakable bond between a boy named Kai and his sister, a girl named Hollie, who are separated by loss but forever joined by love. This is a story that explains the heart-breaking journey that began with Kai’s excitement and hope at finding he was going to be a big brother, and the awful realisation then that his sister had died.
Kai embarks on a new journey in life and acquires new coping skills where he is continually learning to adjust to his loss. He learns to understand and to truly believe that his sister Hollie will always be with him throughout life.
A true guide to help open up the conversation with your child about loss, and to aid your child’s curious mind to process this, as they start their own journey.
Hollie’s Journey is on sale in O’Mahony’s Bookshop for €10; €5 of which will go to the Féileacáin, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support to anyone affected by the death of a baby during or after pregnancy and the other €5 will go to the Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick who offer Bereavement one-to-One Support to children and young people aged 4 to 18 years, who are affected by loss through death, separation or divorce.
Pictures: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick