WPU Alumna Publishes Book to Help Children Navigate Grief

April 22, 2022

Question after question after question… how to answer them all?

Mary C. Kubeny ’19 was worried about the whirlwind of questions left behind for her baby niece after her mother had committed suicide. 

As Kubeny and her family mourned, their thoughts turned to the girl, who was just under one year old. They wondered how to answer the questions that would grow with her as she grew up.

Kubeny found the answers could exist in writing. 

Kubeny, a William Peace University (WPU) communications major, took pen to paper to turn her pain into purpose.

It started with a poem and developed into a book, and now the book “Mommy Lives in Heaven” sits on the shelves at Barnes and Noble

Kubeny’s experience led her to write a book to help children navigate and learn about grief. She wanted to create a resource to help her own niece.

“Talking about suicide is already an incredibly difficult topic and then add to that putting it into a language that is appropriate for children,” Kubeny said. “I wanted to make a book that could be a good resource to serve this need for children.” 

The book navigates the topic through a poem and illustrations by Ukrainian artist Anastasia Honcharenko. It helps start conversations about death and grief in ways children can relate to.

Kubeny, who also has her Masters in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University, had thought about writing books when she was younger but had not planned to write a children’s book. Kubeny is honored her passion for writing is a gift she can give to her niece. 

“Writing the book came easily, it was difficult to publish. It took a lot of courage to do that,” she said.

“I just hope my sister would like it.”

Kubeny has already been overwhelmed by the positive feedback about the book.

To purchase the book, visit here.