“A lot of people have commented on what a beautiful way to memorialize him”
“Meet The ABC Animals” officially launched on Amazon on November 1
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In the spring of 2020, as the world grappled with the staggering loss of lives and livelihoods due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kai Sweeting was reeling from her own personal tragedy.
The expectant mother had suffered a miscarriage in her third trimester of pregnancy, rendering her completely heartbroken.
As Sweeting nursed the unimaginable heartache and private pain of losing her baby, she unexpectedly birthed an idea: she would memorialize her stillborn child with a literary tribute.
The book, titled “Meet The ABC Animals”, became available for purchase on Amazon on November 1.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Sweeting recalled the point at which she decided to commit to the writing project.
“Mentally, I was disconnected to a lot of things, so it didn’t spark until maybe like this year, when I just tried to slowly pull myself from being in a dark space,” revealed the mother-of-two.
She said: “It started off as an ABC book; it started off as me wanting to do a writing book for toddlers.
“They’re home, so they can practice writing, their letter-forming.”
The artist, who also heads up her own graphic design company, was adamant about creating a children’s book that stepped outside of the typical bounds of creativity.
“I didn’t want to do the normal stuff like ‘A for apple’, ‘B for ball,’” Sweeting said.
“I wanted it to be fun, colorful and enjoyable for kids. At the same time, I didn’t want to overcomplicate an ABC book.
“I started going over what animals I could include. I started thinking about how I could introduce the animals, what names to give them and that was a whole process because [I didn’t] want to just have like the typical names — James and Amy.
“I tried to make it as inclusive as I possibly could.”
Turning the page
In a remarkable display of resilience, Sweeting opted to channel her emotions into creating the book as a way to cope, rather than becoming consumed by her grief.
“It helps you grieve in a positive way because for so long, most of the grief has been negative,” said the bereaved mother.
You don’t want to just break down in public; you don’t want to break down during times that are supposed to be happy.
– Kai Sweeting
“You’re just — you don’t want to just break down in public. You don’t want to break down during times that are supposed to be happy.”
Sweeting noted that she got emotional upon learning that her book had officially launched, calling the moment “a good reason to cry this time”.
The newly-minted author said she received an overwhelmingly positive response from her partner, family members, friends and even strangers about her book.
“I had this one lady that commented that she loves Black authors and [her] baby loves books, so she’s definitely getting one,” Sweeting said.
“A lot of people have commented on what a beautiful way to memorialize him and so I thought it was nice.”
When asked about whether the book will become a series, Sweeting confirmed that she has plans to continue the project.
“I’m going to continue it,” she unveiled.
“I had fun creating it, even during those moments where I didn’t feel like I should do it…because I was a bit more reluctant about sharing what I went through being the whole inspiration for it.
“We’re going to do numbers, shapes and colors next.
“[In the first book] there are 26 animals, so we’re going to have a book for each animal.
“They’re going to be exploring different feelings, different emotions, different experiences and each will represent their respective letter.”
“Meet The ABC Animals” is now available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Meet-ABC-Animals-Kai-Sweeting/dp/B09KNGFDSW