Date & Time: September 30 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: Virtual

Mary Wasacz will discuss her book, The Frailty of a Butterfly: My Journey Through Newborn Loss.

As soon as our third child, Cathy Anne, was born the doctor handed her to me. Initially she looked just like her sister Mary Christina, but within seconds her features changed. Her cheeks sank. She didn’t cry and was turning blue. The doctor took her from me to give her oxygen. It took about 10 minutes, which seemed like hours, before she was breathing on her own.

Headshot of Mary Wasacz

Thus begins our journey with our baby with a life -threatening illness. Our children Mary Christina 3 and Johnny 5 years-old were involved with her which was so important to them. My husband was wonderful with Cathy Anne and our children. We had a lot of support from family, friends and our parish priest.

She changed my career in nursing from teaching to working with bereaved parents. Later I worked in hospice where I was the bereavement and spiritual care coordinator for 22 years. I also had a private practice as a family therapist, working with families. Sharing my story is a gift to those who have experienced something similar and perhaps have not been able to cope or share yet. It can also be helpful to their family, friends and the medical profession. My story fits into The Power of Art for Social Transformation because death is a taboo subject even in 2024. People tend to run from this topic.

Storytelling can help the reader increase their knowledge about death. Our daughter, Cathy Anne’s, brief life was vital to our family. It was important for us to bring her home to die, even though the cardiac surgeon advised against it in 1977. We were the first couple ever to bring home a dying baby from this prominent New York Hospital. When people read about and see the positive effect our dying baby had on our family, it can help other families suffering the impending loss of their baby. They are not alone. This is my story and I want to share it.

Sponsored by Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation.

For any questions, please contact

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