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Press Release Beyond the Stars

Parents hear a message of hope and love from their child whose loss they are grieving 

       Beyond the Stars: The Other Side, Through a Child’s Eyes

PLACITAS, New Mexico, September 2016

A little girl, named Jamie, arrives in a strangely beautiful countryside where she meets two new friends, Bear and Cotton. They tell her all about this very special place where they all now live: a land of peace, joy and love.


“As Jamie walked into the meadow, she saw the polar bear cub that her grandpa had mentioned. He was playing in the flowers across the lush field of grass. The little bear was running up the hill and then somersaulting all the way to the bottom. As he went head-over-heels down to the valley floor, he created an explosion of white blossoms. He’d sit there briefly and then scamper up to the top again. As he headed back up, the wide path where he’d flattened the flowers filled in like it had never been touched. Jamie thought that was odd.”


Bear and Cotton help Jamie by explaining where she is, how things are different there than on Earth and slowly put her at ease in her new surroundings.


“I know that on Earth lots of people have pets like dogs, cats, birds, horses and fish. Mommy and Daddy have a dog. His name is Blitz. When it is Blitz’s time, will he come here too?  


“Oh yes! Pets come here too and they are greeted by their families just like we are. You will probably greet Blitz. I have heard that when it is a pet’s time to come here that their family on Earth is very sad,” said Bear.


“Well a pet is a family member so it must be very sad. When Blitz comes here, will he be able to hear Mommy and Daddy talk to him too?” asked Jamie. 


“Yes, Blitz will be able to hear them,” said Cotton. “Everyone here can learn to talk to family members on Earth.” 


Beyond the Stars: The Other Side, Through a Child’s Eyes was written and illustrated by Joan M. Hellquist, as a form of grief therapy for the loss of a baby at birth. The author wishes that Jamie’s story will bring hope, comfort and love to anyone grieving the loss of a pregnancy, baby or child.


The writing and illustrations are done in the style of a children’s book so that it may also be read to a child before a loved one dies. Jamie, Bear and Cotton are all innocents who tell this story in a matter of fact, childlike way, using their own words. 


Quote from author

“I learned as a teenager to keep my feelings of grief and loss stuffed deeply inside, so I did just that for over forty years. On the thirtieth anniversary of Jamie’s birth and death, I heard her talk to me during a meditation and that changed everything. Hearing her speak proved to me that there is communication with The Other Side.”


Joan M. Hellquist grew up in Summit, New Jersey. She worked for almost twenty years in healthcare as a Respiratory Therapist and Physician Assistant, about nine years of those years she worked in Pediatrics. In 2001, Hellquist returned to her first love, her artwork. She paints pastel landscapes and specializes in painting wildlife images on American Indian-made hand drums. Hellquist is also a landscape and wildlife photographer and with this book, she has now become an author and illustrator. She has lived in New Mexico since 1988.


Beyond the Stars: The Other Side, Through a Child’s Eyes ($19.95, ISBN: 0692576509, ISBN-13: 978-0692576502), a 60-page, fully illustrated paperback, published by Bear Foot Printing a division of Artistic Endeavors.