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The Perham Enterprise (Perham, MN) - December 27, 2001

Ottertail woman writes about loss
of grandchild

by Steve Schulz

  An Ottertail woman's story of the loss of her granddaughter is included in a compilation book dealing with death.
  Gail Schroer penned a short, autobiographical story called "Angel In Our Family" about the loss of her grandchild Samantha on just the third day of life for the infant.
  "It is always heartbreaking to lose someone you love," Schroer wrote. "When that someone is a newborn baby, people sometimes say things like, 'It's good that no real attachment was formed'; 'They'll get over it soon'; and 'It's all for the best.'"
  Schroer continued to say those sorts of insensitive statements are untrue. She detailed the few days Samantha lived, and the emotions that swirled around her burial.
  The attachment, though brief, was very real.
  "It still does affect me a little bit," Schroer admitted. "Luckily, I have a lot of other grandchildren."
  The events detailed in her story happened in April 1990 while she lived in the Twin Cities. That fall, she and her husband, who traveled to this area often as a salesman, moved to Ottertail.
  It was about four years ago when Schroer wrote the story.
  Soon after, she read an article in Writer's Digest calling for just that kind of story.
  The book, From Eulogy To Joy, was compiled by Cynthia Kuhn Beischel, and includes the works of 130 people, including a submission by Neale Donald Walsch, New York Times bestselling author of Conversations With God, Books I, II, and III.
  Schroer also noted that Oprah Winfrey featured one of the book's authors on her talk show last summer.
  Needless to say, Schroer is in good company with her coauthors.
  It's not he first offering Schroer has had published.
  "I've done some articles," she noted. "I've had some poems published. I used to do a church column monthly in a church newspaper."
  She's not the kind of writer you'll find hunched over a keyboard, forcing herself to churn out copy to overcome writer's block.
  "I write when the spirit hits me," she explained.
  From Eulogy To Joy is available now in hardcover at most bookstores. Schroer also said the book will be republished in the spring in softcover by Capital Books.

  (Readers can reach Editor Steve Schulz at or by calling 218-346-5971.)

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