Couple hope sculpture will help grieving families

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A new Lullaby Lane sculpture in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City, was recently dedicated by Kyle and Kristi Easley.

The sculpture was a way to honor their second child, who was stillborn, and a way to bring comfort and peace to other parents experiencing the same loss.

Kyle said he and his wife could not have overcome the pain without the emotional support of other families dealing with the loss of an infant, and he learned a lot along the way.

“I’ve found the best way to deal with grief is to do things to help people or to honor those who are gone,” he said. “The challenge with this is how to honor someone you never knew. A life that never had a chance. It’s something I struggled with. »

While visiting his daughter’s grave last year, Easley said he was just looking at the area surrounding Lullaby Lane, a section dedicated to the burial of children, when inspiration struck.

Having a deep appreciation for art and having worked with Mason City’s Sculptures On Parade as a park board member, he thought, “What if I bought a sculpture and gave it to the cemetery?

The process of finding the right sculpture took several months to scour an inventory of pieces and work closely with Robin Anderson, head of the Sculptures On Parade committee.

“We were trying to find a piece that was meaningful and suited to the space,” Easley told the Mason City Globe Gazette. “We felt we were looking for something fun and childish.”

The Easleys had almost given up and thought they might need to call in an artist when one last look in the book provided them with the answer. “Kristi had that glint in her eye and we immediately knew it would be perfect,” Easley said.

The sculpture, titled “Arc of Peace”, is the work of Lorri Acott, an artist from Colorado.

The sculpture was on tour in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when Anderson inquired about it. The Easleys had hoped to buy it and have it in place by Memorial Day this year. After some timeline delays, the family learned that when the artist found out what the Easleys wanted to do with it, she was so touched that she recast the sculpture.

Country Landscapes donated a limestone base and a bronze plaque was made by Le Doux Signs in Mason City.

Then the weather had to cooperate to complete the landscaping and the summer was coming to an end. After speaking to Tyler Anderson, Elmwood-St. Cemetery superintendent Joseph, who has experienced the loss of a child Easley himself, said they decided to dedicate the sculpture in October to coincide with National Pregnancy and Loss Awareness Month. ‘a kid.

The story behind “Arc of Peace” had special meaning for the Easleys. The piece was partially inspired by the Japanese story of 1,000 paper cranes. This is the story of a young girl who developed leukemia from radiation caused by atomic bombs dropped during World War II.

The girl had been told that if she bent those cranes, she would get a wish. His wish was to live. The girl only reached 644 cranes before she died, and her family and friends finished their work for her.

Easley said while reading the story he broke down and cried because his best friend had a very aggressive form of leukemia and died last year. “He did everything he could. He just wanted to live. That was my sign,” Easley said.

“I’ve always believed that loved ones who are gone are still with us,” Easley said. “She (her daughter) is in good hands in heaven. She is with my friend.

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