The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Kalyn's baskets

Couple turns grief to ministry

Nearly a year ago, Kyle Wayne Rewerts began his life. But his birth isn't the beginning of this story. It's the miraculous, happy ending. The story begins with inexpressible grief and pain.

At Debbie Rewerts' 37-week checkup Feb. 13, 2001, the doctor couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. Bruce and Debbie, members of Bethany Lutheran Church, Englewood, Colo., went to the hospital later that day to deliver a lifeless daughter, Kalyn.

In the grief-filled months that followed, Bruce insisted that to heal he had to help others in a similar situation. The couple asked themselves what had helped them work through their grief.

The first was Empty Arms, a book by Sherokee Ilse for coping with miscarriages, stillbirth and infant death.

Next, a camera. Most hospitals only have Polaroid cameras, and the photo fades quicker than most. "I don't know what I would do without my pictures of Kalyn," Debbie says. "So many couples walk away from the hospital after this kind of tragedy with only a Polaroid snapshot that won't last."

Third, a journal. Debbie wrote to Kalyn as a way to communicate and express her grief.

The couple bought 20 of each of the three items. They wrapped them in tissue paper and placed them in baskets, attaching a card explaining the significance of each item. They presented them to Swedish Hospital in Denver and to other area hospitals.

The Kominsky family contacted the Rewerts after their daughter, Riley, died. They expressed profound thanks for the basket and asked if they could be part of this ministry. Now the card in the baskets reads: "In loving memory of our daughters Kalyn Michele Rewerts and Riley Sharleen Kominsky, born silently into God's hands."

When Debbie, pregnant with Kyle, was at the health club one afternoon, a woman said her daughter had recently lost a baby at Swedish Hospital. She told Debbie how her daughter had been helped by one of the baskets.

"It felt like God was sending a message that we were doing something good and to keep at it," Bruce says. The Rewerts plan to expand the ministry to other hospitals.


Tiffany Arrowood

Tiffany Arrowood

Posted at 7:59 am (U.S. Eastern) 6/13/2007

I am so sorry for your loss. I also have a daughter named Kaly Michele. She is 12 years old and is a recovering cancer patient. I am so thankful the lord didn't take her from me. I'm sure Kalyn is a gaurdian angel..



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