Brooklyn mom who lost son in bus stop shooting writes children’s book on grief

Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Michelle Barnes-Anderson has lived every mother’s worst nightmare. Her only child was murdered during a shooting in Brooklyn nearly four years ago.

Now, she has turned her pain into purpose within the pages of a new children’s book released this week. 

Barnes-Anderson’s 27-year-old son, Melquian Anderson, was fatally shot while standing at a bus stop near the Farragut Houses NYCHA complex in October 2017.

Anderson’s daughter was born just months after his death.

Barnes-Anderson said Melkenzye Anderson, now 3 years old, is her heart and soul, and the inspiration behind her new children’s book titled “The Sky Has Caring Eyes.”

The book is about a young girl named Melkenzye — her nickname is Mel Mel. She loses her father before she is born but talks to him everyday, in the sky. 

Barnes-Anderson said every page is from her heart and comes from her own painful experience — a deeply personal message of hope and love to her granddaughter. But it’s also a message of hope to comfort anyone coping with the loss of a loved one. 

“With children, it’s hard to explain to them [that] they will never see them. They can talk to that person,” said Barnes-Anderson.

Barnes-Anderson said the proceeds of her book will go to the foundation established in her son’s name. In just four years, the foundation has granted close to a dozen scholarships to high school and college students across the country. 

Barnes-Anderson said she misses her son everyday. She still feels the deep pain and emptiness, but she is on a mission to help other families and children cope with the grief and stop the cycle of violence.

“When they open this book and read these pages, I want them to feel loved, I want them to feel hope,” said Barnes-Anderson.

The Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation will give away six more scholarships this fall. Students can apply this week by visiting, mjascholarship.org.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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