Monday, April 28, 2014

The Tree house

When I see tree houses,
I think of the one that my friend Brina and I made.
It was a crude house,
But the kids loved it.
My heart was bleeding,
My baby had died.
He would never play in it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Borneo post

The third book
After a long stint of short-story writing, Ann came out with the third book, a fiction novel – Mail Order Bride. The story, set in Auckland, New Zealand, touches on social issues such as teenage pregnancies, drugs, paedophile and the like. The book took two months to finish.
Ann does not intend to make money out of her books, saying: “I consider all the attention I got from the newspapers and television as just a bonus.”
“My dream was to go places. Dad used to go to England – we always knew he went to England. We were taught if we wanted to go places, we got to work hard.”
Ann graduated with a bachelor’s degree (economics) in Canada in 1975 and three years later (1978) went to Auckland for her second economics degree and a diploma in management. There, she met her husband and in 1990, the family moved to Singapore before shifting back in Auckland in 2006.
Ann, who considers herself a “freedom writer,” said she self-published all her books as she liked having the freedom to write what she wanted. Proof readers and professional editors were all the help she got.
“I call myself a freedom writer because whatever I do, I am not bound by rules.”
Her advice to aspiring writers is to have “patience, plan, persistence, perseverance and imagination.”
“You got to have a plan and a target and try to follow them through. That’s what I did,” added Ann who is also a public speaker.
She said she never wasted “any precious time” when writing her books and would usually spend more than eight hours a day putting her ideas into words.
“When the inspiration comes, never try to ignore it. Instead, put your plan into work and write it down. Writing is all about passion but you have to be disciplined if you want to be a successful writer,” she advised.
EARLY YEARS: Ann (standing back row – second left) with her family.

Borneo post 4

Writing skills
Ann said she and her siblings developed their skills in English writing at an early age.
Her father, John Chan, a former divisional education officer, laid that foundation for them.
“There were nine of us and because dad had so many children, he couldn’t afford to take us for holidays. Every day, during the holidays, he would give us each a title for our composition. We all had to write our own stories and dad would correct them in the evening.
“I think that was how he instilled the love of writing in our hearts and it made our English really good,” she said.
Ann got her first material published when she was in Form Two and she was paid five dollars for it. Since then, she has been writing all her life and many of her works can be found online.
Unlike her first book whose only input was herself, her second contained contributions from her siblings. She started writing the manuscript in 2006.
“When my father died in Kuching in 2006, I went back to Singapore and I couldn’t sleep, so I started writing. I then wrote to my siblings and they said it was good.
“We did like hundreds of emails. They encouraged me and offered me some recollections and reminiscences, so it was everybody contributing. That was the first manuscript,” she recalled.
The book was intended as her brother’s 60th birthday gift.
She explained the people in Sarawak, especially among the Chinese community, could relate to the book as it traces their roots and identities.
“From China to Borneo and Beyond kindled a lot of interests in the state. I am very happy to hear a publisher is going to print a Chinese version of it.”

Borneo post 3

Four-part book
The book is divided into four parts – her struggle during her 55 days in the hospital; the steps she took after going through the ordeal; poetry and advice to the people on dealing with bereavement.
Ann worked hard and finished the book in just two months but there were times she found it difficult to continue. She recalled the distressing time where Andrew stopped breathing and turned black. The doctor told her he was dead.
“He was dead for half the afternoon, then he was alive again. When he finally died, you knew that was the finale.”
Ann hoped the book could give words of healing to mothers who lost their babies – that they are not alone in dealing with such adversity.
“People don’t talk about this topic – not even in European countries. People still feel uncomfortable talking about it but mothers who have lost their babies want to talk about it,” she said.
With the success of the first book, she came up with her second – From China to Borneo and Beyond which describes the journey of her family, especially how her great grandfather came to Borneo from China about 100 years ago.
It also tells of her childhood – growing up in Sibu with nine siblings and how they eventually separated and went on to live in different countries.
THE FAMILY: Ann (second right) with her siblings.

Borneo post 2

A GRIEVING mother found solace in writing while trying to come to terms with the death of her newborn son.
Her book – Diary Of A Bereaved Mother: Goodbye My Baby – has touched the lives of many mothers who have gone through the same agonising ordeal.
It was the first written work of Sibu-born writer Ann Chin who produced it in 2010, specially as a birthday gift to her son Andrew who would have turned 21 that year had he lived.
Andrew was Ann’s third child whom she lost 55 days after birth. The book was a compilation of the letters she wrote during that traumatic period.
“The initial manuscripts were written when I was in the hospital. Andrew was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and I sat there for 55 days, writing letters for families which I have kept till today,” she said.
Penned with such raw honesty, the book soon became a message of hope for mothers who have lost their babies.
Ann, who now lives in New Zealand and teaches TESL (Teaching English As Second Language) in Auckland, has written many materials, including short stories and poetry.
However, by her own admission, the amount of energy she spent writing them paled in comparison with that she spent writing the Diary of a Bereaved Mother. It was the most difficult to write, she remembered.
The reason was not that it was her first ever book but rather that having to revisit that painful period was “just too overwhelming.”
“I actually sat on the documents for three days. The first and second day, I was too distraught and didn’t do anything at all. The third day, I finally decided to revisit those times – and I cried.
“But once I got through them – on the fourth day – I started writing,” she said, adding that what made it easier for her to start the opening paragraph was that she had the letters in proper order.

Borneo Post 1

Words of healing from a bereaved mother

by Jane Moh, Posted on December 1, 2013, Sunday

THE AUTHOR: Ann with her three books.

INSPIRATION: Ann Chin signing her book during the launching of her books in Sibu recently.

Read more:

Anzac Day, for all grieving mothers.

Today is ANZAC day, we remember those who died in the war.  I like to think of the mums who had lost their sons.

Late last night, or early this morning, I was editing a chapter of my new book, I kept having formatting problems. I got so frustrating and went to bed.

This morning, I started my computer, and the problem mysteriously gone. I look at my chapter again, It is about a bereaved mother who had lost 2 babies. Strange isn't it. God didn't want me to do a rubbish post.

The Flanders Poppy, how apt it is to represent a grieving mother. Two years ago, I saw this very recent bereaved mum in church. Half way through, I saw her walk out. She didn't return. I felt in my heart, how much it is similar to me. I went to the bathroom to look for her.

 She was at a corner. I asked if she was OK. She said yes, but her hug told me she wasn't. I told her, remember , "its Ok to cry." Empty arms.

The hole in the heart, is bigger than a well. The hole never mends. Instead a stack is continually stabbing. Blood never cease to ooze. A puzzle piece is missing. Life is never the same again. Only a fellow mum who has lost her babe, Will understand your pain. She will not ask you to stop crying. For she wears the same pair of shoes. For she feels the pinching at the toes. Open your heart to her. Together you journey. Until you meet your angels again.

 I am a Sands mum for 25 years, and I am a counsellor and advocate.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Angel Gowns NZ,

Angel Gowns NZ, an amazing story. First started in Australia, this idea of making funeral gowns for babies from donated wedding gowns spread like wild fire. There is going to be one in UK.
To those of us who have lost babies in the past, donating their gowns is a symbolic way to remember their angels.
To those who have not lost their babies, what a great gift of love.
To the organiser and sewers, thank you.
On behalf of Grieving parents receiving the gowns, Thank you, Thank you.

The New Zealand Herald :Words of healing

 Always grateful to the first newspaper write-up .

The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by APN News & Media. It has the largest newspaper circulation of any in the country, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although numbers had declined to 162,181 by December 2012.[1] Its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is also delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland, Waikato and King Country.[

Words of healing

A mother's account of the death of her newborn son has been turned into a book in the hope it will help other mothers heal. Rebecca Blithe meets the author. "The specialist said, 'You're going to have a normal baby'," says Ann Chin, as she sits with a pile of her recently published book, Diary of a Bereaved Mother.
But the days that followed the birth of her son, Andrew, proved anything but normal.
"Once I had my baby they realised he was dying," she says, of his diagnosis of Campomelic syndrome; a bone and cartilage condition resulting in short limbs and breathing problems because of a small chest capacity.
"They knew because of the scans, but they didn't investigate because it was a rare thing," she says, of the abnormalities. "When the baby was born, they resuscitated him. He was going to die that night. He survived for 55 days.
"One afternoon I was told he had died. He stopped breathing, he turned black, he was dead for half of the afternoon. Then he began breathing again." Describing that afternoon, the author seems lost for words. "You can't really give words, except that it was heart-wrenching, I was in a black tunnel."
During this period, Mrs Chin stayed in the nurses' home at National Women's Hospital, awaiting her baby's death, and writing.
"It was not only a diary for myself but I was writing letters to family in Australia and Singapore. I kept carbon copies," she says, adding her father had made his six children write daily compositions from a young age.
Twenty-one years later, after meeting other women who lost children, she decided to revisit her ordeal, in the hope of helping mothers cope and those close to them understand.
"Six hundred babies a year die. That's more than the road toll. [Compared to the funding for road safety] there's just nothing provided for us."
Mrs Chin, who teaches English as a second language, says reliving the experience was difficult but cathartic.
"I took out all my old files. I read them and I cried. I sat at the computer and I cried. But after a while, I was okay. Then I finished the first draft on his anniversary."
She says the feedback so far has been positive, especially from those who have had similar experiences.
"One of the mothers [from a Stillborn and Newborn Death support group], she just cried. She said to have someone writing about it was really helpful. I've spoken to grandparents as well. People tell me, 'Now I understand'."
Her story also tells of her disappointment with some of the staff at the antenatal unit and the importance of cultural sensitivity. "We had two doctors who kept saying, 'This is his problem'," she says, of medical staff shifting the blame.
The book has been requested by one of Mrs Chin's doctors, who is now based at the University of Toronto, Canada, to assist with training and hospital management procedures.
Dr Simon Rowley is a consultant at Starship Children's Hospital who's been given a copy of the book.
"It is a good reminder to all health professionals that when our patients leave us, the story does not end for the parents. The detail is amazing, and every little thought and action seems to have been recorded as it happened, and then has been reflected upon.
"For parents undergoing similar experiences this book could be a great comfort. For health professionals, I would see it as essential reading."
Further reading
Diary of a Bereaved Mother is available at The Women's Bookstore, 105 Ponsonby Rd, or  email Ann Chin:

Prinka Rana from Nepal.

 When I met  Prinka Rana from Nepal, and I told her when I see her, I see my connection with Nepal. When I asked her to have this photo taken with her, I explained that I wanted to write about the balloon release. That day, I was going to join bereaved families to release balloons to our angels in heaven. I wrote Andrew and Jamuna's names.

In 2000, I was privileged to be involved with two Siamese twins from Nepal. I answered an appeal and set up my own appeal in NTU. I made a scrap book with all the emails, newspaper cuttings and photographs. I saw Jamuna and Ganga while they were still conjoined. This is a great privileged.
It was a very intense and hard work. But if I have to do it again, I will happily do so. The operation was successful and they went home to Nepal.

Sadly, Ganga died in 2008.

In the photos, the young couple are the parents, Sandhya Shrestha and Bhushan. Sandhya is reading my scrap book. Manchala is my very good friend. Shrija is from Nepal. The elderly gentleman is Shrija's father-in-law. Both Manchala and Shrija were involved in the donation drive.

Sandhya asked through an interpretor why I was doing it.  I told her, " I couldn't fight for my son, I want to help you fight for your babies."

My readers may remember my post:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter story.

Three years ago at Easter, I launched my first book. It gave me a license to tell people about my late baby Andrew.

Often people would ask," How many children do you have." I wasn't sure to tell them the truth and make them very awkward.

But since, I wrote my book, and they ask, "What is your book about?" I feel it free to explain it's about my journey as a mother who had lose her child.  I show them my 4 fingers, and I point to my ringed finger. This baby died.

They ask," Isn't it terrible?"

I tell them,"  One of my worst IMAGINE was being told, your baby had apnea and he is dead. We held him for 4 hours, and then he came back to life again. This was to continue 10 times before he finally died"

"What kept you going?"

"Jesus died on the cross and he brought peace. "

Monday, April 7, 2014


1 - 7 of 7 Products found for  

- Keywords: diary of a bereaved mother

  in the section: English books

Diary of a Bereaved Mother Diary of a Bereaved Mother
Publisher: Ann Kit Suet Chin
Paperback / softback
Publication date: May 2011

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Angel Gowns NZ

This set was sewn by Dawn Solomon
and being sent to Blair E Batson Hospital,
Jackson, Ms.
They are sent love and prayers.
Ann Chin shared Angel Gowns NZ's status.

an amazing person doing an amazing job. She makes gowns for babies who have departed. I remember when Andrew died, I had not bought anything for him. I asked his favourite nurse Daphne to give him a lemon knitted gown. I am not as skilful to make tiny gowns, I knit blankets.

As a midwife I have suported families through the tragedy of losing a baby, In Hamilton where I work, parents are given every opportunity to bathe, cuddle and dress their precious baby. Some of these babies are born earlier than expected and don't fit the clothing their mum and dad may have chosen for them, or sometimes it is too hard for parents to shop for their angel baby in a mainstream shop.

A friend forwarded some information on to me about an Australian company who make beautiful gowns out of recycled wedding dresses. What better way to help than to offer this service in New Zealand. So as a group, of as many volunteers I can find, we want to provide beautiful gowns for beautiful angels.

Do you have a wedding or bridesmaids dress in the back of your wardrobe? And want to donate to enable parents to dress their angels, afterall we all deserve to go to heaven in a beautiful gown. xx