Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A little boy's birthday in Heaven.

 Photo: For the Jonathan Dove and Robyn

Photo: My jolly jar

Today, a little boy TJ would have been nine today. But he is up in Heaven. My pastor Jonathan and his wife Robyn lost their Toby. I can empathise with them. It was Robyn who encouraged me to write my first book. She continued to encourage by reading all my books.

They wrote the foreword:

Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal. These pages tell of the trauma she felt during the 55 days of sitting by Andrew’s side watching him struggle for breath, loving him but being helpless to save him. Although Ann’s loss occurred many years before we began our ministry at Mt Albert Baptist Church, there exists between us an indelible empathy that is experienced by those who have had to bury a much wanted and adored baby.

As a Christian woman and as an Asian woman, Ann’s journey with grief grants insight into the pillars that shape a soul; one’s faith and one’s culture. Her account is raw. There is no answer given for her loss, the pain is not neatly packaged. To be a grieving parent just hurts.

Ann sensitively gives her view on how friends and hospital staff alike can help rather than hinder those on their path of pain. She gives examples of both from her own experience, and shows how her own pain enabled her to speak into the grief of others to help them feel less alone.

The death of a child leaves you changed forever. The world feels less safe, less reliable. The walk of Christian faith becomes more beautiful, more achingly bitter-sweet. It is as if the sufferings of God have been entrusted to you.

You also understand to a greater degree our need for each other. We have found this true in our own lives and through this book Ann opens her arms and says, “I have been there too”.
We can give each other no greater comfort than this.

Robyn and Jonathan Dove
March 2011

Mt Albert Baptist Church
New Zealand

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