Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What kept us going....

Friends who knew of our painful setbacks of child losses have sometimes gingerly turned to us for advice on how to extend words of encouragement and comfort to those friends of theirs in the same unfortunate predicament. We shared with them that during moments of such intense personal loss, couples prefer to have their personal space to grieve but yet be remembered in their family and friend's deeds and thoughts. They might yearn for those close to them to validate the pain they are experiencing.

One of the most practical ways to show you care is to send them a good read. When we lost Nathaniel, and subsequently Joash and Ashley, David and I retreated into scores of literature which shed light onto God's purpose for what we are going through and how we can find hope to move on. Here are some note-worthy titles in our collection which we find helpful and would recommend to bereaved or grieving parents:

1. Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven About the Death of a Child (Hardcover) by John MacArthur

Every parent who has lost a child has dealt with disturbing, haunting questions. Why my child? Where is my baby now? Will I ever see my child again? Renowned Bible expositor John MacArthur tackles the question of infant death (in the womb or following birth) in his trademark style--with detailed attention to Scriptures that hold the answers. No death occurs apart from the purposes of God, MacArthur assures readers, just as no life occurs apart from the purposes of God. With a pastor's heart, he leads readers to an understanding of the eternal destination of these precious little ones.

A devotional companion offering comfort, the reassurance of God’s presence, and strength for the journey through grief to healing for those who have lost a child through miscarriage, tubal pregnancy, stillbirth, or early infant death.

3. Mommy, Please Don't Cry: There Are No Tears in Heaven (Library Binding)by Linda Deymaz

Mommy, Please Don't Cry is a book of love and comfort for mothers who have experienced the deep sorrow of losing a child. Serene illustrations frame gentle words that describe heaven from a child's perspective. With room for the reader's personal reflections at the end of the book, every page is a poignant gift of hope and healing. "Our stories are all different, but our pain is the same," writes Linda. "We are mothers who will forever grieve the loss of our children. And yet, there is hope for our troubled souls."

4. An Empty Cradle, a Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death (Paperback) by Christine O'Keeffe Lafser

Nearly a million parents suffer a miscarriage or infant death each year. Theirs can be a lonely, quiet grief--with many emotions experienced but not easily expressed. This collection of more than a hundred short meditations beautifully interweaves the very real feelings of bereaved parents with Scripture passages that provide comfort, direction, and a sense of hope.

Twenty-three years after her son Nathan’s stillbirth, Cindy Claussen was filled with a need to write this story of hope and healing. Designed with soft colors and simple illustrations, the pages of Born to Fly– An Infant’s Journey God, contain Nathan’s conversation with God as he hears his father’s strong voice and experiences the sensation of his Mother’s warm touch for the first time. The simplicity of the story is what makes it so powerful. Born to Fly is indeed a little treasure that is sure to leave its delicate imprint on your heart.

The book contains a remarkable miscellany of emotionally charged literature by the likes of Melville, Frost, Shelley, Irving and Shakespeare. Each selection describes bereavement in a different way, lending credence to the editors' belief that no one can claim to understand another person's particular loss or its effects. The excerpted literature is of impeccable quality, as are the sentiments behind each piece. This book does not seek to instruct the reader on how to cope with grief, it merely shares the beloquence of those who have been there before.

Credit: All book covers and descriptions are taken from http://www.amazon.com/ but you can order these books through Kinokuniya (Singapore) bookweb services online.