Up until 2004, we were proud parents of a small and active family of two children. That year, tragedy struck when our daughter Nicola was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After two years of stressful and painful treatment, she died in 2006, just short of her 10th birthday. With our family thinking that the worst was over, our son Christopher then contracted the same type of tumour in 2013, returning and claiming his life in 2020. He had just turned 28.
Many books have been written on grief, loss, and the psychological and sociological changes that accompany them. When we looked at our extensive thanatology collection (books on those topics), we came to realise that our grief journey was somewhat unique and underreported compared to the standard accounts. Many families had not lost all their children in the same way we had. In addition, many of those same books had recorded the moving stories of their tragedy but had not written directly to their children.
Eternal Life Letters to Our Two Children adopts a different approach by recording the stories of Chris and Nicola and writing personal 'letters from the heart' to them. It also faces the physical death of children head-on. It contains letters written over the centuries to others who have reflected on suffering, death, grief, NDEs (Near Death Experiences), eternal life, and various other issues, such as the biblical Job, C. S. Lewis, Walter Brueggemann, and Alexandra Kennedy. Finally, the book also incorporates haiku and letters written by Gwen and a helpful Q & A section in its final pages. It is designed to accompany and assist suffering and grieving families on similar, arduous journeys to ours.
'When you lose someone you love, your soul moves to another "place". This "place" is shared only by others who have also lost someone they love. You know they're "there" by the look in their eyes when they tell you how sorry they are for your loss. They have travelled the "journey"… To the observer, your life is carrying on. Inside, however, those who have been "there" know you're still on a journey for a time. You think it must be time for you to "come back" now, and for short periods you do. Then something, some place, some song sends you on the "journey" again'.
(Barb Kerr, 'What Death Has Taught Me, in Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen. (2003). Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications), pp.218–219.
The authors and his company acknowledge the Darug nation and its individual Burramattagal and Toongagal clans (past, present and yet to emerge) as the Traditional Custodians of the land that we live and work on. We are committed to the journey towards Recognition, Equality, Justice and Reconciliation as detailed in The Uluru Statement from the Heart or Makarata. Refer to: https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement This website is Copyright © 2022 Dr Peter Mudge to whom all titles and materials for Living Spirituality and Eternal Life Letters to Our Children belong as the original author.
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