Tag Archives: Grief

Will I Have to Brush My Teeth in Heaven

Mum who tragically lost two children shares deep hope in new book

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Loss and suffering is hard at any time and it is human nature to struggle with it. As a parent, hearing of someone losing a young child is heartbreaking. In the case of Emma-Jane McNicol, she faced the death of two of her children, in different circumstances, within two years.

Emma-Jane, a New Zealander and Roddy, her Scottish husband, were left picking up the pieces after their two precious boys died. Emma-Jane was left with big questions regarding her faith and how to hold on to it.

In her compelling new book, Will I Have to Brush My Teeth in Heaven?, she reveals the true story of her family, beautifully blessed, also being tested almost to breaking point. When faced with the illness of their baby son Samuel, they had to quickly adapt to hospital life with a sick child, and then to life without that child after he passed away.

Only eighteen months later, tragedy struck the family again. This time it was their second son, Ben, who at six years old, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Devastatingly, he also passed away five months later.

This incredible book was written to not only tell the McNicols’ story, but to encourage readers who are grieving, or who are trying to support others who are facing their own grief with the hope of Jesus. It is not a glib offer of hope. It is an honest account of the searching questions that this raises.

While her book’s subtitle states ‘holding on to hope in the death of a child,’ Emma-Jane says that she has often been known to say that, at times, her experience was not a hold, but more a clinging or a grasping onto hope in the face of loss.

“Experience of loss can be incredibly lonely,” Emma-Jane says. “In sharing my story, my aim is to help others who walk a path of loss to not feel so isolated, but to feel heard and to feel their pain acknowledged. This is particularly important for Christians because when faith is present, we may believe in a God of miracles, that he can move mountains, he can change the situation, He is all-powerful.

Yet when our mountains of pain are not moved and we do not get the miracle we are so desperate for, how do we hold on and how do we know that we are heard and still loved?”

In this powerful book Emma-Jane says: “I have experienced the spirit of despair and felt the pit of grief deep within my being. But when I am there, whilst it feels as if I cannot breathe, I have a sense that I am not alone, despite my physical aloneness. I think that there is a God standing beside me collecting all my tears.”

She also gives her insight into Heaven; not looked at from a theological background, but from a grieving parent trying to work out where her child is and what that child’s existence in Heaven may now be. At the end of dealing with the big question, Is Heaven Real? Emma Jane concludes: “We have been shown a glimpse of Heaven in the Bible so that we may spark a desire and want to go there, but he has not taken off the whole wrapper.

“We can still be filled with anticipation – like a child in the sweet shop longingly looking at the wrapped lolly, knowing that the best is yet to come when the wrapper is removed.”

As you journey through their story, you will be challenged to consider some big questions. How do you:

respond to suffering?

forgive others that hurt you?

help others in their loss?

hold on to hope when it feels like you have lost, or are losing, everything?

The McNicols’ story, and their ability with God’s grace to overcome, will encourage you to go deeper as you ponder God’s love for you and others – even when the longed-for healing, or answer to your prayers, does not come. There is a hope that is greater than what we see in this world come and be enthralled by it.

Will I Have to Brush My Teeth in Heaven?, published by Ark House, is now available globally. To connect with Emma-Jane go to www.ejmcnicol.com.

through the vslley

#1 New Release in Religious Faith “Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” by Laura Woodworth

FAITH NEWS SERVICEThe new devotional book, “Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” by Christian author Laura Woodworth inspires healing for those who grieve and renewed momentum for those who have lost their vision and purpose.

Kansas City, MO (April 4, 2023) —With emotional health a growing concern in our nation, the new devotional book, “Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” by Laura Woodworth offers a path towards healing, spiritual wellness and renewed momentum into the good future promised in God’s word. Published by Family Christian Publishing, the book is the #1 New Release in the Religious Faith category on Amazon. It is available at BarnesandNoble.com, ChristianBook.com and Amazon.com.

“Even years out from the pandemic, many people are still trying to get their bearings,” shares Laura Woodworth. “‘Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God’ offers a compassionate hand up or a friendly push to get your life back in gear with renewed vision.”

With a missions and ministry background, Woodworth is an award winning screenwriter-producer-director, script consultant, and development executive for Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles. Her inspirational writings are finding a strong readership on FamilyChristian.com, iDisciple, and Pure Flix Insider, and she has over 200K subscribers to her YouVersion devotional plans.

Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” is endorsed by Hollywood executives as well as ministry leaders. Media executive Phil Cooke, who has worked with many of the most respected churches and ministries in the world, says, “Laura Woodworth has her finger on the pulse of where our culture is right now. If you’re ready to move your life forward, I can’t think of a better start than this devotional.”

“A GET THROUGH IT devotion… I believe the lost DREAM will be revived by the spirit of the Lord as you walk through this devotional,” comments Barb Rudoski, co-pastor of Faith Alive Family Church in Canada.

Co-founder of iHope Ministries, Karen Bejjani shares, “If you’re stuck in a hopeless spot, Laura Woodworth compassionately meets you there and guides you back to Truth. A great resource for our times.”

“If you’re ready to move out of your valley and into God’s future, this book is for you,” adds Laura Woodworth.

Order now from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Through-Valley-Move-Your-Forward/dp/B0BL89JMFP

Find out more about the devotional at https://throughthevalleydevotional.com

For interviews with the author, contact the author directly at laura@laurawoodworth.com

Booksellers can purchase “Through the Valley—Move Your Life Forward in God” through Anchor Distributors here: https://www.anchordistributors.com/.

About Laura Woodworth
Laura Woodworth is a development executive for Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, freelance writer-producer-director, and script consultant for Stage 32, the largest online platform for screenwriters in the world. With a B.A. in Ministerial Studies and graduate work in UCLA’s Professional Program in Producing, film awards include Most Inspirational Short Film (ICFF) for “In Tune” and the Telly Award-winning documentary “Asia: The Great Wall and Beyond” produced for TBN. Her articles have been carried by FamilyChristian.com, iDisciple, PureFlix Insider, CharismaMagazine.com and CreativeScreenwriting.com and she has over 200K subscribers to her YouVersion devotional plans. She has spoken at Christian gatherings and media/film conferences including NRB. Find out more at LauraWoodworth.com


Laura Woodworth
(310) 993-8828


Surviving Holidays While Grieving

Surviving the Holidays While Grieving by Janet K. Johnson, Will be Free to Download Tomorrow, November 22, 2022

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – United States—Monday, November 21, 2022

Janet Johnson is eager to present the re-launch of her book Surviving the Holidays While Grieving.

Janet wrote Surviving the Holidays While Grieving for both those who have experienced grief and loss and those who know someone who has experienced loss to help them survive the holidays.

Having endured the significant amount of profound loss of love ones, she understands grief brings a multitude of emotions. Each day can be a battle to keep unpredictable emotions under control—especially around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which can bring losses into full focus. Even simple tasks, such as walking through a store during the holidays, can surface memories that turn on emotions like a light switch.

Janet comes alongside readers who have lost a loved one or are journeying with someone dealing with grief. With tenderness and compassion, she offers ideas for managing emotions, hands-on activities for expressing feelings in tangible ways, and tips for communicating those feelings to others.

Janet K. Johnson’s Surviving the Holidays While Grieving will be free and available for download on Amazon for 5 days from November 22 through November 26, 2022. Grief: The Unwanted Journey is highly recommended. Here’s what a couple of the reviewers have said:

Rebecca White
5 stars
Easy to read, yet full of wisdom
Reviewed in the United States

“This book is a simple to read book but that is so necessary for those in a state of grief. The ideas to help connect with your loved one as you go through a holiday season without them area simple to do, written with good instructions, and provide an impactful statement. This is especially a great book for families with children that have list someone close and need things to show that the loved one is still a part of the child’s life.”

5 stars
Comfort during special times

“Janet K. Johnson’s book was written from her path through grieving for the loss of a brother, son, and parents. She provides an approach for healing even though “…not completely, but enough to live with joy again, experience new journeys, and find a new normal” in one’s life. I recommend this book if you know anyone who is on the journey of grieving. Ms. Johnson provides helpful advice to remember and celebrate a loved one during special holidays and ideas to create more memories. Although the title suggests a focus on the holidays, the gentle faith-based advice provides helpful ideas to honor your loved one and navigate the journey of grief throughout the year.”

For More Information
For more questions or to schedule an interview about this press release please contact Janet K. Johnson at (828) 772-2349 or email joyfilledjan1@gmail.com.

About the Author
Janet Johnson is a pastor, spiritual formation mentor, author, writer, and speaker whose passion is to draw others closer to God in all of life’s situations. She holds a BA, MSW, and MDiv, is an associate member of the Order of St. Luke healing ministry, and has completed the Academy of Spiritual Formation and the Pastors of Excellence Program. She frequently teaches on grief and joy and also writes regularly for a Christian magazine. She and her husband, Richard, live in North Carolina and have four grown children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A Mum Without Her Baby – A Father Without His Daughter

FAITH NEWSWIRE – “Time of death…” were the words the doctor spoke to Liz and Ray when their baby daughter went to heaven. Relive the gripping emotions and feelings the family encountered at the time of this great tragedy. It is a time in your life you will always remember when a loved one (and especially at such a young age) is taken from you.  

Alana’s Brief Season’ is the compelling story of the death of little six month-old Alana Bremer. This captivating book recounts the faith that brought Liz Bremer, the author, through the pain of losing her precious child.

The words uttered by the doctor came sometime in the afternoon, 29 December 1994. Liz knew it was the right decision but she was still stunned by their words. She had tried to revive her doing CPR, then the ambulance officers took over and finally the nurses at the hospital.

“Monitors were turned off, IV lines removed, the place tidied up and doctors and nurses left the room for Ray and I to be together alone with Alana,” Liz said. “In the last couple of hours so much of how I had reacted was due to my nursing training. Now I was a mum without my baby while Ray was a dad without his daughter. For a moment in time we were lost in our pain. There were no words, we just hugged each other and cried at the enormity of our loss. This was the worst moment of our lives.”

No words can describe this loss, but Liz and Ray had a great faith in their God and trusted Him. Yes, they hurt so much over their bereavement but Liz explained it beautifully.

“I did a lot of crying in the first few months,” Liz said. “Instead of running away from God I turned to Him daily on my own. I didn’t question what God had done and wouldn’t let myself linger on the ‘why’ or ‘if. For me Alana was gone, full stop, rule off’, end of story. Yet I was hurting and told God so. In fact I told Him everything, just as I learned to do many years ago when I understood that God is my Father and friend. I needed time to heal. God was everything He promised to be. My best friend was and is Jesus and together we went through the pain.”

Liz and Ray were numbed by the experience as they left the hospital. They just wanted to shut down and let the world go by.

 “We were physically and emotionally exhausted when we went to bed,” Liz goes on to say. “We all had a good night’s sleep and that has continued for many years. I’ve never had a dream / nightmare when Alana has been in it since that day.”

It was a blessing that they had family and friends around them from the day till just after Alana’s funeral. It felt like God carried them through this time with His energy to deal with everything.

Liz coped by taking time out writing to work through pain and for special days such as Alana’s birthday. The couple have had other children. However this was a great step of faith as this allowed them to be open that it all could go wrong again. 

God was everything to Liz. She had become a Christian at the age of 13 years and now 17 years later she was calling out to Him to get her through this, knowing He loved her and was in control.

“Alana’s death was like the winter of my world. It was a season of loss and death. Somehow my ability to make sense of this tragic event came from words of comfort and hope in the Bible. There’s the hope and power of the resurrection of Jesus because He’s gained victory over death. One day I will be forever with Jesus in heaven. Love, blood, death and resurrection power will get me there and keep me there forever along with Alana who I will see again and many millions more.

“This is my autobiography, not a self help book or written by a counsellor wanting to help others. It’s one of the worst experiences I’ve gone through. It took years for this wound to heal to become a scar.”

Time heals pain experienced in the first stage of bereavement, which is slowly turned into a permanent sense of loss according to Liz. “From the day Alana died to the time I felt a sense of closure was around five years. It was a journey I never thought would take so long.

“I end the book with my youngest daughter’s birth. Her name is Nicole and means victory while Alana’s name means beautiful and for a brief season we enjoyed her beauty.”

Editor’s Note: this article may be re-produced, without requiring permission.