So nice that you wrote such a wonderful letter to us, we take what God gives us, our whole people were supporting you at that crucial time, we have no answer why God gave you such a testing, we pray to give you peace, we love you both.
God bless us, love, prayers,
EY.Elcy Yohannan Sankarathil
I was trying to write you gain, as I don't see any of your posting. Now, I got your mail and thank you!What a sorrowful period or difficult journey, that you and Lissy have gone thru and still going thru! All human beings will understand your helpless situation that nothing will replace your son, Vineeth, in this world. But what is our option? Ask the Almighty to heal our wounds! I suggest to read the book of Job and one interpretation of it by Dr. Kushner. If you have read it, please read it again. If not, please get one immediately. The name of the book is: "When bad things are happening to good people". My knowledge doesn't go anything beyond that. I know I have to surrender each moment like the Job had finally said: "I am nothing -- how could I ever find the answers? I will put my hands over my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say." (Job 40-4-5). May the good God bless you both the wisdom to live further, a quality life!
Got your mail. You do not have to be sorry, rather I should be sorry that I could not come for the funeral. I am so glad that you saw the positive side of the loss and be glad of it. Normally people do not find that part of the matter, rather complain, accuse and even leave faith in God. You have done the right thing so wonderfully. May God continue to be with you and strengthen you to do his work in this world. I am currently in Nagpur Seminary for a month long teaching assignment. I will be back in Kerala by 1st of August. God willing I will be in Austin during the second week of November to participate in the St. Gregorios Perunnal at Austin TX Church. Hope to see you there.
With prayers and love,
Thank you for your gracious note. Though I have never had children and thus was spared from the agony of experiencing a potential loss, I have suffered the loss of my first wife after 21 years of marriage, snatched away by malignancy. It took me a long time to recover and put my life back together and in the process taught me the mitigating value of faith and hope. It was only time and daily physical exercise of a very rigorous nature (swimming a mile a day at lunch time, running nearly 5 miles at least 5 or 6 days a week and playing tennis thrice a week) restored my sleep rhythm. And, then I met my present wife and we have been happily married now for 26 years. She is a clinical psychologist, which helps no doubt!!I am sure that you and your wife will get through these trying times with God's help and prayers of your family and friends. Do keep in touch and if you ever come this way to Maryland, please feel free to break your journey and stay with us. We live near the water and the community has good walking trails.With my prayers for your continuing solace and recovery from a tragedy that no one except those who have suffered through similar angst can understand.
May God bless you both.Regards,
PS: I remember reading an old book, "Death, be not proud" by John Gunther (?) you probably can get from your local library. It is Gunther's memoirs on the loss of his 17 year old son. It is a classic.
You are absolutely correct and I knew that with your faith, you will come through. You will not be among those who ask "Where is God when we suffer?" You have the answer correctly-- he is right besides us as He was on the cross between the thieves. Only the thief on the right recognized God.I often think that the meaning of 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1 vs 4 is meant for those like you. Being channels of consolations, pouring out the consolation that we received from God. Without suffering, there is no consolation.There was a time in my life when all that I thought was stable and all that I had been proud of collapsed around me. My parents ran away from home-from my brother, their only son, who would come home drunk and violently bash his wife and my parents would be threatened. My father had retired as chief engineer. They left when he was away and moved into a flat. That experience took away many of my prejudices and made me more compassionate. I could help a few people, including wives of alcoholics because of this experience.A friend of mine lost his daughter to cancer and his wife has become a recluse. (6 years have passed but she still avoids social contact and does not go to church. He said he also feels reluctant to open the Bible. He feels betrayed by God. There is another colleague who is in a similar condition, having lost both children. You John & Lizy, can speak to such people and they will listen. I feel a hypocrite when I try to speak to them as their pain is unique to them.I too cried for Vineet because I could understand his sorrow.
Susan Eapen, Bangalore
All three of you, your friends and other family will continue to remain in my prayers. I hear such courage in your words; such inspiration. I will pray that the pain deadens for you quickly. Remember that I, as your friend, am here to share in your sorrow and to provide comfort as you desire it.God bless you.
Our family prays to God to give you and Lizzy to get courage and determination through the mighty hands of God. Mon will be in our memory and now he will live in our memory in this world while his soul rest in the lap of our Fathers in Heaven.Mon should live and to be remembered through our writings too. So I earnestly request to consider a memorial page in fond memory of Mon in the Light of Life in this August Issue. As I am going on vacation to India in September I prefer to work out it this coming issue. If I can get some Photographs and photos at different stages and atmosphere, a complete biographical sketch in the light of how God guided and configured and planned the life of Mon in our human perspective even though the Will of God about each man is unperceivable through human eyes. Once I get all these I will prepare and send it for your and Lizzy's edification. Please let me know your thought about this.
With Love and Regards
Happy to hear from you. Your ability to bounce back and continue with life after such a tragedy is definitely worth emulating.There is also some news from my end. I am relocating to Melbourne Australia after living in New Zealand for more than 10 years. I will start working there on August 25th, but my family will be joining only later towards the end of the year. This will enable my daughter to complete her term in her current school and give us enough time to wind up things in NZ. We will always remember you both in our prayers. Please let us know your phone number in US.
Thanks & Regards
Thank you for your word of response. I think it is the first time I am being replied for a word of condolence. Parting is always a sorrowful experience. Those who experienced in life only will be able to understand the depth of it. Incidentally, I was forced to experience a situation about 10 years ago (when I was barely 9 years of age) the passing of my beloved mother. Though time erases the feeling it will always be a fresh sore throughout the life time. Only the heavenly intervention turns it into a situation of hope and our faith. The memories and the hope of reunion at that beautiful shore consoles the inconsolable situations. Remembering you in our prayers.
Cherian Thomas, Mysore
Glad to hear from you and much more consoling to see that you have taken this in a positive perspective. This strength and the will not to be dragged down by this is surely a sign of the merciful Lord. You and Lissy aunty are still in our prayers daily. The hand of the Lord is only seen when we look back at this phase of life later, provided we stay in His presence even in those later days.Just like Vineeth is a part of all of us, so are you and Lissy aunty. The whole community saw their son departing to his heavenly abode, but at the same time you and Lissy aunty have so many more sons to take care of. We are all proud to have elders like you. Kindly consider one among your family. I am sure you'll be able to see Vineeth in many of us.Thank you once again for the wonderful mail you sent. Love to Lissy aunty too. Kindly uphold us in your prayers too.
Love & prayers,
___________________________________________________________I heard from Philip Mathew that you are back from India. Now I see that you are finding consolation and peace at heart by the grace of God. Keep on holding on Him and continue His work which you were doing. Cherish the memory of your son every day. It is a mystery that for some God give children to be cherished for long time and for few a very short time.I want to keep you and Lizy in my prayers.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Viji and I have been profoundly impacted by the turn of events in the last 2 months. I don't even know how to express the the feelings we go through every time we see you and all our surroundings because everything brings back memories of our beloved Vineeth.I have constantly checked with Rajan (in our office) throughout this tumultuous time. Please forgive me for not approaching you more often. Lot of times I see you and Lissy and I want to say so much that I become speechless. Please forgive me.I have mentioned to your niece that I lost my 12 year old brother when I was ten years old and the impact it has on me. To a certain degree, I know how painful it is. At the same time, as you mentioned, we all leave everything to God and let him set the course.Some times when an event happens and does not make sense, we have to look to God to make sense of it.Your family is always in our prayers. Please let us know if there is anything you need at all.
Ravi & Viji
John, your mail, especially the part where God shares our pain, touched me . It can only be so. I think we are placed in such a situation where there is suffering and evil, and times of sorrows are the occasion to feel our love for each other. I felt like opening my email and so comforting to find yours. Give my love to Lizzy. Just a few days ago I attended the funeral of a cousin of mine, in his 40s, probably. He suffered from kidney failure and I remembered the part of the Bible where Christ is prophesied to suffer like a mute lamb taken to be slaughtered. How much of natural and man made occasions of suffering. I think that when we go out of ourselves and share the pain of others we can strengthen others and be comforted and be strengthened.You must now feel your son is with you and get into the normal activities. See that Lizy has some companion. My wife is concerned about you and her regards.
Thanks for the mail. We understand that no words can express what you have gone through in your life. May The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob give you His peace! God has a definite purpose and plan for our life on this earth. God wishes that everything we do originates from our love for God, and will be with the only objective of glorifying His Almighty Name. May the Holy Spirit of God guide you and keep you. We pray that He transforms the written Word of God to The Living Word of God in your life. We continue to uphold you in our prayers.
With Love and Prayers
Anish, Roshni and Ruth
Thank you very much for your e-mail. You don’t have to thank us for being there when you needed us the most. It is our Christian duty to share your sorrow and pain and pray for you every day. In times of tribulations, we feel very helpless and have no words to comfort you. But we are asking God to give you the courage and strength to go on as long as He wishes us to be in this world. As humans, it is beyond our understanding why you are going through such unbearable pain. May be we will get the answer when we are finally with Him. God expects us to find time to console you and comfort you in our own way so that you will find strength and confidence to go on in life. I am sorry that we are not able to call you or be with you as much as we want to. My request is that you forgive us in our short coming.I came to know that Lissy has gone back to work on Monday. It is my sincere hope that she was able to face everyone courageously and her friends at work were helpful and encouraging. Slowly, we have to take small steps into life and fill the void in our heart by helping other people. I am happy that you are blessed with a lot of friends who are praying earnestly for you. With every one’s help and prayers, let us face life with hope and confidence. Also have confidence that Vineeth is in a better place with no worry and cares of life. In the midst of this misery we still have to thank God for placing Vineeth in your care so that you now have such precious memories that you can cherish in your life. Whenever you feel sad, please try to remember the best times you had with your beloved son and that way you celebrate his life and not his loss.I will try to come and stay with you sometimes, if that is ok. Please remember that we love you very much and you are constantly in our prayers.Hope to talk or see you soon.
With lots of love and prayers,
Amminikutty Chechy and Jeevan Chettan
I just now saw your mail. We had gone to a place called Salala to attend an international ophthalmology conf. We returned yesterday and went to hosp today. Naveen's school also reopened today he has good marks in Maths and Science. Waiting for other papers. Thanks for writing such a thought-provoking mail. Most of the time we pray for Vineet, and remember him in our thoughts. I especially recollect that short Delhi trip. I still remember when he was small and studying at St Jude. Family members compared him with Vineet in Tvm and I think people were envious of him because he studied well. It is some sort of fate and God's will because he was such a bright student. Medical problems are a real depressing thing but both of you did your best and the best Rx available was imparted to him. It is spark of a second thought and was fateful. We all believe in a superior life after and we really wish he is safe and happy and we will meet him with the heavenly father we always remember all 3 of u in prayers. Let God almighty give all the support and mental strength to get over this crisis
With lot of love and prayers
Aji, Renu, Naveen
Good to know you and Lissy are back. Unbearable the pain might have been for the last few weeks and even years, you have to look forward and move forward. Hope time and faith will help you and Lissy heal. Look forward to meeting you whenever we visit Houston next time.
I know how hard it is to feel the loss of Vineeth and yet write with such beauty and poignancy. Please let me know regarding the Miami plans.
Vineeth John, Miami
We still keep you in our prayers. May the spirit of the Lord give both of you strength to go forward.
With Love and prayer,
Oommen George and FamilyG. Puthenkurishe
We all have to suffer pain some times in our life. I don't have any words to comfort you John. If you find the need to get away momentarily from the visible reminders, we would love to have you visit us here as long as necessary. We know that only God can comfort your heart in times like these. You are in our prayers.Thanks..........
Ajayan & family.
Thanks for your last mail. I am sorry for not replying soon. I had been to Kerala with my wife as and when I heard of the death of my cousin. He was the eldest in our family among all the cousins. So went from here on 14th and came back on 28th night. On 15th, we lost our sister-in-law. (Wife's youngest brother's wife) They were in Doha (Qatar) and she was under treatment for some sort of allergy in the lungs. In between she had chicken pox and she also entered her heavenly abode quickly on 15th. Her mortal remains were brought home on 18th and was buried on 19th.We are planning to return to Kerala for good by the beginning of Nov 2008. Hope this will find you both in good health and sound spirits. Let us see each other in our daily prayers.May God bless us all. Let us pray continuously for all our beloved departed too.
With lots of love and prayers
Jose Kurian and family.
When I was at Kottayam, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Moni (General Secretary of SGOS) and Fr. Dr. K.M. George (Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary) They both have asked me convey their regards and prayers also.
Very glad to hear from you. I was travelling last weekend and hence could not reply.You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. May God give you the strength and courage to always keep this positive attitude to life.
After going through this ordeal, John, your faith in our Lord is shining. I gone through the lines and pictures of Veneeth, it is hard to speculate on Lord’s intentions on our life. He is safe in the hands of Jesus and as a firm believer; we have nothing to worry about.I tried to write few words of consolation you during the times of trials; I deleted it many times as a coward. I took it very deeply as any human being. But looking at you, the honest and unblemished faith in our Lord and savior, I am proud of you.
With lots of love and regards,