Pam: Life Beyond Death; Joy Beyond Grief
By Christy Lowry
Publication Consultants (2000)
Reviewed by Beverly Pechin for Reader Views (1/06)

When I first read the book’s cover, telling the true story of a family’s dealing with the loss of a 13 year old daughter/sister I simply didn’t know if I COULD read the entire story. I was expecting a story of horror, sorrow, and pain. Instead, what I got was a story of faith, love, and in the end, happiness. While some sadness was evident in the beginning of the story, losing a child is traumatic and painful for anyone, it didn’t take long to realize this was not a book about death, but about LIFE.

Christy Lowry tells the story of losing her daughter to a pedestrian accident on her first day back to school. At the young and tender age of 13 she was taken from her life here on earth and brought into what many of us have no clue about and so many more of us fear because of ignorance and inability to accept the truths of our Christian teaching.

The story telling doesn’t dwell on the sadness of the family and the loss they incurred here on earth but, instead, focuses on the family realizing that their daughter was not only quickly and easily accepted into the gates of heaven but would be there waiting with open arms for a grand meeting with them at another time.

While I must admit I was at first very skeptical about the author’s, lets say “sanity”, … it made me begin a discussion with others of my faith. What I came to find was that I didn’t truly disbelieve what the author was saying, actually quite the opposite – I actually welcomed the ideas and concepts. What I found, instead, was that I wasn’t really 100% sure of my own faith and belief that God would present himself and his ways to us so blatantly. What I loved most about the book was the fact that Lowry backed up her writings and why she felt things were happening the way they were, with excerpts from the Bible. I read the book the first time, ignoring these little end notes but after sitting back and wondering if it couldn’t help my ability to believe… I re-read the book using the end notes to help me along. It made a world of difference.

The book itself says it is recommended for those who have experienced loss themselves but I’m not so sure that’s the only audience that needs to be targeted. The style of writing is one that, while it shares the experiences of the family and their interceptions with God and his many angels, it also allows the reader to stop and consider their own thoughts on the subject of death and grief. I think anyone with even a general consensus of God himself should read it. It will bring you to grips with many concepts that you may have otherwise ignored or not even bothered to consider. It may also make you question your own faith and ability to accept some things about it. Question if your faith is as strong as it could be and delve into learning more about Life after Death.

My absolute favorite part of the book was found at the very beginning. A poem by Colleen Hitchcock called Ascension. It touched me so much so that I asked my own family to make sure they used it at my own departure here on earth. Part of the short poem is below…

“And if I go,

while you’re still here…

Know that I live on,

vibrating to a different measure
— behind a thin veil you cannot see through.

You will not see me,

so you must have faith.” …

It made me feel a sense of well-being that I could offer those words to my loved ones at the time of my own death because they mean so very much when you read them in the poem’s entirety.

What did I get from this book? A sense of completion. A sense of understanding. Hopefully a sense of God’s own love and plan for us all. I would recommend it not only to those who have recently experienced death of a loved one, but anyone who could use a little help in bringing their faith back into perspective and strengthening their trust in God.

My heart goes out to the author of the book but not in sympathy because I didn’t feel a sense of sadness while reading the book. Contrary to my initial belief that I would be overwhelmed with sadness, I was overwhelmed with a sense of calm and acceptance. My heart goes out to them for their loss but more so for the fact that they must wait until they are called to be with their maker also. I find comfort in the fact that they know and realize that their daughter is now so much happier and taken care of, beyond words.

Beverly Pechin is a reviewer for Reader Views.

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