Wendy Stebbins
Posted May 6, 2017 from United States

The sudden death of anyone is devastating. But that of a young innocent child is beyond words or comprehension . . . for always. I am writing this on World Pulse because I have had such a positive response elsewhere and I KNOW sadly that we all know, or will know, a person who will lose a loved one or friend in a sudden, untimely, cruel way. I just thought this could be of help to some people on World Pulse and elsewhere.I have an NGO "I AM ONE IN A MILLION" in Livingstone, Zambia, an undeveloped/developing country.When I started it in 2007 one of the first people I supported was Grace. Now she is married to a pastor and gave birth to Shadreck, now three years old.I am often in Zambia and saw him even just a couple of months ago and we played with the hot wheel cars I had brought him.

Then on Easter Sunday, the unthinkable happened. He was sitting next to his father in church. Heavy rains and winds made a roof board come lose and fall on top of Shadreck. He died instantly. Instantly. Just like that. Over.

I was in America at the time, but when I heard I knew I had to write something of value to Grace and her husband. WHAT could I possibly say that would bemeaningful at such a time?I knew the worst thing to say is "I know how you feel," or "Be strong." They are deeply religious so I felt something along those lines would be appropriate.

I had to spend 3 days just walking around and thinking. Thinking and not thinking, writing and rewriting something of value for this hurting couple. I felt like a composer writing a symphony or a poet writing a sonnet.After three days, here is what I wrote:

"Hello Grace and Shadreck, Sr., I am so very sorry for the passing of Shadreck. I cannot even imagine how much you are suffering and the pain you are in and will continue to be in for a long time. Please know I am praying for you andthinking about you. Your pain is my pain.

We do not know why God wants him home so soon. Perhaps he loves and misses him so much also and needs Shadreck in heaven with him.

What we DO know is that Shadreck is safe and happy and he did not feel any pain because it happened so quick. It is just that he had to leave to go home before you were ready to say goodbye. He is probably sitting on Jesus's lap smiling and singing with the angels.

My dear friends, I know there is nothing I can say to make you feel better. But please know I love you all, I am praying for you and my arms are strongly around you. I hope you feel them as I want to help hold you up.

It is okay for you to weep and weep as Mother Mary did. They are tears of pain but also of love for a special little boy named "Super Shadreck" who was taken home before you were ready to say goodbye.

With arms around you,



They do not have email so I had to email it to someone else, wire money for that person to print it and then take it to the grieving parents. Shortly thereafter I received a letter from the person who delivered the letter. I would like to share part of it with you:

Dear Wendy, When I went to find Grace with her husband, they were very thankful and happy to read your beautiful letter you wrote to them. Your letter really made them to have joy, hope and peace in their hearts because they had no one to tell them those words of hope and loving words. Your letter really made their day.......".

So, that is what I wanted to share with you today on World Pulse. If you have a headache from reading this, please know I have one right now too. Feel free to share this with others. Thank you. Wendy Stebbins

Comments 4

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May 07, 2017
May 07, 2017

Hi Wendy. Thanks for sharing your letter and story. It's so sad, but I love what you wrote to Grace and her husband. It's so sweet, heartfelt and real. I could tell you really thought about what you wrote and meant it.

Fatima Waziri - Azi
May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017

I totally agree with you Wendy and i am so sorry for your loss. It is very unnatural for any parent to bury a child and i don't wish it on any one. May God continue to give them the grace to bare their loss.

Rahmana Karuna
May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017


thank you. for me. for the parents. for super shadrack. blessings. and how co incidental, i heard an ambulance siren today, but didn't walk out front to see what was happening. my neighbor was driving. up, she said she saw a 12 pound limp baby being run out by parents to meet the ambulance. i prayed for that child. do not know what happened. love to you and all.

Wendy Stebbins
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 20, 2018


Can you believe, I only saw this message now, almost a year from when you wrote it. I just want to say, thank you for writing. The experience you share makes us realize how fragile and important life and each breath we take, matters.

I hope your life is going well.