Struggling with life after death
“Hold her till she dies,” the nurse said, but she didn’t tell me about struggling with life after death. I drank in my babies features trying to brand them on my mind before the nurse took her away for the autopsy. My beautiful perfectly formed baby breathed her last, the oxygen alien to her undeveloped lungs. A cry from the depths of my wounded heart filled the air. Such a short life tortured my mind. I ought to be preparing her Moses basket not a putting her in a coffin.
Struggling with life after death sucks, it cuts you up and takes away the normal. I wiped away the tears as I read Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent. This family’s loss was not for a baby but the mum. How would the father cope with being a single dad with two girls to bring up? Read on for my review.
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About the Book
Book title: Waiting for Butterflies
Author: Karen Sargent
Release date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction
When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.
Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.
Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.
A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.
My Penny’s worth
Immediately the Blake family consisting of Sam, the father, Rachel and Olivia, his daughters, became real as I turned the pages. The sudden death of Maggie traumatises the family, and four-year-old Olivia starts to hear her mum’s voice in all the turmoil. With Maggie becoming a lingering spirit the story takes on the form of a beautiful script. I had no problem with this imagery as God plants thoughts into our mind when we are open to His murmurings that can lead us to health and healing.
What I liked
Each character is robust and believable. Sam tries to cope with the death of his wife, but it is tough. His grief immobilises him and takes him out of his comfort zone. He knows how to be a cop, but a dad trying to take on both roles? Sam makes mistakes not surprising in his state of bereavement.
Rachel, the oldest daughter, deals with her loss with messy choices and I get her angle especially as she has a secret that eats away at her heart. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her.
Dear Olivia the wisest of all, young but dealing with her loss in the way she knows how. She holds the key to the struggles. The insights she has, come from Maggie, although I suspect an intuitive young person capable of such words are entirely plausible having worked with young children and heard their remarkable sayings.
What I disliked
There appeared to be no reason why Sam disliked the pastor, or perhaps I missed it. Maybe someone can fill me in on this point.
Would I recommend Waiting for Butterflies?
Karen Sargent paints a realistic portrait of grief and spins a beautiful story around the Blake family. Her characters have to find their new normal, as they work through their grief. This book was a page-turner for me, and the crushing truth is that it takes courage and time to adapt when you lose a loved member of the family, especially when you have not been able to say “goodbye”. This family certainly depicted the struggling of life after death. The verdict – yes I would recommend Waiting for Butterflies.
Thank you, Karen Sargent, for writing such a poignant book.
*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*
About the Author
Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com. When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.
Guest Post from Karen Sargent
Waiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy
I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy.
As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe.
But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all.
When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally, my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home.
Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs.
I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one sceptical reader shared in her review:
“While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.”
I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.
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To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes a few of Karen’s favorite things – one of which is a Hobby Lobby gift card!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winner.