A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story: A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope

A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story: A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope

by Sarina Baptista
A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story: A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope

A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story: A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope

by Sarina Baptista


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From Award-Winning Author, Sarina Baptista
What do you do when a loved one dies? The passing of a loved one brings so many questions: "Where is my loved one? Are they okay, out of pain, safe?" But when a child dies, grief takes on a different complexity. Parents, faced with the unimaginable, often ask, "Why did this happen and how am I going to survive this? Where is my child?"
A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story is a guidebook for anyone who has lost someone they love. Sarina Baptista takes you through her own journey of losing her son, J.T. as she describes what worked for her and what didn't, the discoveries she made and the lessons she learned. Through her journey, something quite amazing happened: she found her son again, because he had been there all along!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991255221
Publisher: Bridge to Healing Press
Publication date: 02/27/2014
Pages: 182
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.39(d)

About the Author

Sarina Baptista is an internationally renowned Speaker, Spiritual Teacher, Author and Psychic Medium. She was a featured speaker for the "Life, Death and Beyond" International Conference in Crete, Greece, and is the resident psychic for iHeart Media's Big 97.9FM in Northern Colorado. Her clients include adults and children from Australia, Canada, Italy, India, the UK, Bali, and the USA, to name a few. Her purpose is to connect us to our Divine Selves, and teach us how to access this connection on our own. She discovered her gifts through her own tragedy - the passing of her seven-year-old son in March 2007. She learned her son did not really die. He was still very close, leading her to her incredible mediumship gifts.

Sarina works with a collective of Guides who can see what her clients need and assists in each session. She has created several mediumship training programs, including one on one mediumship mentoring, long distance training, workshops and webinars to train others to connect with the other side based upon what she has learned from her son and the Guides. She holds live events, development workshops, and online courses demonstrating how we are all connected.

Sarina's latest book, My View from Heaven: A Boy's Story of His Journey to Heaven and the Purpose of Life on Earth released December 2014 was written by her son J.T. to answer questions about where he is, how he found his way, what he's doing now and why we choose to come to Earth in the first place. Sarina also has two other books. A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story - A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope, is about her grief journey and how she found her son again. Her book released in December 2013, A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story Companion Workbook, takes the work she has learned from her son to a new level to teach others what they need to know to have clear connection with their angels, guides and loved ones on the other side.

It is Sarina's mission is to help you find purpose and connection to your highest Divine Self, create the bridge for conversation with loved ones who have passed, and mentor psychics and mediums to be master messengers.

Sarina Baptista is the Bridge to Healing, Leading You to a Guided Life.

For more information on Sarina, please visit www.sarinabaptista.com

Read an Excerpt

A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story

A Mother's Grief Journey and Return to Hope
By Sarina Baptista

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2012 Sarina Baptista
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4525-5200-2

Chapter One

"We Lost Him"

It is Sunday, April 1, 2007. I never did like April Fool's Day. My husband, John, and I pull into the driveway at Resthaven Cemetery and Memorial Gardens in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is a beautiful cemetery we pass often traveling between our town and the next. I look to the west where the view of the mountains is unobstructed by any buildings or semblance of civilization. It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

We enter the building and are directed into one of the family conference rooms. A funeral director enters and we begin the process of determining what our seven year old son would like to have at his funeral. We are burying our child. It would make more sense if it was one of our grandparents, or even parents, lying in the next room, cold and alone. No, we are burying our child.

One of my very good friends, Karen Hawkwood, is sitting beside me. She is there for moral support and to help make decisions if John and I suddenly cease to cope. There are so many decisions to make: the music, the casket, the plot, the program style, the program picture, the verse in the program, what lettering on the programs, how many programs, what our son will wear, what time of the day to have the service, what kind of service, the obituary, the picture for the obituary, where the obituary will run. Our son's cold body lay in the other room. Thinking of him all alone is driving me insane. I suppress the urge to go find him to tell him everything is going to be alright. "Mommy's here. Everything will be fine." Strange thoughts race through my mind—morbid, frightening thoughts about his cute little body and what it looks like now, three days after his little heart stopped beating.

Just three days ago on Thursday, I had my hands full with two children suffering from the flu. I was struggling with food poisoning I picked up the day before and was so sick I couldn't even get out of bed. J.T. and Lacey were seven and five years old respectively. Earlier that week, they both came down with the same virus, same symptoms. We managed to keep my youngest, Anthony, three years old, away from his brother and sister by having him sleep downstairs with John. Anthony was born with a heart defect and I always worry about him when he gets sick. Having three sick children was more than I could fathom at the moment, especially since my own fever and stomach cramps held me close to my bed and bathroom.

Laying there in bed I thought to myself, "If we just make it through the next couple of days, everyone will be healthy again, including me."

J.T. was behaving like any other kid with a virus. He wanted his mommy. At 11 p.m. Thursday night, my fever finally broke and I went into his room to check on him. He said, "Mom, I need you." I said, "OK, let's see if we can get you feeling better." I did what mommies do and found whatever I could to make him comfortable. Lacey was sleeping soundly, for which I was so grateful. Anthony and John had been asleep for an hour or so already. I could devote my time to J.T., who seemed to be struggling more than I knew. He would be fine for a while, almost asleep, then he wanted to move somewhere else. At 2 a.m., he would not go to sleep, so anxious. He said, "Mom, I can't make it!" I was shocked by these words. I asked, "What do you mean, you can't make it?" He said, "I don't know." We left it at that, but those words pierced my heart. I was so weak from my own illness, but I knew he needed me, so we tried to sleep in his bedroom. "He just needs to get through the night," I thought. "Then he would feel so much better."

Exhausted, I lay on the bed next to his. I thought he had dozed off finally and I was almost asleep. Suddenly, he sat straight up in bed and said, "Mommy!" I was startled and scared. I said, "What? What?" He said, "Go to your room." I said, "You want to sleep with me in my room? OK, let's try that." He said, "No, you go. I want to watch TV." I was so exhausted at the time, I welcomed the opportunity to sleep, even for just a little bit. I didn't think about how it was not in his character to ask me to leave. I would lay down with him every night. It was our special time together. He would never have asked me to leave his side. At 4 a.m., though, with no sleep and having just experienced food poisoning, I agreed.

I went to my room and slept. Two hours later at 6 a.m., I woke up. That's all. Just two hours. I went to J.T.'s room to check on him. He looked so peaceful. I thought, "Ah, he's finally asleep." Instinctively, I looked at his chest and there was no movement. I ran to him and felt his chest. He wasn't breathing. I screamed for John, grabbed the phone and dialed 911. John put J.T. on the floor and I started CPR until the first responders arrived. A Loveland police officer arrived first and took over the CPR for me. The firefighters came next and began their fight to save my boy. The ambulance EMT's hauled all the equipment they could up those stairs. J.T. just lay there. No response. The upstairs was full of men trying to save my son. I started calling people I knew on the phone, trying to make some sense out of what was happening. I was screaming at J.T. to not leave us! I am sure I looked like a crazed lunatic, but I was going to do whatever I could to bring my boy back to me. After the EMTs did everything they could, they ambulanced him to the hospital. I didn't even know the ambulance had left with my baby. I got dressed and drove to the hospital. John was trying to find someone to watch Anthony and Lacey so he could meet me there.

I walked through the door of the emergency room at the hospital and was met by a nurse who ushered me into "the room." This is the place they take you when your child is dying or has died. I was oblivious to all of this in a state of shock and confusion. The nurse, Paula, stayed with me. She seemed to understand. I learned later she, too, lost a child. They knew to send her in the room with me, to have someone who understood and to hold me up.

Then the doctor came into the room. It must have been a half hour to forty five minutes later, although I had no concept of time. Time altered forever from the moment I found my son not breathing. The doctor said they did everything they could, but "we lost him." My mind went into overdrive. What? He's dead? What? How can that be? This is a dream. I swear, this has to be a dream. My baby wouldn't leave me. How could this be happening?

I don't remember much after that. I remember my husband arriving at the hospital. I remember going back to see my son laying on a gurney. I remember stroking his hair and talking to him, telling him how much I love him. I remember thinking I couldn't just leave him there. How do I just leave him there? What mother leaves her son in the hospital?

I remember driving home. John was in the passenger seat reviewing all the pamphlets on death we just received. My focus was to get home to my two babies. What was I going to tell them? How were we going to survive this? I remember thinking that I surely would have to divorce John because I was convinced he was going to go crazy. What am I supposed to do now? Where is my son? The world had turned upside down and we were left hanging off the edge.

A Neighborhood United

June 2005, John and I moved our family across three states from California to Loveland, Colorado. We had no family here, but fell in love with the area. I wondered what would happen now these short three years later. It terrified me thinking how we would be all alone during this crisis with no family close by. Our neighbors and friends came to our rescue, much to my amazement, with a force most people never experience. Even in my state of continual confusion, I was aware of a constant flow of food, supplies, meal sign ups, someone to talk to, someone watching my children and a shoulder on which to lean. Someone was always just a phone call away to come watch the kids while I went and screamed somewhere, and there was always hot food on the table each night. You don't even think about these luxuries during "normal" life. We were surrounded by more love and support than I ever dreamed possible.

Family began to arrive. John's sister, Mylene and God-sister, Kathy and our nephews, Travis and Tyler, hopped in the car as soon as they got the news and didn't stop until they arrived at our door, twelve hundred miles and a day later. I tried to focus on the mundane things, like where to house everyone. It was one way to keep busy and occupy my otherwise defunct brain. Where do I put all of these people? I had no idea. My neighbors came through again. They offered their homes to my family so they would not have to stay in hotels. One couple, Lois and Eric, went so far as to create a "hotel" atmosphere for my sister in her room, with mints and a coffee maker in the bathroom! I was touched beyond words at their warmth and generosity.


Tuesday, April 3rd was the night of the viewing. We were not going to go but I realized my children needed to see their brother. They were asleep when he was taken away and Anthony was not grasping the finality of death. We decided it would be good for them to be able to see J.T. one more time.

The whole ordeal was surreal. Seeing my precious child lying there in a casket was a shock to the reality I had created. I had convinced myself I was dreaming and J.T. was just somewhere else. I didn't know where, but he certainly wasn't dead. The proof of my delusion was lying in a beautiful white casket in front of me. Lacey, our five year old daughter, broke down and started to cry. Her pain was excruciating to witness. I could barely handle my own grief but I wanted to take hers away and just have her world be alright again. Seeing him there was just too much for her. I was stopped by a woman I knew from our homeschooling group. Her name was Sandy Johnson and I just found out she also lost a child. Jake was four at the time. She told me it had been about nine years since he left. I was stunned she was still walking and breathing. I remember thinking how does my heart know to keep beating when it has been shattered beyond repair? I always thought if you lost a child you would have some kind of mark on you telling everyone of your eternal pain. Sandy had no mark. At one point, I wondered if she was actually lying, because how could she not be locked up in some mental hospital somewhere? How could she still be living and happy?

She said, "I know you do not think you will survive this, but you will. You will survive this." Coming from a woman who was nine years down this road was a huge testimony. I was truly doubting being able to survive life on this planet without my son. I realized later she was sent to save me. I held onto those words with all my being the next few months.

I knew if she could do it, so could I. Whenever I felt myself slipping into that abyss again, not knowing if I was going to ever make it out, I said to myself, "Sandy did this. So can I." I repeated those words multiple times per day, sometimes per hour. They were my lifeline when honestly, I could not find anything else to keep me here.

For those who have lost a child, our thoughts are with that child no longer here. It does not matter if we have other children. Our minds go into an altered reality and we actually believe we must follow our children. We must make sure they are alright. Dying is a very viable option. I was not suicidal, but I certainly was not attached to living, even with two children and a husband still here who loved me and needed me. Our focus is the child we buried. Of course, they need us. A mother will stop at nothing to make sure her child is alright.

Sleep was rare, but when I did sleep, I would dream of J.T. dying again, or of my other children dying. I would awaken in a panic and rush to check my other children. In the morning, I would remember my reality and look for a good reason to get out of bed. I would lie there until one of my children called for me. Truly, they were my saving grace. I would not have left my bed if I did not have two little children who needed to know we were going to be alright, despite this huge hole in our family and our hearts.

I was so grateful for my precious babies. J.T. was supposed to be an only child. It took us a year and a half to get pregnant with him. It was a difficult pregnancy at the end with preeclampsia symptoms and an emergency cesarean. We felt blessed to have a healthy child! Now he was gone. I did not know where he went. All I knew was that he was gone. I did my best to care for and nurture my other two children, watching for their symptoms of grief and getting them the help they needed for their recovery. They needed breakfast and baths and playtime and normalcy. What did that even mean-"normal"? I did my best to make life go back to the way it was before March 30th, but who was I fooling? There is no normal after the death of a child. I wanted it so badly, but I could not will it into existence. My heart was with J.T. I no longer feared death. I just wanted to be with my son. Most bereaved parents will tell you they welcome that time! It cannot be worse than here, living without our children.

Grief Support

I knew I needed help. I knew I could not survive this without assistance. On the other hand, I am very skeptical about "counselors" who claim to know what is best for me. I contacted Hospice, and even though they were very sweet and kind, no one there had lost a child. My world became separated into two groups: those who understood and those who did not. If you had not lost a child, you were in the latter category, regardless of your kind intentions and loving words. This pain was so intense and unpredictable. How could people possibly understand it if they hadn't lived it? That was my belief, and the belief of those in this new club I joined called "I've Lost A Child." I must say that my dear friends worked so very hard to understand. They were there by my side day and night. They did a great job of supporting me, but they couldn't really help me heal. I had to find people who understood. So I joined an online grieving mothers group. It is amazing to me what happens when you share a traumatic event such as this. Boundaries disappear. Countries merge. You become family. We held each other up. There was always someone online to offer a hand out of that swirling grief pit. I got my support and counseling from those who were on the front lines, and survived. I had no idea I would be there someday, helping those other lost souls out of the pit. What made the group work was the diversity of grief stages. There were close to six hundred members in this group—some brand new to the grief and some who had walked the road for years. So regardless of what you were feeling, someone had felt it before and survived. I keep saying this because, as I stated before, we really don't believe survival is possible. It goes against the grain of our being, against the nature of being a parent. All of those questions we have—"When someone asks me how many children I have, what do I say?" "When should I go back to work?" "Will this pain ever end?" "Do I really have to live here without my child?"—only someone who has been through this particular grief understands and can even begin to answer. So many times, it was not even about providing an answer, it was saying, "I know, Sweetie. I get it."


Excerpted from A Bridge to Healing: J.T.'s Story by Sarina Baptista Copyright © 2012 by Sarina Baptista. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 "We Lost Him"....................3
Chapter 2 Is That Really You?....................17
Chapter 3 Coincidence?....................31
Chapter 4 Did I Agree To This?....................41
Chapter 5 So You Say I Can Do This?....................51
Chapter 6 Still Grieving....................61
Chapter 7 The Second Year....................72
Chapter 8 The Door Opens....................79
Chapter 9 Where To Begin....................93
Chapter 10 Connecting Exercises....................108
Chapter 11 The Culmination Point....................129
Memorial Section For Our Angels....................131
Epilogue by J.T. Baptista....................158
About The Author....................160
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