Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love – Anna Whiston-Donaldson

Kindle Edition

I was brought up Catholic in Spain, but I have not been religious since my early 20s -which is a long time ago. I had to reinvent and redefine my spirituality after my son died in order to survive.

Anna and her husband are devout Christians when their son Jack dies aged 12. In this book Anna recounts with honesty and rawness their struggles within their tight community, as a couple and as parents of their surviving daughter. She also talks about receiving signs and messages after Jack’s passing, and about her challenges and changing relationship with ‘God’ and religion -but ultimately needing to hang on to her faith.

Also in Paperback.


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On an ordinary September day, twelve-year-old Jack is swept away in a freak neighborhood flood. His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? Can we survive? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways and they each eventually find their own faltering way to keep on living.

In Rare Bird, Anna Whiston-Donaldson tells a mother’s story of loss and survival. Anna’s storytelling is raw, honest and real. This is a book about facing impossible circumstances and wanting to turn back the clock. It is also about finding a flicker of hope, which in Anna’s case comes from hanging on to her faith, but not without great difficulty.