To My Book Loving Friends… An Update On Me


Dear Friends, while I am up to it I want to share with you my absence.  On Saturday April 4th my wonderful 24 year old son Justin was killed in a car accident.  I can not even tell you the pain that myself, his father, and his brother are in.  Justin was an amazing kid with such a great spirit and love for all things.  If you want, you may follow me on Facebook at Sheila DeChantal where I am posting occasional updates.  Beyond that I am unsure when I will be able to return to this spot, although I do hope that some day I will.


217 thoughts on “To My Book Loving Friends… An Update On Me

  1. anarmchairbythesea

    I’m so so sorry to hear of your loss and will keep you and your family in thoughts and prayers as you try to come to terms with it.

  2. Oh, Sheila – I’ve been thinking about you so much. I can only imagine your pain and grief. Please know that many people who care about you are thinking about and praying for you. -beth

  3. Joan

    Sheila, may God wrap his loving arms around you and your family to help you accept and deal with this terrible tragedy. Please know that others feel your pain and that you and your family are in our prayers.

  4. k2reader

    Oh Sheila…I’m so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs to you all! XXoo

  5. ondbookshelf

    My heart is breaking for you. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts during this most difficult time.

  6. Sheila, I am devastated to hear of the loss of your son. I can’t imagine anything more painful. Please know that although we’ve never met, I am praying for your family and sending you sincere and heartfelt sympathy.

  7. Danny Blankenship


    Words can not express how sorry I am to hear about your son. Please know you are in my prayers.

    Sincerely, Zora

    Sent from my iPad


  8. Dorothy N

    May God hold you and your family in His loving arms and grant you the strength to endure such incredible pain. The love and pride you feel for Justin was evident in every word you wrote about him. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. I was so sorry to hear about Justin. There are no words that can heal this kind of pain, but I hope knowing that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers will be of some comfort.

  10. Oh, I’m so very sorry. What a tragedy for your family. I know nothing anyone can say will help right now, but you and your family are in my thoughts.

  11. Sheila, nooo. I’ve been following you since you first started blogging. I subscribe via email and read every one of your posts even though I don’t comment. I think of you as a friend. I know how much you love your boys. I am absolutely devastated for you and am crying at this news. I can’t imagine the pain you are in. Please know your followers are thinking of you and holding you in our prayers. I am so sorry for your pain.

  12. Sarah

    Sheila, I’m heartbroken for you and your family. I’ve enjoyed reading about your sons on your blog and I’m devastated for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for you, Al, your sons and your family.

  13. Dear Sheila, I cannot imagine the pain you and your family are going through. Hopefully you will find some small solace in the outpouring of sympathy and love that you find on this page. I am adding healing thoughts and prayers to the many now headed your way.

  14. Andrea Stoeckel

    OMG! Sheila,you’d just spent time with him! If you need us, please know we are here as pastor, therapist, and friends. And we always will be. Andres and Rebekah

  15. joyweesemoll

    My thoughts have been going to you often since I heard the news. So many of us are thinking of you and your family and holding you in our hearts.

  16. I heard the news on Facebook and my heart breaks for you. I am praying for your family and will continue to pray for your strength and peace during this very difficult time.

  17. Oh my goodness. I am so, so, so sorry!! I can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling. I hope you can find the strength necessary to get through these tough times. We will be here for you if (or when) you choose to return.

  18. Sheila, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. This is a terrible tragedy. I hope you can find your strength in these trying times and that God grants you peace going forward. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  19. A Parker

    I have 2 sons and the thought of your loss of such a fine boy is too much to bear I wish I could say something that would help you I am thinking of you and your family

  20. I never met Justin, but just from what I know of you, I can imagine what kind of person he was, how he embodied your spirit and fun. I cannot express how sorry I am for you, Sheila. I’ve been thinking of you often, trying to figure out what I can do to help. Know that you are in my thoughts and heart, Sheila. So much love.

  21. florinda3rs

    I already said this on FB, but much love to you and yours during this difficult time, and going forward. Your friends are all here for you. xo

  22. I’m so sorry to hear this news. I’m new to the blogging community, but everyone’ welcomed me with open arms, and it’s very much a family. If we can do anything at all, Sheila, please just let us know!

    Sending support and positive vibes during this difficult time.

  23. Oh my goodness!! I’m so sorry for your loss Sheila… Even though I’ve only just met you, I feel like I’ve known you for a long time. I pray for God’s blessings to give you strength and even peace during this difficult time.

  24. Mary Havlovic

    Dear Sheila
    I want to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your son. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. Lannie

    Sheila, Although I’ve never met you, I have been following you via email since you started blogging, and think of you as a friend. My heart is hurting for you and your family at this sad, sad news. I only hope you are able to get some small amount of solace from the huge outpouring of love and thoughts expressed here. I will hold you and your family in my thoughts and prayers that you are able to get through this painful time.

  26. Kathy

    Sheila, I can’t imagine nor pretend to imagine what you’re going through. I pray for your and your family’s comfort and healing.for your broken hearts.

  27. I am so sorry for your family’s loss and I know that all our words are little comfort in the face of his passing, but perhaps it helps a bit to know we are all thinking of you, sending positive thoughts, or saying prayers for you. May God hold you close, and hold you up, during this period of sadness…

  28. So sorry to hear this. My prayers are with you and your family. A Bible verse that really helped me when I suddenly lost my father is Psalm 73:26 – “Though my heart and my flesh may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

  29. Liza @ Reading with ABC

    Oh my God! I cannot imagine your pain Sheila. I am so sorry for you loss. May God bless you, your family and give you strength.

  30. There are no words that I could say that could make you feel better. But I am so sad and sorry for you, to hear this news. You are a wonderful bright light in this community and we will be here to support you in any possible way. I am so sorry again. Please know you are in my thoughts.

  31. Oh, my god. I am shocked. I cannot believe this can happen to someone so loving and giving and positive. I just cannot even fathom how you would begin to cope with this, and I imagine that you will probably be the ‘rock’ for everyone around you, even though your heart is breaking. I pray that you can find some comfort at this time in knowing that all your friends are thinking of you and sending love. So sorry.

  32. Oh, Sheila, I just saw this and my heart is breaking for you. I can’t even imagine, but it’s for sure one of my worst nightmares as a mom. I hope you are surrounded by as much love in person as you have out here in the social media sphere. I will be thinking of you and sending you strength as best I can.

  33. booknaround

    I have been holding you and your family in my heart ever since I heard the terrible news. Prayers for all of you.

  34. Kristen M.

    Sheila, my thoughts have been with you and your family ever since I saw the news. My heart breaks for your loss.

  35. I’ve been thinking about you and your family every day since you posted this news. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I never met Justin, but it is so clear from what you shared here that you have such strong relationships with your boys and your family. I hope that your “in real live friends” are able to give you some comfort in the days ahead, and I hope you know that all of your “online friends” are thinking of you and sending as much love and support as we can muster.

  36. CaroG

    Sheila, I am so sorry for your lost. I can only imagine how you are feeling. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  37. momssmallvictories

    I’ve been thinking of you so much since I saw your news on Facebook. To say you are in my thoughts, prayers and my condolences would be an understatement. It’s so clear the love you have for your family and the close and special bond you have with Justin.

  38. I don’t have any words to use right now Sheila — just know that all your blogging friends have felt the joy, pride and love you have for Justin, and we wish there were something we could do for you. Right now it is prayers. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and hope that God can ease your sorrow somehow.

  39. litandlife

    Oh, Sheila, I am so sorry to hear this! I cannot imagine your pain but know that you are in the hearts and prayers of so many who have gotten to know you in the blog world and I’m sure far beyond that.

  40. holdenj

    Sheila, I am so sorry to hear your news. My condolences and thoughts are with you and your family during this heartbreaking time.

  41. I am so sorry Sheila. No parent should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child, regardless of their age. Take the time you need to be with family and know that your readers will still be here waiting for you when ever you decide the time is right to return.

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  43. I’ve just come back from holiday and seen your terrible news on Twitter. You should be proud of the massive well of support that is forming over there – it is testament to your great contribution to the blogging world. I hope that you and your family can somehow find a way through this horrible time. ((HUGS))

  44. Oh, Sheila! I’m struck numb at these news! I didn’t know your son except what you posted; but he seemed to be a bright star. I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now; but if there is anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  45. I’m stunned to hear of this. & feel awful and heartbroken for you & your family. It’s shocking and I’m so very very sorry. I wish I could do something to make this not true. I keep thinking it can’t be true.

  46. Sweet, sweet lady. Just know we are here to help in any way that we can. I will never stop my prayers for you. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  47. Dear Sheila
    I am so sorry for your family’s tragic loss. Please accept my sincerest condolences.
    My thoughts and best wishes are with you as you come to terms with your grief.
    Bron xo

  48. “And when great souls die,
    after a period peace blooms,
    slowly and always
    irregularly. Spaces fill
    with a kind of
    soothing electric vibration.
    Our senses, restored, never
    to be the same, whisper to us.
    They existed. They existed.
    We can be. Be and be
    better. For they existed.”
    -from the poem, “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou.

    I know it is too soon but my prayer is that someday, some day soon, you may remember your loving boy with a smile on your face. He existed. He existed.

    All my love, Anne

  49. So, so sorry for you and your family, and I’ve been thinking of you often since hearing the sad news! Justin accomplished so much in the short time he had.

  50. When I first saw someone’s comment here, on another post, I thought it was some sort of mistake, wondering why their heart was going out to you. I couldn’t find evidence of why. It was a couple of days later when I found out there really was something wrong–desperately wrong–and my heart ached. As deeply as we are feeling pain for you, it is a mere reflection of what you and your family and friends are feeling. In that same way, collectively our empathy is an earthly reflection of the comfort and support only God can give you at this time. It is that comfort that I pray for, for all of you.

    Though I’ve come to consider you not just an online acquaintance, but a friend, I didn’t realize how much so until this unthinkable tragedy occurred. Upon hearing it, the pain was acute and immediate, and the need to want to help was overwhelming. But there is so little one can do from afar, other than pray.

    What I’m happy to hear–and not surprised to hear and witness through facebook–is the rallying of all those who know and love you, your family, and certainly Justin. Poring over yours and his facebook profiles and looking at so many wonderful pictures, I’ve come to know him a bit more. It deepens the sadness over such a loss. You gave birth and raised a beautiful human being who, while he was here, brightened the lives of those he came in contact with and that light will continue to burn in so many lives and hearts. He left this world a better place and there’s no greater gift or blessing than that.

    It will take time to work your way back to any form of normalcy, and blogging will, at some point, become a part of that, even if it’s not the same or as frequent. It is in the resuming of everyday life that will eventually help heal this injury, though the scar will always remain. It is obvious there are people around the globe, due to the connections the internet provides, who sincerely care and will be here when you’re ready because it really is possible for people to love in this way. Hugs and prayers have been with you, Al and Brad so often these days, and will continue to be oxoxox

  51. Sheila, it is times like these where there are no words to adequately convey just how much my heart aches for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and my prayers, and that I am there for you in spirit to provide you with all the support and love that I can.

  52. Sheila you’ve got an entire book blogging community out here sending much love and grace and understanding your way. Please know that no matter how long you need we support you and we love you. Thank you for allowing us into your life. I pray that you and your family feel the love and support from those around you both physically and those of us here in the virtual world.

  53. Books in the Burbs

    I am so sorry. I have been praying for you and your family since you shared your post. Your family of book bloggers are thinking of you and know we are here for you. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but know you aren’t alone. Sending you lots of cyber hugs. xx

  54. Sheila, I am so so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you are in. I know there is nothing most of us can say or do to make you feel better but know that I am thinking of you and your family. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers. Hope your family can find some comfort and peace during this hard time.

  55. Teddyree

    I was so shocked and sad to hear about Justin, my heart is breaking for you and your lovely family. Words seem so inadequate for the unbearable pain you are in, I wish there was something I could do, a magic wand, anything. It’s a little thing in the face of such loss but the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and even complete strangers was some small comfort to me many years ago, I hope you find the same dear Sheila. Love and hugs xx

  56. I cannot imagine what you’re going through, Sheila, but you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. I can tell from your Facebook posts that Justin was a wonderful young man and that he loved and was loved very much. I wish I had words of comfort to ease your pain, but all I can tell you is that I’m so sorry for your loss. It sucks, and it’s not fair.

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  59. Sheila, I just saw this and words cannot begin to express how sorry I am for your loss. I know you’re close to your family and I just can’t imagine what you’re all going through. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Please know that the far-flung blogging community is thinking of all of you.

  60. Dear Sheila, I’m very sorry to read about your loss. It’s never easy to lose anyone especially a child. I know it’s hard right now but know your blogging/bookish friends are keeping you in their prayers and supporting you.

  61. so so sorry to hear this sadness, Sheila.
    I haven’t been blogging during this time so was unaware til this evening of your incredible loss. My heart is crushed. Prayers a constant flow…
    May the Peace and Presence of Christ surround uphold comfort support and sustain you.
    May you know the everpresent Help of Immanuel, God with us, in this time of trouble..

    Much Love always….

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  63. ejmam

    I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks, and just came to check in on your when I saw your devastating news. I will hold your family and you in my thoughts. My deepest condolences on the loss of that wonderful man. I don’t know you but you have my sincere sympathy.

  64. my deepest condolences to you Sheila…. I have not met you personally but as your follower for years, please know that I am praying for your son and your whole family, praying to HIM that you get through this tough time… take care…

  65. melissamyworldinwordsandpages

    Oh dear. I’m so sorry to hear this. No one, parent or otherwise, should have to go through this. I’m sorry. Thoughts are with you all.

  66. Your blog was one of the first to inspire me to blog about books and you continue to be an inspiration. This news is heartbreaking and I cannot imagine how you are feeling but I can send you prayers and love whilst you are hurting. From one blogger to another if there is anything I can do to help (even from the UK) just let me know. I am sure other bloggers feel the same as you are a powerhouse in the blog world.
    Thinking of you dearly in this difficult time and i hope each day brings you a little bit more peace. Lots of love Fay x

  67. Sheila, I have just seen this post and of course I am greatly saddened by the tragic loss of your son. I hope your family are coping as best you can, and that the great support you have online is matched by local support for you all. Thinking of your family at this terrible time.

  68. I just read about this today and I am so sorry for the pain you and your family must live through. My heart goes out to all of you, and I hope that one day you will be able to come back to certain things in life like booblogging and your other activities. God bless!

  69. Sheila, I am so sorry to read this announcement on your blog. My heart broke for you because I have a 20 year old son and I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. I know you love Justin more than words can express, even more now if it’s possible, through your writing. He seems like a wonderful young man and I can see why you are proud of him. I’m sending prayers to you and your family from Arizona. May God bring you and your family the strength to endure this most difficult time.

  70. kathy

    I am new hear and when I read about the loss of your son it made me sad. I also lost my son when he was 26 in an ATV accident. It’s been 16 years but there are times when it seems like it just happened. I’m sorry you and your family are going through this. I know you won’t believe it but the pain will lessen and you will continue on with your life. Remember that every one grieves in their own way. I am so sorry.

  71. It has now been a month since this post went up and not a day passes that I don’t think of you or your son. I miss your smiling face and reading of your grand adventures, and wish I could be there for you in person during this time, even though I am just a long distance blogging friend. It is amazing the influence that can ripple out from one positive person, and you are one of those people. Hang in there, Sheila. You are loved and adored. xx

  72. Hi Sheila, just wanted you to know you’re still in my thoughts. You’ve gone through a tremendous loss. Please get through each day as well as is possible for you(hattie)

  73. Black ' n Write Reviewer

    I’m sorry for your loss, Sheila. Thoughts and prayers to your family in this very difficult time.

  74. Carolyn

    Sheila, I am heartbroken for you and your family. Try to take comfort in your wonderful memories. Please know that I am thinking of you at this difficult time.

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