About

My name is Jami, and I am a just-turned-forty yesterday mother of three amazing boys. I am a mother who has lost a child, but that cannot be how I define myself. I am a woman on a spiritual journey to heal my heart. And I am strong.

It’s been more than a year now since Sam left us, and it’s changed our lives forever. But knowing total grief and utter despair has also led me to the path of ultimate joy. I am so grateful that Sam was in our lives to teach us what he has, and the power of his story as I share it continues to surprise me.

Our oldest son, Jack, has special needs, and I intend to use the voice Sam has given us to help society to love and appreciate different children in the same way that I have come to.

This blog was read by someone from Jacana, and led to my book Sam and Me and the Hard Pear Tree (by Jami Yeats-Kastner), now available on shelves and as a kindle download.

The truth is, no matter how hard things get, your greatest challenges can also be your greatest blessings, as they help you on your way to becoming your best self.

You can be the victim, or you can find the lessons in your hardships and the beauty in what you do have, rather than focusing on that which you don’t. It really is up to you.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.

20 thoughts on “About

  1. TRUE GREATNESS

    “A brave spirit struggling with adversity is a spectacle for the Gods”
    Seneca

    It is not in the glare of glory
    When the crowds are at your feet,
    Or the city’s bells are pealing
    As you mount the victor’s seat.

    All that is but a passing show;
    A fleeting flash of light;
    A rain-drop glistening in the sun,
    A shooting star at night.

    True greatness lies in what’s not seen,
    And all that no-one knows;
    The long, dark years of ceaseless toil,
    The pain that never shows.
    The loneliness and misery,
    The heartaches and the fears,
    The waiting and the trait’rous doubts,
    The constant wearing cares:
    The agony of hoping
    For a dawn that never comes,
    And the mocking face of failure,
    And rejection’s down-turned thumbs.

    There reigns the greatest glory,
    Though roses are not flung:
    In valleys where the sun ne’er shines
    And victories are not sung.

    I wrote this poem some time ago, but after reading your heart-rending words, I thought that, perhaps, you might like to see it. With my very best wishes, Mike (Thurstan Bassett)

  2. WHAT truly beautiful words and such strength.

    But writing gives you strength, as does talking about our pain / fury / depression / hopelessness. Out of it can come some hope perhaps. Hope for a life with less pain; but with warmth in our hearts because we had these wonderful children, even though it was not for as long as we would have wished.

    I lost my son (aged 23) 5 years ago. The most rare of rare illness and in 3 weeks he was gone. Lynn and Peter know us and can let you know how we have tried to move on. Why must we move on? Because our sons would want us to and our other kids deserve a great life… They are living!!

    Bless you all.

    XXX

  3. I admire all those such faith and the strength to carry on. Also my dear friend Christiane Behrmann lost her son. With her spiritual strength she managed to get in contact with him on the other side and found her peace in that. She is a great artist too, now living in CPT. Visit her http://www.crismanart.com

  4. Thanks Jami, never doubt your gift. I have read many esoteric books and yours is one of the most inspirational yet, for your honesty and faith. I lost my husband 8 years ago and I keep looking for signs from him. While I was reading your book with tears in my eyes my sprinkler which has been stuck on one direction only for months started doing the right thing. Lasted for a full minute before resuming its bad habits. Surely a sign and he had a wicked sense of humour. I will now look for more signs believing. Xx😇

    • Thanks Jane, so nice to hear that the book is helping others to believe. That’s a great sign, your husband sounds like a cool guy🙂

  5. Dear Jami,

    I stumbled upon your book in a true act of fate. My flight to Durban was delayed for a third time that day. Knowing full well that all was as it was meant to be, I took a stroll to Exclusive books. As I walked in a book caught my eye. Then the title stole a little piece of my heart. By the time I had read the third line of the blurb I was in tears. And this was how I came to own and read, ‘Sam and Me and the Hard Pear Tree’.

    Although I have not had a child in this lifetime, a close friend of mine lost her baby while 6 months pregnant. The powerful connection I have felt to her journey and to yours has made me wonder if I have lost a child in a past lifetime. Perhaps with your help I am finally letting go of whatever pain or guilt prevented me from grieving then. (I know I can say these things to you and you won’t report me to the nearest psychiatric institute. Although I have contemplated self admission.)

    I would like to thank you for staying true to your journey. Your journey reminds me of why I must continue to pursue my hearts deepest wishes and walk the path set out only for me.

    With ♡
    Zoë

    • Oh Zoe, thank you for this message. I really needed to hear it, I am so glad that I was able to help you in your own journey. Thank you for writing to me, I haven’t opened this blog account for AGES as have not had time to write, and thus been avoiding it. Please pass the book to anyone you think could benefit, I love hearing how Sam has helped others xxx

    • Dearest Zoe, thank you for this message. It is amazing how the book will reach those who need to read it. I am so happy that it has helped you in your own journey, that really is the purpose of all of this. Don’t forget to pass the book on to someone else if you think they need to hear it. Thank you for writing to me, it means the world. Love Jami xxx

  6. Hi Jami. You wont remember me but we were at the hospital together when our sons(your first boy) had their little snip.🙂 Never got to know you further but I heard about your story and what you and your family went through with your son – I put myself in your shoes, as a mother of 2 kiddies ,this was easy to do, and my heart felt ripped! I am so happy for you and your family that you managed to come out the other side of such an emotionally challenging time still intact.

    xx
    Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn, that was such a hecticly hard day! I do remember you, thank you for your message. Sometimes I can hardly believe that we are still intact, but we are. We are blessed and Sam is all around us. x

  7. Dear Jami

    Last year my hubby and I rented one of your cottages. It was winter and we felt very brave taking our two elderly staffies on a weekend away. We couldn’t have children – tried all sorts of therapies but just never blessed that’s why the love for our dogs are outrageous. Never thought that same weekend our neighbors in the cottage next door would bring their pit bull. . Hahaha. Anyway fearing a dog fight we stayed mostly indoors making fire drinking lots of wine. Saturday we experienced cabin fever and decided to leave the dogs warm and locked up and went up to the farmhouse for a wine tasting. You and your family and friends just had lunch and it was such a festive occasion. I couldn’t help but laugh when your hubby started drinking from my wine stash that I bought from him😉 . You shared Sam’s story with us and showed us his beautiful garden. I obviously had no clue until I lost my husband in a motorbike accident in December. I accidentally found out about the book you wrote and just finished reading your experience and the deeper understanding of our fragile lives that you shared. I wanted to say thank you for helping me not ignore the feathers I keep on receiving in the strangest of places. I now know that Douw is reaching out to comfort me and give me strength. I cannot ignore the reality that his energy is all around me. I am so sad and exhausted from crying but know I will eventually be ok and am grateful I was blessed to have spent 20 years with the love of my life in this life.

    Butterflies to you in abundance x x

    • Dear Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I am grateful that my own story has helped you to have faith and feel his presence. One day, dear Susan, we will walk with our loved ones again. Feathers to you in abundance. Jami xxxx

  8. I would like to help you raise this amount for your cause. Will I be aloud to do that? I too have lost a little one and i would be glad to help and pledge as much of my support as possible towards this cause.

  9. Hi Jami

    What an inspirational article written by you Jami! As a mother who also lost a son in 2007, when he was tragically murdered on his wedding night at a Pretoria venue, I can also identify with the painful grief you shared in your article in the July 2015 issue of Woman & Home. Your positive approach is most encouraging and brave! It is never an easy choice for a family to face. Parents are never prepared for such a challenging event, especially concerning your children growing up in a sad world!
    You courageously stated that life is short on this planet, and should be celebrated often. So true! Your happy memories will always add a silver line to the dark clouds that appear from time to time.
    We, as a the family, namely, our two sons, my husband and myself, have also written a book, called Until We Meet Again, that is about to be published. It’s about our hope of meeting Mark again, to celebrate life in eternity. It has been a healing journey that we travel daily knowing that Mark is always close by.
    We still experience painfully sad triggers on special occasions. Spending time in his memorial garden is most comforting, a place we visit often.
    Beautiful flowers are always a sign of new life, and a reminder of the joy they bring, especially as we celebrated recent weddings of our two younger sons in Mark’s absence.
    Thank you for being real as you positively shared how you all as a family have picked up the pieces. We do become stronger as we stand together as a family, a great blessing we never take for granted.

    Heather Sandmann
    Drama teacher (Pretoria)

    • Dear Heather, thank you so much for writing. I am so pleased for you that you have written a book, I have found that through helping others with my words comes great healing and I hope that you will experience the same. The sadness will always remain, but one day we will walk with our boys again. Great love and strength to you and your whole family. xxx

  10. Hi Jamie. After hearing you on Classic FM I tried to buy your book from Amazon (KIndle Edition). I received response that it is not currently available for sale. Any idea why, or when it will be available again? Regards
    Elsa Kruger

    • Hi Elsa, whereabouts are you? Are you in SA? I will look into it, but in the meantime maybe you could provide an address and I could arrange for postage? Warm Regards, Jami

  11. Dear Jami, I have just finished reading your book. What a journey! I feel so desparate and cannot comprehend what you went through, but your strength is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Lots of love Jess

  12. Hi…what to say…how to start? Your anniversary is looming. I know how you feel. I wish I could say I didn’t. That I was blissfully ignorant but I;m not. We lost our 14 month old in Dec 2012. You are right, it changes you. I want to say for the better. It makes you stronger. Makes you embrace life and teaches you the meaning of love and loss. Real life. I started a group called Project Butterfly for families living with loss. We created a memorial pathway in New Zealand. Now we are going to start a book called GOOD GRIEF. 365 ways to get through the first year of grief. I would love to illustrate your strength and grace, your book and story? What do you think? Check us out at http://www.projectbutterfly.co.nz I hope to hear from you🙂

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