Ted’s Story

On a cold February day in Minnesota in 2016, my 22-month-old son, Ted, was taking a nap while the rest of our family went about our normal day. Little did we know he was actually fighting for his life, trying to breathe, unable to scream for help. His dresser had tipped over onto him, and his little body had absorbed the noise. Nobody heard it fall. He was in his own safety zone: his bedroom. It was the place where we had outlet covers in every outlet and the cord from his window blind out of reach. There was nothing in his room that could harm him. His bedroom was the one place in the house where he was 100% safe… or so we thought. I didn’t know that his dresser was unsafe if it was not anchored to the wall; it contained no warning label stickers on it. We had bought it for my older son two years before Ted was even born. I will never forget holding his cold, chubby hand in the ER, praying that he would survive. But he didn’t. He died just six weeks before his second birthday. In a matter of just four short hours, our lives had changed forever. “This isn’t happening to me,” I thought as I dressed my son for the last time at the funeral home. I put on his little socks and Thomas the Train shoes. They lit up when he walked. They would never light up again. I placed his little body in his blue youth casket two days before his funeral.

I’m Janet McGee. I’m a Christian, a mother, and a former mortician. For years, I served grieving families. But I never thought in a million years I would lose my own son in a devastating furniture tip-over accident.

I don’t know why my son died so tragically, but I believe God can take even the most horrific messes in our lives and transform them into something beautiful. He is working through me in ways I didn’t even know were possible. Exodus 4:10-12 shows us an exchange between Moses and God when God called him to perform extraordinary things. At this point, I’m just trusting Him to give me the voice I need.

“Visiting Ted in Heaven”

by Janet McGee, illustrated by Deborah Garcia

Winner of the 2019 Illumination Book Award ~ Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books

Some deaths are simply expected due to age. Other deaths are an answer to prayer for our loved ones who are suffering. But for some of us, the death of a loved one can come uninvited. Unexpected. Like a dark and powerful storm that injects itself into our life and sucks out every ounce of joy and hope. Then it leaves as quickly as it came. And you sit stunned, unable to understand why this storm chose you as its target. This was how Ted’s death felt to me.

A year after Ted died, I received a true gift from God. It was the pivotal moment that I felt hope and joy again after feeling empty for a year. I had a dream that left me speechless and in tears. In my dream I journeyed to Heaven, where I spent time with Ted, and heard his feelings about his new home in Heaven. The things he told me provided me so much comfort. The book, “Visiting Ted in Heaven,” is a fictional book about a very real dream I had. And while I believe Heaven is a million times more amazing than what I saw, there are elements in the dream that I believe are very real. That is why I felt this story was meant to be shared with others; it’s a message of hope, peace, and God’s endless love.

  • Throughout most of my 20s, I had the privilege of working as a mortician. During that time, I served hundreds of families surrounding the death of their loved ones. One observation I had throughout those years was that many parents had a difficult time discussing death with their children, especially following an untimely death.  They struggled to answer their children’s questions when they, themselves, were having a hard time understanding why this dark storm had hit them. It is my hope that this book can not only provide comfort and peace to children and parents who have experienced the death of someone close to them, but also act as a starting point for parents to have a conversation with their children about their own loved one’s death.    


    “Visiting Ted in Heaven” Comments:

    “While nothing can bring back to this world a lost loved one, this book is a wonderful encouragement, filled with promise and hope!”

    “This book is a great reminder of the great things that lie ahead for believers in Christ.”

    “It’s a good book to read after the death of anyone, no matter the age.”

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