Dear friends,

Today, 4th November we are remembering the passing of our youngest son

dear Alexander

He died of leukemia when he was 11 years and 11months old.

Please remember him in your daily prayers.

We have dedicated to Alexander all our services

{conferences, workshops, books (Christianity Renewed Vol. 1,2 and 3)}

to explain to the wider public of Christian background

the link between Christ and Baha’u’llah.

Please find attached a tribute/poems which my wife Helen has written

for the Australian Baha’i bulletin.


&#14 7;Thou shalt find me in the heaven of the Lord, immersed in an ocean of light

& #160; `Abdu’l-Baha

Our beautiful little boy plunged into the “Ocean of Light” on the 4th November, 1996. He was 11 years and 11 months old. His name is Alexander Thomas Olinga Vloeberghs. .

Alexander had been fighting Leukemia for three and a half years, and had two years of intensive chemotherapy as well as a bone marrow transplant, and all during that time he never complained. As soon as he left the isolation ward after six months, he turned cartwheels outside the back gate of the hospital. After all his suffering he expected to be O.K. but three days after his much adored sister Shirin left for Maxwell International Baha’i School in Canada, he had his second relapse. The doctors told him that the leukemia had come back and that there was nothing they could do. They told us he had only a few weeks to live. He was so prepared for going to the other world and eager to explore that new realm. He was looking forward to his journey. But before he left he had a few things to do. One thing he wanted was to see the snow. Thanks to the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ we were able to go within a few days. His sister came back from Canada and we all went as a family to Mt. Hotham.

Alex was a natural athlete. Before his illness he was chosen by the Australian Institute of Sports to train in an elite gymnastic squad of only f our boys who were chosen from the best gymnasts in Brisbane. Their goal was the 2000 Olympics. It was during an intensive training session that he felt tired and we noticed that something was wrong. He was diagnosed on 15 May, 1993. During his chemotherapy he wasn’t able to swim for almost two years because of the risk of infection. When he was able to do so, he jumped into the school pool and won every race in his age group and got a medal for overall champion. He was also a great basketball player. The last time he played he was so sick he could hardly run. His team hadn’t got a goal, and just before the game was over Alex took a rebound out near the line. He had his back to th e goal, but he bounced the ball twice, crouched down, turned, jumped and shot in one liquid movement, and hit the goal. It was a moment of pure beauty that will forever be etched in my memory.

The first time he got on a snow board at the top of the beginners hill he just sailed down to the bottom not falling once. The first day we had to help him walk up. The second day he was able to walk up himself. Then he and Maxwell, his brother, started making snow mounds to jump over. At night the boys watched a snow board video and the next day they went out and did all the tricks. After the s now we were able to visit the Temple and our extended family in Sydney. Alex was also a poet and he wrote a poem for the Make a Wish Foundation to thank them.

We’re off to see the snow,

The wonderful, wonderful snow,

Because, because, because,

I made a wish to go.

My family’s coming too,

Because its no fun without them

or you,

Because you made my wish come true.

When I see myself dancing in the snow,

The wonderful, wonderful snow,

Then I’ll know its time for me to go.


Alex loved to do magic shows for the six beautiful young girls in our community. His most famous trick was a levitation which he did with Max. His stage name was Alex Sp arkle. He wanted to be a magician.

In Papua New Guinea when Alex was small, one day I wanted to go out to do some Baha’i work, but he needed me and I couldn’t go. I lay down on the bed next to him and cried. Then I heard a voice which said to me “If you train him properly he will teach ten times more people than you in future” At that same moment I smelt the most heavenly perfume of attar of roses which filled the room. Alex was always teaching the Faith. He taught his little friends at school, many of whom consider themselves to be Baha’is. When we were in the hospital, we gave the message to everyone we could, including the nurses and parents. One morning whilst he was asleep I was able to give the Message to three people. When he awoke I told him this and he said, boy I will have to get busy if I am going to teach ten times more than you. Well he did just that, but a hundred times more instead. At his memorial service held here at Forest Hill, our family’s homefront pioneer post, almost three hundred people attended. And, faithful to the admonitions of the Guardian, he has laid his bones to rest in his pioneer post. The effect of this Baha’i funeral will ripple out over this region and the hearts of those souls who are receptive will vibrate.

At the memorial service, everyone received a program with a most beautiful selection of Holy Writings. The service was conducted with great dignity and to utmost perfection by Auxiliary Board Member Mr. John Walker. Our little local community of Laidley, including all the children, rallied around and in total love and unity, just like many souls in one body, were busy in preparing and decorating the rustic country hall where the service was held. The ladies from Toowoomba and Logan arranged a most magnificent luncheon. Their selflessness and loving attention to detail reminded me of stories of the gracious qualities of servitude evinced by the Greatest Holy Leaf. The hall was filled with magnificent flowers sent from Gold Coast, Ipswich, B risbane and Toowoomba. The Baha’i communities of Perth and Bundaberg decided to give a donation to the Arc Fund in Alex’s name. In effect, the coming together of all the Baha’is from great distances and in utmost love, has shown my non-Baha’i family just what a Baha’i community is capable of doing. Their most vibrant, tangible unity was visable to all present. Many people commented on what a great support the Baha’i community was to us. A Baha’i youth came to me and said that the previous night he had a dream in which he was attending a wonderful, joyous birthday party. Then when he arrived and saw the hall decorated with golden bows on all the pews, he said this is the place in my dream. Later when the cake came out, he was so excited and said th at he saw the cake in the dream too. This dream was most appropriate because the whole day was really like a celebration of Alex’s birth into the next world.

Before Alex’s passing he was busy preparing himself spiritually. We went out at 4.30a.m. every morning to watch the sun rise and we said 95 times the Greatest Name and 95 times the Remover of Difficulties. It was so symbolic because in one text `Abdu’l-Baha says “Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man”. So Alex was looking at his last sunrises. It also symbolized the rising of the “Sun of Truth”, and also the sun is the physical counterpart for the Manifestation of God who gives light and life to the world. On Saturday, just two days before he died he was very weak and could hardly walk, so I didn’t wake him and went myself to pray. I was praying when suddenly a little figure appeared shuffling along in thongs with sox on. He asked me “why didn’t you wake me up Mummy?” “I said I didn’t think you would see the sun because of all the clouds”. Then he said “I don’t come to see the sun, I come to say the prayers”.

Speaking of prayers, i t is impossible to adequately describe the support, love, strength and complete composure that the prayers of the Baha’i community can give. Our family have been blessed with the most vehement support in the form of prayers for our dearest little Alex. To our Beloved House of Justice, the National Spiritual Assemblies of Australia and Papua New Guinea, the Local Spiritual Assemblies, to the most steadfast Baha’is, one and all, we offer our most heartfelt thanks. It is a pity that only when a calamity of such great magnitude strikes that we call on this great power of prayer with such a passion. I am lost in awe of the power of prayer. Through it we have been able to sustain our loss without being overwhelmed by the negative emotions of grief. We feel we are cushioned and sur rounded by a pink cloud of love, through which no pain can penetrate.

On the morning of his passing Alex was muttering to himself, Mirza, Mirza. I asked him who he was speaking to and he said to me very clearly, “Oh you know, the one who fell through the roof” So he must have been in communion with his beloved Mirza Midhi. During the afternoon he was sitting up but appeared to be asleep whilst music from the World Congress tape was playing. His father, Marc, was sitting next to him. Then suddenly Alex opened his eyes and said in a loud and clear voice - “O Baha’u’llah, what hast thou done.” Marc thought he was getting better and gave him a kiss on the forehead and embraced him as never before. Then Marc sat down to say the Tablet of Ahmad. He had only said three lines when Alex slumped over and his soul departed from this mortal world. It was so sudden we weren’t sure he had passed away. His last words on this earthly life were an affirmation of his faith.

The first people who came into the house after his passing were a family from Fiji. We felt that this was a sign because we have been planning to pioneer to Fiji to fill a goal of the Four Year Plan for our beloved National Assembly.

When we buried Alex we put some holy dust that we had swept off the grave of Mirza Mihdi into Alex’s pocket. That holy dust will be joined with his earthly dust forever. At the graveside the children all sent messages tied with ribbons to balloons up into the heavens. It was a beautiful sight.

When we were on pilgrimage, Dr. Ruhe told us a touching story about one of `Abdu’l-Baha’s sons, Husayn, who loved to explore and always wanted Baha’u’llah to take him out for a picnic under the fir trees.& #160; Husayn died when he was 4 years old. His epitaph revealed by Baha’u’llah reads: “Husayn, son of Ayn, Health and children are an endowment with life. A greater hope and a better reward with your Lord are good deeds. He was an adornment of the Exalted Paradise. We see him now in the Exalted Paradise engaged, by God’s Grace, in sightseeing.” I feel with my whole heart that Alex is now also sightseeing in that Heavenly Realm.

To my son.

Alex, my sweet child of light,

You die in your youth,

You take your flight,

Transverse, return to reunite.

Return to the sun, ray of light,

Now absorbed in eternal delight.

They greet you, the Hosts on High,

With them you recound your life gone by.

Now at last,

Mysteries you can ask:

“Why is it so,

I was chosen to go,

I’m not complaining,

I’d just like to know”

Thence the reply:

“Far better for thee,

This saga of woe,

Than a myriad lives,

This ye must know,

For your light will shine,

On all mankind,

Welcome home, Welcome home”

Love from Mummy.

Christianity Renewed

Maxwell Alexander

Aucun commentaire: