"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness!'
Matthew 25:23, NIV

Hi all,

I can say with complete and total honesty, this is the most difficult newsletter intro I have ever written.  We were all immensely sad to learn of Mr. Dye's passing.  But in the last few days, that grief has been joined by something else: immense gratitude for his life and what he gave us during it.  And what he'll continue to give us even though now he lives on the other side.  It hurts so much that we have lost someone who, though most of us did not know him, touched our lives so deeply.  But I think through our pain we need to remember some of what Touched taught us:

"I just want you to know there's nothing to be afraid of.
On one side, there is life. And on the other...there is life, too." ~~Andrew, Random Acts

"It hurts so awfully bad when a beautiful soul is taken away from us. 
But it's never really taken away." ~~Tess, Unidentified Female

"God can take the saddest things and turn them into something beautiful."
~~ Monica, Til We Meet Again

"Grieving is a very necessary process." ~~Andrew, The Empty Chair

Andrew: In the midst of death we are in life.
Monica: Of whom shall we seek for succour?
Tess: Only Thee, O Lord, only Thee.
~~from The Anatomy Lesson, adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

"You sacrifice to God your broken spirit and your broken heart. 
That is all He wants you to give Him: everything that hurts and then let Him restore you." ~~Andrew, I Do

In the past few days, I have heard from so many people about how John Dye, by bringing Andrew to life, helped them confront tragedy and loss.  He helped them sacrifice their broken spirits and hearts and find healing in the love of God.  I myself can attest to that.  I started watching Touched when I was 12 and faced my first major loss when I was 16.  During every single period of mourning after that, I have thought of Andrew and sought solace in his words and gentle compassion and the idea of this utterly lovely creature who is with us in our final moments.  My story is by no means rare. 

And now we find ourselves mourning John long before any of us thought we would.  It seems unreal and even a little cruel and we may be feeling things more deeply than we ever could have imagined.  But we have to let him help us through this, too.  We have to remember Andrew's compassion.  We have to remember Doc Hock's unfailing dedication to his beliefs.  And we have to remember that one day, years ago, a man was asked if he'd want to portray an angel of death... a role that was by no means going to be easy... and that he said yes to the challenge and viewed it as an honor.   We have to remember Mr. Dye's dedication to the homeless, the hungry, and the suffering, too. 

So, in that spirit of remembrance and gratitude, JABB will continue.  Whether he ever knew it in this life or not, JABB is one of Mr. Dye's gifts to us.  Whatever positive feeling or experience you have ever taken from JABB: it happened only because of his dedication to his work and to making the world a better, stronger, more loving place.  I am not saying that continuing will be easy.  Things won't be "normal" for a while.  We won't force ourselves to be funny.  But neither will we stifle the humor that might just help us through this.  Our challenge will be in grieving and remembering and continuing to celebrate his life together.  There may come a time when some of us are ready to laugh and others aren't.  And that's okay.  If it's too difficult for some to stay, no one will fault you for that.  Andrew is right.  Grieving *is* a very necessary process but it's not a universal one in the sense that what works for one person will necessarily work for another.  But we'll do the best we can to continue on together in a respectful, uplifting manner because Mr. Dye deserves to be remembered always.

Before we get to the newsletter itself, I'd like to ask that people please continue to pray for Mr. Dye's family and friends.  And if you would like to donate to a cause that was meaningful to him, it sounds like the family has selected the Amory Food Pantry and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as recipients for memorial gifts.  Fans are also encouraged to give to charities that are meaningful to them.  Simply reaching out to people with kindness in your daily lives would also be a wonderful tribute to Mr. Dye.  In the coming weeks, we'll discuss how we can honor Mr. Dye's life as a group, especially on his birthday. 

Thank you for being a part of JABB.  And thank you to John Dye for giving us so much.

God bless him and God bless all who love him.

May God's peace be with you,

Sharing in Our Gratitude for the Life of John Carroll Dye

Since Tuesday night, we have been collecting public tributes to John Dye on our main page.  If you have not yet written a tribute and would like to, please contact me (Jenni).  Additionally, so many of us have found ourselves sharing with each other just how much gratitude we feel towards John... for some serious things and for some not so serious things.  So members of the JABB YahooGroup joined together to create this list.  I will continue to update this list for as long as people would like to make additions.  So, again, please contact me if you would like to add to this list.

Now, let us remember and be grateful!

From Rebecca:
  • I am grateful for his loving presence on this earth although I never directly knew him I felt as though I did.  He definitely was a very loving soul and the world is a better place for him being here.
  • Because of JD I have met some really wonderful people that have become very special people in my life.
  • I am grateful for JD giving life to two of my favorite characters of all time, Doc and Andrew.
  • Although we have lost a great person heaven has gained a great soul and he will be greatly missed by many people.  I thank God for JD, for his sweet presence and the wonderful work he has left behind.
From Angelica:
  • Because of him, I've improved my English. (For those who don't know, I'm from Brazil, so English is not my first language. And I didn't attend any language school.)
  • Andrew!
  • JABB and the friends I've found there.
  • "That" lovely smile, which always makes me feel better.
  • He inspired me to be a better person. Actually, everybody around me is thankful for this.
  • Doc Hock singing "Jingle Bells". It's so cute!
  • The Umbrella Dance. It's uplifting!!!
From Jenni:
  • Like so many, I am so grateful to him for bringing together so many treasured friendships.  In the past few days, I have felt so blessed by the outpouring of warmth and kindness from so many of them. 
  • Being a typical introvert, I'm not the most assertive of people.  Sometimes that's still a struggle.  But via Doc and Andrew, John taught me to stick to your heart and to your beliefs even when it's difficult.  And being here on JABB has taught me so much about how to voice my opinions in a non-wishy washy way.  So I'm grateful to him for making me less wishy washy.
  • I felt so inspired watching his work, mainly with Touched but definitely with his other portrayals, too.  This inspiration often expressed itself in, well, interesting ways.  Because of him, I learned to scrapbook, design web pages, sew a bit, paint novelty buckets, and more.  I thank him for those hours of contentment and fun.
  • There have been times in my life when I have been very sad and very much in emotional pain over the loss of a loved one.  And then I would watch Touched and Andrew had an uncanny knack of saying, sometimes verbatim, just what I needed to hear.  I know that I'm indebted to the show's writers for that, too.  But it was the gentle, positive, credible delivery of those lines that healed.
  • I am grateful for the smiles I get when I see flannel shirts, leather jackets, Converses, tool belts, pocket watches, and more.  The smiles may be a lil tremulous now but they still come.  They always will. 
  • Orange juice mixed with ginger ale.  It is yummy.
  • I know this is going to sound corny and probably over-dramatic but... I'm gonna have to say that I'm grateful to John for my sanity.  There have been times when the sadness and the cruelty in the world seemed so overwhelming.  And I'd seek solace in watching Touched or in writing about Andrew.  Or in viewing Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium.  Both gave me hope that there are people out there, be they human or angel, who actively choose goodness and kindness.  And that got me through.  And it will continue to, I know.
  • I'm just really, really grateful that God let him be here with us for a time.
From Nicole:
  • His work brought lots of people together. I've made some great friends because of him.
  • For making me smile every time you would dance with an umbrella, gobble like a turkey, or maybe just speak some comforting words that somebody somewhere needed to hear.
  • For embracing the role of Andrew  and helping to give comfort and strength to people around the world.
From Tara:
  • I'm just grateful for his episode "The Pact" because it hit close to home for me. I felt alot of what the girls felt about AIDS and battle health problems everyday. But he was so good at pointing out we need to keep living. I have to keep remembering that. =) Sometimes a person can make a difference in what they say on TV. John Dye did that for me.

Now, I'd like to close with an excerpt from a traditional Irish hymn, "Be Thou My Vision."  Lyrics are by Dallan Forgaill, English verse by Eleanor H. Hull.

Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one...

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O Bright Heaven's sun!;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Thank you, John.  We will remember you forever.


JABB 319

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by: CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions; "Campus Man" and owned by: RKO Pictures; "Once Upon a Christmas" and owned by: Ardent Productions, Legacy Filmworks, Lincoln Field Productions, Sterling/Winters Company Studios, and Viacom Productions Inc.; "Twice Upon a Christmas" and owned by: Viacom Productions Inc.; "Best of the Best" and owned by: Best of the Best Films, Kuys Entertainment, SVS Films, and The Movie Group Inc.; "Making the Grade" and owned by: Cannon Film Distributors and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium" and owned by: New Light Media; "Tour of Duty" and owned by: New World Television; "Promised Land" and owned by: CBS Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)