From Grief to Gladness
by D. Adam Moore
Denver Seminary Global/Online Student
"I thought it would feel different or be easier to deal with at this point, but I still miss him everyday." I typed those words 10 years ago tonight. It was the eve of the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death, and I was broken and lost. Not just lost like I took a wrong turn or missed my exit along life's journey, but completely and totally lost and without a compass...or hope for that matter. Alone, yet sitting in the basement of the wonderful home I shared with my beautiful wife and amazing 1 year old son, I typed the words above.
Fast forward some 3 years from that night, and you'd find me crushed and crying again. Sitting beside my wife in a hospital bed, mourning the loss of a son that was supposed to share my name, and my love of baseball. A son I'd never hold alive in this lifetime. Needless to say, it's taken some time to type these words tonight..."I'm ok."
As you read this, you may recall the heartache of losing a loved one. You may even be mourning a recent loss. If you are, I'm sorry and...I'm here for you. I mean it. There is nothing wrong with mourning, with hurting. It's a process. In the bible, we are told that when faced with the loss of a friend, "Jesus wept." (John 11:35) It's a natural process and it involves many stages. There is no timeline and no way to "do it right"...you just have to do it. For me, I thought the deeper the hurt and the longer the despair, that I'd prove to myself, my family, and others just how much I loved my Grandfather...how badly I wanted to raise my son, David "Cooper" Moore. I'd show them...I'd show them all...by my suffering. My heartache would be my evidence.
How badly I wish I had those years back. How desperately I needed to hear, "Don't go it alone." "You don't have to do this." "You can't bring them back, but you will see them again."
I've recently started another annual read through the bible. This will be my 3rd trip through in as many years. I recently reread the story of David. Scrolling through the books of Samuel, I recalled the account of David losing his own son. His fasting and grief turned to gladness upon hearing the news that his son who was ill had finally passed away. He cleaned himself up, ate again, and even went to worship. That may sound counterintuitive or strange to you, but David was a man after God's own heart and David knew something I wish I knew a decade ago. This is the wisdom and courage of David, "But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:23)
Friends, we tend to focus on the now. The trials and tribulations. The hurt, the loss, the anger. It all feels so big and somehow hopeless. It isn't, trust me. We forget what is to come. No amount of time or tears can ever bring my grandfather or my son back to me. That's not God's plan. His design is too big, too bold, and too beautiful for that. However, a reunion will be had. I will go to them. Until I do, I will love, honor, and cherish a Father that never stopped loving me, that has renewed my spirit, warmed my heart, and that turned my grief into gladness.
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