Gary, the beloved
(Fuquay Varina, NC, USA)
Gary, the beloved.
My son, Gary, went to Heaven on January 8, 2013. From that day until today, it's been the darkest days of my life. He was 44, years old. He was so loved. He was a great son, brother, husband, father, pastor. He left us due to a massive heart attack. He had no prior history of heart disease. I know that he is in Heaven and I know that he sees us and knows that we will go on.
He was at work that day, his co-workers said that the grabbed his chest and said, "I can't breath." He "fainted" and they called the rescue squad. Four men worked on him for an hour. They could not get him back. His wife and daughter were called at school and work and were told that Gary had fainted. They expected to go to the hospital, pick him up and to take him home for him to recover. They suspected something was wrong when security met them in the ER and would not let them go in to see Gary. Then the doctor came in and said very swiftly and coldly, "There's no easy way to say this, Gary is dead." He turned around and walked out. They began to sob and pace and pray. His wife paced the floor and cried. His daughter rocked in a chair and sobbed. How could this happen? They called his son to come from work. He was devastated. Everyone was in shock.
How could this happen? Gary was the young pastor, who owned and sold a lucrative business to answer the call to preach at the age of 38. He went to Bible college, filled in for absent pastors, taught two Sunday school classes, pastored a small church, but most of all, he loved. He loved everyone. He was no respecter of persons. He did not care whether a person was rich or poor, beautiful or plain, president or prisoner, he loved all. At his visitation before his funeral, we stood for four and a half hours in the receiving line, while people filed by and told me stories of what Gary had meant to them in their lives. I had no idea, the impact that he had.
He has been gone now for nine months and twelve days. Every day I get up and the hole in my heart, the darkness envelopes me. The first three months after he died, I'd say I was in such shock that I just did the "next right thing." I was on auto-pilot. Then I began to really cry, then I was furiously angry with God. How could he take this beautiful son, who dedicated his life to Christ and the salvation of God's people? How could he do this? Then I was so angry at those, who through selfishness, had put great stress on Gary. I wanted to blame them and I wanted to hurt them, badly. I felt like they had put so much stress on Gary that his heart just broke. Then with the help of prayer, Bible reading and the counsel of my Christian counselor and Griefshare friends at church, I came to an understanding as never before the Scripture, Psalm 139:16 "Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them." In other words, all of Gary's days were ordained before he was ever born. God is in control and He ordained the number of Gary's days. I was blessed to have him 44 years. He was a blessing every day of his life. He is still a blessing every day. I am blessed among mothers.
As my I grieve, my daughter-in-love grieves, my grandchildren grieve and Gary's brother grieves, I wonder what God has for me in this life to honor Christ and to honor Gary's commitment to serve God's people. I ask in prayer for God's leading to let me be and do His will. Let me regain a purpose and a hope. Gary's wife is limping along, trying to get from day to day. His daughter has gone to college this fall, as was scheduled. She is doing well. She will be a nurse. His son has changed jobs and has moved in with his mother, temporarily. He is there for her. He is doing well. They have all moved closer to me. That is a very good thing. I ask for prayer that I will be able to be productive and help others who have joined this most terrible journey of grief. Without others who have already been through this loss, I would not be able to continue. Please keep me in prayer. MC Griffin