Gary, the beloved

by Mary
(Fuquay Varina, NC, USA)

Gary

Gary

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

Comments for Gary, the beloved

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Oct 22, 2013
Gary, the beloved
by: Doreen UK

Mary I am sorry for your loss of your beloved son Gary at such a young age. My son is 44yrs. of age and I couldn't bear this loss.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to terminal cancer 17 months ago. I was like a desperate woman clinging onto my husband and sent out Prayer all over America and the world on the internet and lived with HOPE. My husband was anointed for healing and died 8 hours later that day. The pastor was shocked. It was only when I said. "Oh God if you can't heal him then take him." he then died that day. I was angry with God for a long time. I didn't want to be. But it became part of my grief I had to overcome. I am not angry anymore but I feel so lonely and sad. I start my day by saying. "This is the day the Lord has given. Let us be glad and rejoice in it." Come what may I have to live out the rest of my life as best as I can and find the purpose God still has for me till I join my husband.
One Promise we have is that Jesus will return for us one day as He promised to come for us so that we may be with him. This is my HOPE. Eternal Life to come where we will be re-united with our loved ones FOREVER. To die no more. No more DEATH. Death will be destroyed forever. Death was never in God's plan. This came about by SIN. You are right. Our days are numbered. Knowing this and believing it according to Scripture helps us to go on each day. The best way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is also all God gives us. We don't have Tomorrow yet. But we just live in HOPE that we will see another day. WE have to live for the one's we have left. Keep looking to Jesus our HOPE, Our Saviour, Our COMFORTER. Lean hard into the bosom of God and He will sustain you. I am sorry for your loss.

Oct 21, 2013
Comfort...
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your empathetic comments. They bring home to me that God works through people. I am so comforted by your understanding. I have sweet friends who have turned away from me. They can't handle my grief. I've had them condemn me for asking God "why?" You know, in the Psalms, David asked why of God and God called David "a man after God's own heart." I know that God understood my anger and He's big enough to handle it. That is very comforting to me. He will never leave me nor forsake me, even when I'm questioning or even when I'm mad. God doesn't change. He loved me before Gary died, He loves me now and some day I will be able to ask "Why?" face to face and I'll believe that He will tell me and it will be a perfect answer. Until then, I will believe that I am blessed to be His beloved daughter and Gary's mama.

Oct 21, 2013
Gary, the beloved
by: Doreen UK

Mary I am sorry for your loss of your beloved son Gary at such a young age. My son is 44yrs. of age and I couldn't bear this loss.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to terminal cancer 17 months ago. I was like a desperate woman clinging onto my husband and sent out Prayer all over America and the world on the internet and lived with HOPE. My husband was anointed for healing and died 8 hours later that day. The pastor was shocked. It was only when I said. "Oh God if you can't heal him then take him." he then died that day. I was angry with God for a long time. I didn't want to be. But it became part of my grief I had to overcome. I am not angry anymore but I feel so lonely and sad. I start my day by saying. "This is the day the Lord has given. Let us be glad and rejoice in it." Come what may I have to live out the rest of my life as best as I can and find the purpose God still has for me till I join my husband.
One Promise we have is that Jesus will return for us one day as He promised to come for us so that we may be with him. This is my HOPE. Eternal Life to come where we will be re-united with our loved ones FOREVER. To die no more. No more DEATH. Death will be destroyed forever. Death was never in God's plan. This came about by SIN. You are right. Our days are numbered. Knowing this and believing it according to Scripture helps us to go on each day. The best way forward is ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is also all God gives us. We don't have Tomorrow yet. But we just live in HOPE that we will see another day. WE have to live for the one's we have left. Keep looking to Jesus our HOPE, Our Saviour, Our COMFORTER. Lean hard into the bosom of God and He will sustain you. I am sorry for your loss.

Oct 21, 2013
Thank You
by: Anonymous

thank you for your post - I needed to look up Psalm 139:16 as soon as I read your post. I really needed it today. My son Ryan passed away Jan 2011,he was 28. This past weekend was rough. I needed to be reminded that our days are numbered before we are born. God let us have Ryan for 28 years and for that I am thankful - I just miss him so dearly as I know you miss your son. God Bless You -

Oct 21, 2013
Gary, the beloved
by: Anonymous--MI

Mary---let me say that I am very sorry for your loss of your dear son. Reading your words brought home some of my very thoughts after loosing my dear husband of SCA Nov 2012--he too, like your son, was taken from me and my children and grandkids in an instant. Like your son, my husband was a teacher, an elder in our church and taught bible studies for years so that others would know the love of Jesus Christ and what He gave for us on the cruel cross--His life for ours. My husband was a strong good man of integrity and character and helped so many people in their hour of need. He was a person that others gravitated to because he was sincere and honest and loving to mankind. At 65 yrs of age, he was called to heaven as he had finished his work here on earth. My grief is 11 months on this brutal road of sorrow and I too have felt all the emotions that you speak of--anger, guilt, questions to God as to how He could take such a good man away while sinful awful people remain to hurt innocent people. These are questions that we will never know the answers to---my husband used to say" Some things we are not to know" I pray for God to help us all; mend our broken shattered hearts so that we may remember our loved ones with sweet joy and to somehow have a brighter future so that we may pass the word and love of God on to others just as your son and my husband did. Let us cling to Jesus---as He leads us out of the valley of despair into hope and with the knowledge that we will one day be reunited with our loved ones. May God bless you and all on this site.

Oct 21, 2013
Gary, the beloved
by: Anonymous

Mary, I am so sorry you lost your son so suddenly. I couldn't help but think of a friend's son-in-law who also passed away from sudden cardiac arrest. He was a 30-year-old fireman from L.A., CA. His only medical problem that i know of was an enlarged heart. I sometimes wonder if this is an overlooked problem. I have to say your doctor was indeed a cold person to have said that to you all and just walk away. But i would also like to say i believe as you do. Our days are numbered. I often wonder why the Lord has chosen to let me live to the age of almost 64 but i try to be grateful, even on the most boring of days. I do hope and pray that your family will trust the Lord for strength and continue to live for Him, thereby honoring your son, the pastor. Love to you all.

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