The Passing of Our Son

(Originally posted on June 13, 2011):

This is, obviously, a very personal post written to our friends, so please don’t pass it along into the public domain…

The last 24 hours of our trip in Africa has been a time of deep grief in the midst of God’s huge comfort.

For the second time in two months our 23-year-old son (Brooks’ step-son) took an overdose of Tylenol with the express intent of ending his life.  This time he was successful.

On Saturday Tim passed into heaven.

Brooks and I are both taking great comfort in several things.  First, in remembering the day that Timmy was baptized when he was much younger.  As a young adult he has led a headstrong life that has included drugs which severely added to his mental illness, yet we always knew that he knew His savior.  Then, in the last two months of his life, while he was recovering from his first overdose, we had so many opportunities to share our love for him, to hear him express his love for us, and I had the chance to pray with him many times.  Finally, during the last 24 hours of his life he was cared for wonderfully by his sister (my daughter, Sarah) and her husband, Will.  Will prayed with Tim several times while he was still conscious and asked him to reach out to God and call on the name of Jesus, Tim squeezed his hand.  I believe Tim has called out to God many times and was not resistant to the love of Jesus, but somehow the trials of this world were more than he could endure.  We both have an overwhelming sense that Tim is, at last, safe and at peace.  We both know that, because of the struggles of the last several years, this is a great relief to him.

We feel privileged to serve a God who, in His own very unique and often mysterious way, holds us and our loved ones firmly, deliberately, and faithfully in His grip no matter how it sometimes looks to us along the way!

So, as you can imagine, both grief and comfort.  In fact, we find that our tears are sometimes from the loss of knowing that we will never see, touch, or hug Tim again in this life, and sometimes from gratitude for the wonderful way God has reached out to Tim.

With this latter comes the vision of the reality of a Gospel that is more than Good News, but life itself:  life that transcends this world and even death.   Despite the pain we feel, I do have to say, that this vision of the reality of the Gospel is shining brighter and putting more fire in our hearts than ever before.

Thank you so much for your prayers that sustains us through it all!

One thought on “The Passing of Our Son

  1. George

    MR. Roger,
    Peace and love to you and your home.

    Richard had informed me during the time that Tim’s situation occured and I was more than happy to be there for him. My kid uncle (he’s a couple of years younger than me.) died at 21 only about a week or two prior to Tim’s passing. My uncle had always been part of the wrong crowd but was doing great in nursing school. He was going to graduate in about a week and wanted to tell some friends. When he got to the house they were in, they had a collection of guns they stole, and he got curious. He accidentally shot and killed himself looking down the barrel of a sawed off shotgun. The bullet passed through the side of his neck, making contact with his jugular.
    The death of him was not the hard part to swallow, since his life style made it a soon expectation. But what hurt me the most is when family would say things like “he’s up there looking down on us” or like when my aunt was trying to get into a job and she attributed her success in finding one to God AND her brother, saying “he’s our guardian angel, look what he helped me with…”.
    It bothers me knowing that my grandmother is a devout catholic, and that I know that the scripture is clear when it states “the seed of the wicked will parish…”
    Knowing that my grandmother was not a true believer makes these things hard to swallow.
    Forgive my lengthy comment.
    But I have so much joy and peace in knowing that you and your son Richard are believers. As for the rest of the family, I dont know them yet.
    But I can rest assured that Tim is resting and that your faith in God has covered him along with his own understanding and faith in the King.
    May the peace of the Eternal be with you always.

    George Hull

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