The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Death and Mourning
Letter from Linda Braucht - 2 May 2003
Thanks for your notes about animals in heaven. I just lost my 8 year old Golden Retriever. He was healthy one minute and dead the next. He just suddenly died and fell on the floor. He was my closest companion and I am so devastated. I have lost other "kids" before, and it is always horrible.
I cling to Romans 8:18-25. It sounds like the creation itself will be delivered from corruption and death, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. I hope my dogs will be delivered also--I want to believe that, but there are so many who say, "What difference does it make, you won't miss them if they aren't there." We didn't have children, so we've had dogs. They are like my kids. My wish is that when I go to the place that the Lord has prepared for me, that I will see all my four-legged kids there on the bed waiting for me. I want to continue loving them, and yet I understand that they will be there to praise the Lord too--so they will be more free to do as they wish, too. I also want to sit across the table from my Mom and Dad on the day of the wedding feast. Those things are the things that I want to see so bad that I can hardly wait to get there. I know I will see the Lord too, but that I can't even imagine in my mind.
Do you have any words of comfort for me? I wish the grief would go away. He died a week ago. His name was Josiah.
Reply from Frank L. Hoffman - 2 May 2003
If we truly love someone in life, we will feel a deep sense of loss when he or she dies. You mourn for Josiah because you love him, and hopefully will continue to love him. True love doesn't turn off like water from a faucet, and neither does that feeling of grief we feel. But over time your loving memories of Josiah will replace the ache you feel inside, and you'll find yourself smiling at your memory of the joyful times you had together. If you think about it, some of them have already begun.
Mary and I really feel sorry for those people who can't bring themselves to love other living beings, and instead of comfort they offer only trite remarks. Just ignore such remarks, and understand where they come from.
And be assured that one day you will see your loved ones again in heaven, for both humans and animals were created as living souls that cannot die, spiritually.
And, there is a good probability that not only will Mom and Dad eat with you at the banquet table of the Lord, but so will Josiah and your other kids. Now, that will be a real family reunion!
In the Love of the Lord,
Response from Linda - 3 May 2003
Thanks for your note. I anxiously await that day that we will have no more tears, sorrow, sickness or death. Death is such a horrid separation from those we love. I am glad that we have hope because of Jesus Christ. What do the nonbelievers do in their grief? Horrid. Thanks again.
I hadn't thought of Josiah at the dinner table of the Lord, but what a perfect thing!
He was always at my dinner table, licking my plate and begging for more.
I am glad that the Lord is compassionate and merciful--so much more so than people.
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