Receiving News of My Father’s Death

Receiving News of My Father's Death - Grace Fox

I could scarcely hear Gene above the din in the dining room: “Your dad passed away thirty minutes ago.” It wasn’t unexpected, but the news still carried a blow.

I woke this morning with a thankful heart that my missing suitcase arrived last night! Now I have the notes for this morning’s session on praying Scripture.

When I went to the dining room for breakfast, the president of SHARE and his wife invited me to sit at their table. In the middle of breakfast, the conference organizer’s husband walked up to me with his cell phone in his hand. “It’s your husband,” he said, and handed me the phone.

I knew what this meant

I could scarcely hear Gene above the din in the dining room, but I caught him say, “Your dad passed away thirty minutes ago.” It wasn’t unexpected, but the news still carried a blow.

I was thankful that this couple had asked me to sit with them – they immediately offered their support and prayers, and she shed a few tears with me. Within the next hour, the word began to spread about my dad’s passing and people began offering their condolences.

The organizers gave me the option not to teach my workshop, but I chose to move forward. If I didn’t teach, I’d be sitting alone in my room, and for what? At the end of the class, one man said that he wanted to pray for me, and that’s when the tears started to flow again.

On a grief journey without a compass

I’m grateful for the time spent with Dad two weeks ago, when he was still lucid. I was able to tell him that I love him, and he answered, “I love you, too.” I know he’s in heaven. At one point, he said he could see Jesus, and it was beautiful “there.” I believe he’s walking and dancing in the Savior’s presence, his body whole again after being paralyzed by strokes eight years ago.

And now, I must process the fact that I’m here and my family is there during this time of grief. I’m on a journey for which I have no compass. My loss is great, my pain real. I want to embrace my mom and other family members but can’t.

“This doesn’t feel fair, God. You could have taken him while I was home so I could be a part of what’s happening there now. Why did You wait until two days after I left?”

This afternoon I’ll travel by train to Slovakia with an IM friend, Diane. Her specialty is missionary care. That’s good timing.

Know you are loved,


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One Comment

  1. Grace,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You and Gene have become very dear to our hearts.
    We pray that you will find the rest, peace and comfort that God so freely offers. We are praying for your family, too.
    I’m so glad you got your suitcase back! I’m sure you’re relieved.
    Your husband did a great job hosting yesterday! Be proud of him…I know you are…it shows.
    Keep leaning on God and those He so graciously provides around you for comfort, strength and focus.
    With much love,
    Bud & Sherry

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