One Grieving Father’s Words


Last week a young man, Rob, died from an overdose of drugs.

I saw Rob’s picture on a webpage.  He was young, mid-twenties, handsome, a Christian and looked like he would be fun to be around.  I felt deeply sad and wondered how do Rob’s parents and friends cope with such a tragedy?

For wisdom, I remembered the words of another grieving father, Rick Warren, whose young son, Matthew, age 27, killed himself after a lifelong battle with mental illness.

Rick said in an interview, “I’ve cried every day since Matthew died.  That’s a help—a pressure outlet.  Tears are a gift!”

Rick was also asked, “Did you have a crisis of faith after your son’s death?”

Rick replied, “Of course, you go from shock to sorrow, and from sorrow to struggle.  You ask, Why God?  Why did you allow this?  Why have I prayed every day for my son to be healed and it did not happen?  So one goes from shock to sorrow, and from sorrow to struggle and finally you move to service.  You take the pain you’ve been through and (with lots of help from God and other caregivers) you start helping others through it.” Today Rick and his wife Kay are busy raising awareness about mental illness.

May the wisdom of one grieving father help, in a small way, other grieving families.  Amen.

For more information about the interview with Rick Warren, Google: interview with Rick Warren about the death of his son.

Rick Warren is the founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forrest, California. Rick is also the author of The Purpose Driven Life.

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