This letter was created by a family member who sent it to Steven’s parents, as if from him. I print it here, hoping it will be an encouragement to you to think of your child in their new home. It certainly encouraged Steven’s mom and dad. They have definitely had a ministry to other bereaved parents since the time of the crash.
[Don is] Steven’s older brother, Mark, the younger brother. Gramps has Alzheimer’s disease and is in a nursing home. Gram just had open heart surgery.
“Dear Mom, Dad, Don and Mark –
It’s been a year now since you last saw me – and since I never got a chance to say Goodbye, I thought I’d take this opportunity to send you this “special delivery”.
I wish that I hadn’t had to leave you so suddenly. But that Friday morning, April 7, … was the most glorious day of my life. I really don’t remember much of the accident. One minute I was riding in the car and the next, I was here (and by the way, it was faster than a “twinkle of an eye”!) I wish you could see it here. It is more beautiful than I could ever describe. It is beyond any of your wildest dreams. No preacher, scholar, or Sunday school teacher had even begun to explain how marvelous heaven actually is (although I know that you do the best you can when you teach the children, Mom!). It’s just that you don’t have the things on earth that we have here. You don’t even have gold as pure as we have it and jewels as transparent and spectacular as you could ever imagine. (Can you imagine everyone’s envy if they could see perfect flawless sapphires the size of basketballs! And that’s not all. We have emeralds, diamonds, etc. and some I’ve never even seen on earth.)
It’s absolutely breathtaking. But it would never compare with coming face to face with the Lord – earthly words can’t even describe. He is wonderful, beautiful, glorious – Just completely awesome. God seems magnificent when you’re on earth. But He only reveals a fraction of Himself on earth. Wait until you see His Majesty when you stand before Him. I can’t even describe it in earthly words. Maybe God doesn’t want you to know yet or everyone would never stay on earth long enough to do His work. They would want to come directly here! We spend a lot of time worshiping the Lord and singing His praises. I’ve met a lot of people here that know you guys. We’ve had many happy conversations reminiscing about my family. I am so wonderfully happy here. But I know, on that night last year when I left you to enter such glory, I left behind a lot of sadness for my passing. I wish that you didn’t have to go through such pain. I was instantly thrust into eternal happiness, while you were instantly thrust into extreme grief. It’s something that I don’t think that I could’ve handled if I were left behind and one of you were taken. I’m proud of the strength that you have shown!
Don, I am sorry that I couldn’t be your best man at your wedding. As I watched from heaven, I thought of how proud and handsome that you looked and how happy you and your bride seemed. And we were pleased (that is Jesus and I, we watched together!). … If the people in heaven could get sick and tired, they surely would have by now, from how much I brag about you and the rest of the family for that matter. By the way, thanks for what you said about me at the funeral. It sure made me smile!
Mark, I was so proud to see you star in the play last year. You were great. I knew your ability to “Ham it up” would pay off somewhere! It meant a lot to me that you did it so well, so soon after I left and that you didn’t let my passing stop you. I am looking forward to your next production in a few weeks! Thank you for filling in for me at our brother’s wedding. I know he loves you just as much as he loves me and I know that your support meant very much to him. You’re having a hard time right now wondering about your future. I realize it’s hard when you’re young, but please rely on God. Ask Him, He will help you. It’s up to you guys to look after Mom and Dad. Please take care of them for me. I know I can count on you both! (Thanks!)
Dad, please take care of your health, Mom needs you. I asked God to keep you strong for her. I know you love me deeply and that you’re hurting but I am very happy, and I want you to be too!
Mom, I see you crying, and I just wish I could reach out and hold you. I know how much you miss me. I asked God to especially comfort you and give you peace. He said one of the reasons He allowed you to go through this was because He has many families in the future who are going to lose someone, and your ministry of comforting is going to be so meaningful to them.
Gram, I am glad that your surgery went well. I was interceding for you too. And it’s good that God’s “lines” don’t get busy signals because so many people were praying for you!
Guess what! Gramp’s mansion is right next to mine! It’s not quite finished yet, but I am looking forward to his joining us. I’m going to be standing right next to Jesus to greet him when he arrives. And I can’t wait to see him run, jump, laugh, and sing again! You’re all going to get a chance to see him healthy and happy again. But I’m lucky because I’ll get to see him first! There’s a lot of people up here because of his (and Gram’s) ministry! While he’s still with you, I see that you’re taking such good care of him. We are pleased!
I am sorry for all of the pain that this tragedy has brought you. I wish I could take back all of those silly arguments we ever had and I wish I had voiced my love to you more often. God tells me that you all know how very much I love each and every one of you and I am glad.
I am so thankful that you raised me in a Christian home and introduced me to Jesus while I was so young. I can’t imagine what April 7th would have meant to me if I hadn’t had him in my heart. I can’t bear to think of an eternity without God (and our eventual reunion as a family!). So please, in the time you’re still on earth, tell as many people as you can about God. Since I can’t do it anymore, I need you to do it for me.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to ask God to bless you with a peace that passes all of human understanding. Please don’t remember April 7 as a sad day – as the end of my life – but as a beautiful beginning of my eternity! Never forget that I love you all so much. Even though my life was short, it was rich and full of love. Thank you for carrying on without me. Please stay close to one another. I love you all!
Until we meet again, Steven!