Celebrating Life in Recovery

Grief Among The Family

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Luke Pierson, Mark Pierson


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR00043B

00:14 Hello we ended up breaking at the end of the last segment
00:17 with Amanda going back to her seat, but she turned
00:19 around and said something that I thought was so profound
00:22 that I wanted you to come back and share it with us.
00:26 You were talking about what it was like to watch this
00:29 family process their stuff.
00:31 Go ahead and share that with us.
00:32 They really showed me that they really depended on God
00:36 through the whole thing.
00:38 Usually when I think, you know when you lose that many
00:42 people in one day you are just so crushed, and I would
00:47 think that there could be suicide attempts and things
00:51 like that, because it is really hard to go through that.
00:55 I was really shocked by it because they really leaned on
00:59 each other and they were constantly praying
01:01 with each other.
01:02 They come together and worshiped God, and they really
01:07 were leaning on God as well as each other.
01:10 So wasn't just some that they said they believed this
01:12 they lived this - yeah they lived it.
01:13 And you saw this and it was different than what you saw
01:16 in your own family, and that must've been so healing for
01:18 you just watching it - yeah.
01:20 Man, thank you for sharing that with us I think that's
01:23 huge, because I think a lot of times people will say one
01:26 thing but a tragedy hits and we really find out who we are.
01:29 If you are not really believing this, it will take you
01:34 down, but what this family they believed, they believed it.
01:37 Thank you for sharing that I'm going to bring Monica up.
01:40 Monica, you're listening to, you heard everybody
01:44 and their take on it, you weren't there.
01:46 So where were you when you heard, this was your sister?
01:49 Correct and my niece, we were at home and got call from
01:53 my nephew Mark, which is Luke's older brother.
01:55 Saying he is in Michigan, and there has been a bad car
01:59 accident and we don't know what's going on pray.
02:02 So we got in a circle, we had some of our teens there.
02:05 Beau, Wyatt and my children and we got in a circle and prayed.
02:09 My husband said you're going down to Modesto for a trip.
02:12 Just go and do it, I'm sure they are fine.
02:14 And when we got into cell range, well, actually before cell range
02:18 It was about a forty minute drive.
02:21 I heard God said to me they're not going to make it.
02:25 And I said God just don't let them suffer.
02:27 The wonderful thing about the accident is, Cathy's neck
02:31 was broken, so she died immediately.
02:33 So did Candace and Katrina, we feel too...
02:37 So no one really suffered!
02:39 And that was really important to me, I don't know why.
02:41 It was so important that God just decide to tell you before
02:45 you got the final call, when you got back into cell range.
02:48 Right, I got into cell range and my husband called.
02:50 I was really close to where Cathy and Mark lived in
02:53 Waterford, California, and he said they didn't make it.
02:56 Amanda did, so I pulled over, actually at their home
03:00 some of the teens that we were working with had to
03:04 see me just cry.
03:06 I don't feel like we lost it, I called Markie, Markie's
03:10 26 and we just cried together.
03:13 Right, of course - we just cried - right.
03:17 The wonderful thing about all this is that Luke actually
03:21 forgiving the man, gave us permission to handle this
03:26 better than we would have.
03:27 Because your first inclination is not to forgive - who's
03:33 to blame for this? - right.
03:35 Exactly - I mean, who's, who can I be upset with or whatever
03:39 and with Luke forgiving the man, and realizing
03:42 it was just an accident.
03:44 We had to process in our minds, if God is in control
03:49 than God could have stopped it.
03:51 And to my mind immediately came words from the Desire of Ages
03:56 that say that if I knew the end from the beginning,
03:59 I would do this exactly the same way.
04:01 I mean, within hours of the accident, so I said okay,
04:05 this was a perfect day for Cathy and Candace to die, and Katrina.
04:09 And that sounds hard to say, but it actually gave me
04:13 peace - right - because it was perfect.
04:16 When Mark flew in, tell us about that.
04:19 Wonderful men from his men's group
04:22 met him from Turlock church.
04:24 The boys were all there, Amanda was there and they had a
04:29 big prayer there in a big hug at the airport.
04:31 Mark made the comment Satan chose to destroy our family,
04:36 but he messed with the wrong family.
04:38 And that just empowered us - everyone - yes, everyone
04:42 my parents, my sister's, my other sisters,
04:45 all of us felt empowered.
04:46 They met us at our house, our family gathered, our
04:51 extended family, - your church family - yeah and our
04:55 pastor and his wife, everybody came.
04:57 Then they told us the story, and we grieved together.
05:02 If got to say for a lot of people, what they're thinking
05:07 is if this family ever grieve, absolutely.
05:09 So you didn't miss those steps actually you didn't do
05:12 whatever but you just said that during that time we were
05:15 so settled and assured of God's love and His presence
05:17 with us that we clung to each other.
05:21 Yes, in fact music was one of our family is a singing family.
05:25 My sister was going out to sing a song with Mark when
05:30 they got to Michigan, and it was a song Markie, We Don't
05:35 Know Which Way the Wind Blows, by the second chapter of Acts.
05:37 All of us has sung that since we were young, we played
05:41 that song and all of us cried - what were some of the
05:44 words you sang.
05:45 Um, we don't know which way the wind blows, so how can
05:49 we plan tomorrow?
05:51 We don't know the way the wind blows,
05:53 so give Jesus your tomorrows.
05:57 Right - and we just all, extended family, my kids, guitar
06:00 teacher, he's like, how can you guys be dealing with this?
06:04 Not a Christian comes over, just so we can all
06:06 grieve and cry together.
06:08 It was the most profound day of my life, because I
06:11 realize that no matter what Satan put up against us,
06:15 we were in this together.
06:17 You know you love your friends, but your family
06:20 - is your family - yeah.
06:22 It doesn't matter how dysfunctional they are,
06:25 how maybe you don't all get along way in you're in a room,
06:28 but when things like that happen God knits you all together.
06:30 And what is really interesting to me is that people that
06:33 were around you and loved you, you were ministering to,
06:36 watched almost in awe as you lived out
06:40 what you are teaching them.
06:41 Not that you met them, so we're going to do this so that they
06:45 got the right message, you lived it out because this is
06:48 what God had led you during that time of grief.
06:50 Because, again I go back to each one of us, was having
06:55 our own individual walk.
06:56 So when this happened, we all had like scriptures that
06:59 we clung to and definitely the word of God was totally
07:03 our shield in this attack. - Amen!
07:04 You know I'm going to ask a couple questions and then I
07:09 want to bring up a couple more people just for us to meet.
07:15 But your relationship with God radically changed at this
07:20 time - oh yeah!
07:22 Oh yeah, because all ties were cut to this world.
07:25 When Cathy, Candace and Katrina, actually, we realized
07:29 they were all firstborn women.
07:30 Our firstborn, women, Cathy was the oldest sister.
07:34 Candace was the oldest of her family,
07:36 and Katrina would be the oldest, and we realized that they
07:40 were all God's, God always has a special place for firstborns.
07:43 And so we realized that this was okay, and we
07:49 were going to do this, and if God was in control, we were
07:53 going to go with this.
07:54 With our ties to this world, this world didn't matter anymore
07:57 The don't care about my car, and I don't care about my house,
08:00 I just miss my sister, - right - and my niece.
08:03 And so - and your going to see them again - right!
08:06 So, we have got to hurry this return of God, what can we do
08:10 to change this point 9 billion people who don't know about God.
08:14 I thought, like we were close to everybody knowing, and
08:17 then I find out, part of it was from David Asscherick,
08:19 something that I heard from him, that there were more
08:22 people that didn't know.
08:23 So we're like Heh, it's like no bars hold, we're going out.
08:28 Right, and when you say that, what's really interesting
08:33 to me with everybody Mark, Luke, with all of you guys is
08:37 that when you say that you literally went out.
08:41 Left this country went to minister in another country,
08:44 not saying that you left the kids that you were working with,
08:46 because they went with you - yeah.
08:48 We went to Ghana - actually Mark planned all that and
08:52 AHI-Adventist Health International asked us to go to
08:56 Ethiopia in October.
08:57 We are going for a year to Gimbi and we are really excited
09:01 about doing some Vacation Bible schools over there.
09:03 I watched you loving on these kids in another country,
09:06 in Ghana - and I watch the kids just full of joy,
09:10 learning some songs, singing with you, dancing.
09:13 You know, it was just what did that feel like, because
09:16 literally what the Devil meant for a tragedy changed everything
09:23 It did, he really did mess with the wrong family.
09:26 And I feel really bad for him actually right now,
09:29 because we are just so on fire.
09:31 We realize the unity that we need to pull together,
09:34 we are now a team.
09:35 There is about 10 of us, but were adding other people
09:38 14, 15 maybe by the time we get to Ethiopia.
09:40 We have prayers just for our group, we call ourselves
09:44 Here For Them!
09:45 We have a website HereforThem. com
09:47 and we just want to actually be the catalyst to encourage
09:52 other teens to find out what is real.
09:54 Because teenagers nowadays they don't want to know about
09:58 religion, they know enough about religion they want, is
10:02 it real or not?
10:03 Is it really going to happen, is God something you're
10:05 really going to hold on to, or are you just going to go
10:09 - and is this relational, and is this something that
10:12 will hold you through even something like this.
10:14 I want to talk with Stevie, and thank you for sharing, man.
10:21 Stevie, come on up I want to just ask you a couple of
10:24 things because I'm looking at all these different folks
10:27 that have been through this accident.
10:30 You literally are coming, did you come
10:33 onto the scene after this?
10:34 I've kind of always been around - right - more or less
10:39 I have been around.
10:40 I wasn't there when they heard about the accident, but I
10:42 came the next week end - right.
10:44 And they were pretty emotional about it and I was there,
10:47 like after that point.
10:48 What you do think about the way they were, the way
10:50 they handled themselves in kind of huddled together?
10:53 They really helped me in my life, because I saw that
10:55 they as a family they could pull together.
10:57 Actually it was really amazing to see and I think they
11:01 helped a lot more people by showing that
11:03 they could be strong.
11:04 Because you are in the youth group, right?
11:06 They love on you, whether you want it or not, right,
11:08 isn't it true - yeah.
11:10 Whether you wanted or not, you have been accepted by
11:13 this group that said, you know what, what ever.
11:15 We love you and we know you have stuff, but come join us.
11:20 Tell me a little bit about them that I don't know yet.
11:26 Nice - um - and be nice.
11:30 Do you go to church with them - yeah.
11:31 I go to church with them, I hang out with them a lot, I go
11:35 to their youth group, there's really not much to tell
11:38 what you see is what you get.
11:39 Like they do have family problems but they are still
11:42 happy - do they deal with them - yeah they deal with
11:44 them and they're generally happy about it afterwards.
11:47 How cool is that - it's actually really cool because my
11:50 family is really loud and they are just like oh no, it's okay.
11:53 I really do like you right now but it's going to go.
11:56 It's actually real nice it's comforting to see that
11:58 families can function normally - normal families that's fun.
12:03 Thank you for coming up.
12:04 I would like to bring Stephanie up, Stephanie I know
12:08 that I know you and you have dealt with loss in your life.
12:12 With your mom and her cancer, and now you are literally
12:15 adopted into this family and they are struggling with
12:19 that, so is that with you, because you weren't
12:21 at the accident?
12:22 But you are in this family.
12:24 Yes for me I guess I say when my mom died I was actually
12:32 more moved into the Barlow's, I was living with them so I
12:35 was at their house when she died.
12:37 So I didn't get to see her after she was dead, and I
12:42 wanted to do that, but my grandmother she was like well
12:46 I saw my husband when he died and I didn't like it.
12:50 So she didn't want me to see them.
12:51 So you had no closure with your mom - no I didn't.
12:54 I sort of did in some ways because my mom kept on saying
13:00 you need to talk to her and so I did.
13:03 She had me say, because she was just hanging on, she was
13:07 there, but she could no longer respond, she could no
13:11 longer do anything.
13:12 So I said to my mom, I don't know she heard me or not,
13:17 but I said you can let go, it's okay, I'll be okay.
13:22 That was really hard - oh man - it's hard to hear it
13:27 when you said now - yeah.
13:28 I cried I have hard time saying it, but I knew if I
13:34 said it that maybe - she could rest - she could rest, yeah!
13:38 Because she was struggling so much with the cancer - she was.
13:41 But for me what helped a lot from this accident
13:45 is that I got to see Cathy and Candice's bodies.
13:50 I've got to have closure with them and it helped me a
13:54 lot because, I never saw a dead body.
13:57 I never seen it before.
13:58 I've known Cathy and Candace when they were alive, they
14:03 were up for Thanksgiving and stuff so we - so they're
14:09 part of your family - they were part of the family - yeah!
14:11 I was coming into their family and I was trying to
14:14 get to know everyone.
14:15 So when I got to see them it really made me, I was
14:20 afraid at first, but then when I saw them I was relieved.
14:25 I was afraid that all my goodness see in them dead I
14:29 might not be so for afraid, but I was like
14:31 that's not really them anymore.
14:33 They are resting - they are resting and then
14:36 I cried a lot because I felt
14:39 better because since I didn't see my mom, that helped me.
14:44 And you know what I get a sense of what happened in this
14:48 house, is they cried freely too, and it was okay.
14:52 And so giving you permission, of course cry - it's okay!
14:57 I felt really alone when my mom died, because my
15:00 parents, my new parents now, my new family they knew her
15:05 but not very well.
15:07 So I felt very alone because I was the only one grieving.
15:10 It felt, to me, like I was the only one, it felt silly to cry
15:15 because I was the only one.
15:17 It felt really good, it helped me when that was able to
15:22 cry with other people - and have everybody surrounding each
15:26 other - and everyone - comforting each other - exactly.
15:31 How incredible and you know to me I just want, I want to
15:34 keep thanking them for how much they are loving on you.
15:38 But I also want to thank you for loving on them.
15:41 You know what I mean because it's just both ways.
15:43 I want to bring Mark back up and I want to thank you for
15:47 sharing with us on this.
15:49 Mark I want you to come back up because I want to ask
15:53 something that I know that people probably think about,
15:56 and I used to think about this until I talked with
16:00 different friends who have gone through horrible experiences
16:03 where they have lost someone they loved.
16:04 Is it difficult for you to talk about this, is it hard
16:09 for you to bring it up?
16:10 No, there is relief from talking about it because of my
16:15 wife and daughter in law, because it helps that people
16:20 haven't forgotten them.
16:22 That's what I don't like is when people don't talk about
16:25 it to me - yeah when they're afraid to say what's up
16:27 and that reminds me of the accident, we were
16:30 passing by the same place.
16:31 If people are afraid to talk about it then there is a
16:34 fear about forgetting.
16:35 Yeah people want to avoid the obvious thing that needs
16:39 to be said about missing Cathy, or something, when they
16:42 see picture something, when people ignore it.
16:44 It is not healthy to ignore the past, sure we miss them
16:49 I cried twice a day for at least six months every
16:52 morning because I loved her and missed her even though I
16:55 know that Jesus is going to raise her back to life soon.
16:59 The reason people cry is because you love the person,
17:03 that's a good reason to cry, because you miss them.
17:06 It is not something to be ashamed of, even as a Christian.
17:10 There is a couple things you wanted to share with us,
17:12 what are they?
17:15 Well I was praying one morning about two weeks after Cathy
17:19 died, I was kneeling by the bed and I don't remember
17:22 what I was saying but all of a sudden it came to me that
17:25 I loved Cathy more than Jesus.
17:28 I had been raised an Adventist I really knew Jesus
17:32 righteousness by faith and understood that at 21.
17:37 Somehow it got to the place where I loved Cathy more and
17:42 didn't put Jesus in His first-place, actually I love
17:47 myself first and then Cathy.
17:49 And then Jesus to be honest, but now after spending a
17:56 I lived a year by myself after Cathy died.
18:00 That was the best thing that could have happened to me,
18:02 I was dreading going to be living alone.
18:04 Because you thought how am I going to feel,
18:06 because I'm so used to having Cathy around.
18:08 God said you know what, you and I are hanging out.
18:12 That was good to be by myself because I started every
18:16 morning with Jesus and ended every morning with Jesus.
18:19 Nobody interrupted me, now I can do what I want to do.
18:23 That may sound selfish, but that was how it worked out.
18:26 You know we wives know we interrupt you - we know that.
18:30 Sometimes yeah that's been known to happen.
18:32 So what I was dreading was the best thing for me.
18:36 I needed to spend more time with Jesus, even though
18:41 I was an elder in the church.
18:42 Jesus is first in my life, I love Him more than anything else
18:47 I am not afraid of dying because everything
18:52 is in God's timing I know.
18:53 So now everything is kind of shifted to their
18:55 rightful places - yes.
18:57 Wow - and I'm, but Holy Spirit is finally being allowed
19:01 to do what He can do - Amen.
19:03 God is so good I just want to say again that I love Him
19:10 and He loves me.
19:11 So you have put together even these trips were they have
19:16 gone overseas to minister to kids in other countries,
19:19 what brought that up because it wasn't something you
19:23 were doing before the accident.
19:24 No, in 2004, Cathy and I went with Share Him, used to be
19:30 Global Evangelism and they change names.
19:32 Where to get us volunteers from this country to go preach
19:36 somewhere else, and after they get you there, the orientation
19:39 is really not to benefit these other countries, it's to
19:42 benefit you, so you learn to trust God more.
19:44 So did you preach - yeah, Cathy and I both preached.
19:47 The first time I ever preached is when I stood up over
19:49 there to preach.
19:50 And that preached 17 sermons - didn't scare you, were
19:53 you not scared - I was scared but I was praying and
19:56 when I stood up my fears went away - Amen!
20:00 I preach 16 or 17 sermons.
20:03 That's amazing - and that was such a good experience,
20:07 that was the closest time in Cathy and my relationship.
20:11 We did not have any irritations, you know a lot of time
20:15 somebody wrong inflexion in the voice they will
20:18 irritate you, but that didn't even happen the three
20:21 weeks we were in Ghana because we spent several hours a
20:23 day preparing for the sermons and praying.
20:27 When God is the center of our life it's great.
20:30 It really is a whole different thing - so once I
20:34 experienced that, I mean after the accident I wanted the
20:39 family to experience that.
20:40 So I arranged for my sons and Amanda and Monica and her
20:47 family to go to Ghana were Cathy and I preached.
20:50 To go back to the two churches because the most godly
20:53 man I ever met is Pastor Manuel Gaza in Ghana.
20:56 I wanted them to meet him because when we were with him
20:59 we prayed all the time.
21:00 With Pastor Gaza, I wanted people to meet him.
21:04 So it took the 9 of us plus one of Mark's friends,
21:08 Mark and Luke's friends from Michigan because I wanted
21:12 to change their lives like it had changed mine.
21:15 And from what I hear it did change their lives.
21:18 I saw some clips on your website, definitely on my space
21:23 page, that I looked at the joy in these kids life that
21:28 was just amazing.
21:29 You had prayer for that pastor's wife, his wife right,
21:33 that literally you saw healing.
21:35 Yes we went to visit him, Pastor Gaza and his wife at
21:40 his home because she had not been out of bed for 3 or 4 weeks
21:44 At least that she has Rheumatoid Arthritis, and we went
21:50 to their house to pray.
21:53 Monica suggested that we ought pray for her, and so we
21:57 got her out of her bedroom, she came out in the living
22:01 room and we prayed and then we left because we had a
22:05 meeting to go to at their church that night.
22:06 About halfway through the meeting she came walking in
22:11 the church - were you shocked?
22:14 Yeah she had walked almost a mile to the church and here
22:18 she hadn't been out of bed for 3 or 4 weeks
22:20 because of her arthritis.
22:21 I was told she got up and did a praise dance - yeah they
22:25 do a little dance and she did that too after her not
22:28 being out of bed.
22:29 And we just knew God was working because of trusting Him.
22:35 What I love is if we allow God, even during our most
22:41 difficult times, as He said, if you sit with Me, I
22:44 will walk you not only through this, but our
22:46 relationship gets stronger, but you will understand what
22:50 I mean by this is a controversy.
22:51 You are aliens here, this is not even your home.
22:55 When He comes we're going to be taken out of this world
22:59 and there will not be death, accidents, molested kids,
23:02 addicts and all that kind of stuff.
23:04 He says if you allow Me to be real to you here, that the
23:07 world will be different and for you guys it is different.
23:10 Yes we are at war, the Great Controversy Series is
23:16 called the Great Controversy.
23:17 We think hard times are bad for us, but they are
23:23 actually the best because that is when we turned to God
23:26 more and trust in Him.
23:27 So I came to the place that I was thankful that my wife
23:30 died first, and not me because she will not have to go
23:34 through grieving my death - she wouldn't be unprotected.
23:39 So we are at war here and we want to be fighting for
23:44 Jesus like Mrs. White speaks about the war
23:49 between good and evil.
23:50 And God is, in war there is casualties, because the
23:56 enemy isn't happy with what we're doing.
23:59 What is really interesting is that there was a place in
24:02 the Bible that I came to one time that was like don't
24:05 back away from trials too soon.
24:07 Don't run when something slams into you because this is
24:10 going to really develop a lot within you, not that God
24:13 planned it, not that I'm going to do this because she
24:16 needs to develop this.
24:17 It is like He just says you are in a war and so these
24:19 things are going to happen, but in Christ
24:22 I will carry you through.
24:24 I will all things work together for the good to those
24:27 that love God and we say that so easily, but it doesn't
24:30 feel easy when we are going through it.
24:32 You know what I mean, but it does turn out for good.
24:34 You do stand up cleaner for Christ after a tragedy like this
24:39 And my relationship had come to a place with Jesus that
24:42 it was growing, but He wasn't in the first place, but He
24:45 was preparing me and so I never got angry at God.
24:49 Why God that is a question that didn't come because He
24:52 was growing me and preparing me.
24:55 You really stood as a spiritual leader in this group
25:00 during this time.
25:02 I've been told that, I always feel I'm not worthy of
25:05 that but God uses the average person and so I will except that
25:09 I sense that every time I'm around I can sense that you
25:12 This is really the position that you stood up in.
25:15 I just want to say thank you for joining us.
25:19 Thank you everyone for coming.
25:21 We are going go ahead and take a break and come back in.
25:24 I would like to close with a statement from you Luke if I can
25:29 It's hard to say wrap this up because I don't think it's
25:34 wrapped up until Christ comes - right!
25:36 And Cathy walks back into your arms, do you know what I
25:39 mean that's the ultimate wrapping this up is that we are
25:41 reunited with those that we love, your sister, and Candace
25:45 and the baby Katrina.
25:47 That's the goal, you know what I mean that's the way God
25:51 says press on, I'm towards that mark don't forget what
25:55 you are doing here, don't move in here, you know what I
25:59 mean don't settle here because we're going home.
26:02 Well the person I want to see first at the resurrection
26:04 now is Jesus, not Cathy.
26:06 Where before it would have been the other way around,
26:08 but now I want to see Jesus first, yeah.
26:11 Isn't that cool, but He says I just want to heal your
26:15 heart and get those priorities right.
26:17 How incredible we're going to be right back.
26:20 Man - I just want to be real enough that I can walk
26:25 through this am bless somebody else's life.
26:27 Maybe I'll go on a mission trip with you guys.
26:29 Stay with us we'll be right back!


Revised 2014-12-17