I’m sitting up late having some cheap Merlot, listening to T-Bone Walker, Jerry Douglas, and Paul Simon, slowly looking through the March 2016 CT, and thinking, “This is an excellent issue and really excellent work.” As a leader, I have a lot on my shoulders and my heart. CT lifts me. Each issue seems to say, “All of us, writers and readers, are thinking this through and trying hard to live it as real as we can.”

The Problem with Happy Funerals p. 24

Grief is a painful yet necessary process to bring healing, to restore loved ones to former levels of function, and to find the “new normal” without the loved one. While we can and should celebrate heaven as a reality and remember the beauty of life, we must not forget that death was never a part of the original plan. And for that we should mourn.

I thoroughly enjoyed Courtney Reissig’s article, “The Problem with Happy Funerals.” I am a licensed Christian counselor and appreciate the complications of grief. My grief over my mother’s death a few years ago fell between the cracks of traditional responses, which are themselves all over the map. I loved my mother so much. She was often a verbally abusive, mean-spirited, screaming presence in my life up until her death. I was terrified of her. I am 53 years old. I knew her to be a tortured soul who was burdened by her own parents’ abuse. She never mentioned it.

Through ongoing prayers to my Savior, I found forgiveness and peace. I saw her life as little to celebrate since she was in so much emotional pain—and created so much in me. I never cried over her death; I felt relief on so many levels. She is finally happy.

Why the Cross? p. 34

Your interview with Fleming ...

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