Dad is still teaching us

This is a hand written letter Eve and Jennifer found in files that mom saved of Dad’s important items. Jennifer transcribes it for us. It is like Dad is speaking to us today in our grief. This is a rough draft letter from John Cowart to our mom’s sister, Kathy Griffin whose husband Bud had passed away, we were notified by our grandmother, Alva Worthington.

“October 29, 1979

Dear Kathy,

We were very sorry to receive your mother’s letter telling us of Bud’s death. I’m sure you are both sad and relieved.

My father died of cancer at the end of August and while I was unhappy over the agony he went through there was a sense of relief and peace mingled with my grief. I will never forget the look on his face the first few minutes after he died. The tension and pain were gone. The anguish ended and rest had come. After the months of tests, treatments, medical indignities and the awful waiting, release had finally come. And although it may seem strange to say it, in a way I was glad. I’m sure you understand.

For a while the business of making funeral arrangements held off the numbness of grief. But little things kept reminding me of my loss. I am making decisions, about whether to this or that in helping Mom settle things I was constantly thinking ‘I’ll have to ask daddy about this.’ So the grief hit me over and over again. It’s not just one overwhelming shock but it occurs over and over again, like waves of the sea when the flood tide is receeding, each shock is a little less and each one uncovers a little more solid ground.

One of my main temptations has been to try to ‘be strong’ but thats foolish stoisism. The tears we shed are an honor, a memorial to our loved one. There is no shame in honest greif. It’s a tragic man for whom no one weeps.

You and Bud have been through a lot together. His death forces a radical change in your life so go slow about making other changes. Give yourself time to feel and love and grieve and remember before you add lesser changes to this great one.

As Christians we know that our Lord has experienced death and returned to life. Therefore He knows what he’s talking about when He speaks concerning either death or life. I have found particular comfort in His words recorded in John 14.

I feel hesitant to write you concerning my own loss in the face of yours both because our losses are so differnet and because I feel I’m revealing weaknesses more than offering consolation. What I’m really trying to say is that I’m sorry and I care.

Kathy, if you feel that a change of scenery would help you in regaining your prospective, our home is yours. We would be honored if you would like to come live with us. We have plenty of room and would be delighted to have you. For months, the children have prayed for Aunt Kathy and Uncle Bud in their evening prayers and they would be overjoyed to see you again. Let us know about it.”


JOHN 14: 1-22 taken from “The Message” Bible
“Dont let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking. ”

Thomas said, Master, we have no idea where your’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”

Jesus said” I am the Road , also the Truth,also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, your would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”

Phillip said, “Master, show us the Father, then we’ll be content.”

“You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.

” Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see – these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greather things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

” If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’llprovide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. The Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you and will even be in you!

“I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.

“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?”

“Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, ” is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him – we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandonded, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

“You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.” If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.

“I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry – he has nothing on me, no claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail.

“Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”

• Please, visit my website for more and feel free to look over and buy one of my books, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  1. ruth
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 06:47:15

    May the Lord bless you all with HIS peace! It was a special time for me these years, taking part in your lives there through your father…. thank you!