Randy's book Heaven was dedicated to many people who departed prematurely, yet in God's good time. Daniel Traugott was a 13-year-old boy who died in a car accident, leaving behind his mother, father and four siblings. His mother, Sandy, sent us the following poems she wrote that reflect two different perspectives on his death. (Reprinted with permission.)
This is horrible. How could this have happened?
Why did it have to happen? Daniel was only 13 years old.
He shouldn't have died. What good is in this?
Why weren't they looking?
The accident could have been prevented.
Why?....How come?...If only....
Did I kiss Daniel on the forehead or
just hug him when he left me for the last time?
I wish I could have said "good-bye."
I wish I had seen him that morning.
I love you, Daniel....I miss you so much.
The pain is too deep.
The ache in my heart is piercing like a raw, open wound.
It's hard for me to breathe. Why was it my son?
Why did God allow Daniel to die?
Why does everyone else still get to enjoy their son?
I don't want this to be true....Daniel, I want you back.
People say I will have to go through all the stages of grief.
It feels like I didn't love Daniel enough if I'm not in despair.
To be happy feels like I'm turning my back on Daniel
and not caring about him or missing him...
Life is not complete without Daniel.
When I allow my mind and emotions to focus and dwell on these thoughts I can sink into
deep sorrow, despair, anger and self-pity.
All these thoughts and more have gone through my mind.
Of course, there is a natural grieving that I am walking through.
Each day there are tears.
I have found the grieving to be like waves of deep emotion.
Sometimes it comes quietly and gently, and other times it comes
like strong, rushing waves that crash upon me.
There is a difference though between grieving and despair.
We must grieve, but we don't have to be stuck in despair.
I have the choice to feed on these thoughts or to take my thoughts captive by bringing them
to the foot of the cross as I weep in deep agony before Him,
laying Daniel along with all my questions and all my sorrow at His feet.
The grief must be expressed but am I going to turn the sorrow inward or outward towards Him?
Lord, may I come with confidence and draw near to the throne of grace to receive mercy
and find grace to help me in this time of need. (Heb. 4:16).
In fact, I need to immerse myself in Your river of mercy and grace!
May I grieve and weep at Your feet and honor You in my grief.
Daniel is in Heaven!
We do not "grieve as others who have no hope" (I Thess. 4:13).
I have much to be grateful for!
To start out, I thank You, Lord, that I know Daniel is with You!
I know he is fully rejoicing,
laughing, and worshiping You.
What a picture I have of him before Your throne.
Heaven has come closer to me now because Daniel is there.
As a mom, part of my heart is there with him and You.
I look forward to coming to You and hugging Daniel again.
At times I picture my reunion with him....for my hope is in You.
How grateful I am that I am sure of Your salvation for Daniel!
I am grateful beyond words that I am sure of where he is!
Though we won't be together any longer on this earth,
we will be together for all eternity.
How I praise You, Lord, for that secure assurance.
This life will pass quickly, and though each day I think of him, and miss him,
my eyes look forward to being together again in Your holy presence....rejoicing with no more tears.
Your mercy and grace has been abundant on us, Lord.
Thank You for the testimony You have brought about through Daniel's life.
Thank You for the lives who have been saved.
Thank You that You will continue to use his young life.
May many individuals be brought into Your kingdom because of his testimony.
You have turned what could have been evil into good.
May You continue to be praised through Daniel's life!
How blessed I was to be Daniel's mom and to enjoy him for 13 years.
Lord, You held his life in Your hands.
You knew he would only live for 13 years.
You just hadn't told me.
You held him at the time of the accident.
It was no surprise to You.
You weren't looking away, but You were holding him.
You held him for me.
Thank You for Your mercy that allowed him to die instantly.
He faced no pain, no fear.
When Daniel was in the hospital being pumped by machines,
I thank You that You quickened my heart to say good-bye
and we had time alone.
Thank You that I got to hug and kiss him one last time and I was able to express my love to him
and told him that I would be with him again soon....
I believe You allowed him to hear me.
You are my focus, Lord. You are the giver and taker of life.
All of our breaths are in Your hands.
Therefore, I will trust in You.
You are the beginning and the end.
You are my hope.
You are my resurrection.
You are my Savior.
When I dwell on these thoughts there is joy
in the midst of my grieving and sorrow.
For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.