Monday, May 20, 2013


An extremely emotional moment taking prom pics with Andrew's friends:-)
It's been almost two months since I have blogged. Andrew's one year anniversary of his passing is right around the corner, June 30th.  Life has been filled with grief, albeit less severe as months past, work and just trying to survive.  However, as the the title of the blog post says, grief is a merry go round and some components of grief are back.  As I mentioned, grief is not linear and for those that have not grieved in any fashion, the various facets of grief come and go as they please: shock, depression, anger, sadness, frustration.

The anger and questioning has come back with a vengeance.  About a month ago, I was washing dishes and I started a conversation, more like a rant, with God and I just simply said to Him, "Why?".  God could have with a snap of his finger healed Andrew, yet he chose to take my son "home".  Why does God heal certain individuals and not others?  I know some questions will not be answered here on earth.  That night started a precipitous slide into anger and now has transitioned into deep sadness.  Don't get me wrong, I still believe with my "mustard seed" of faith the sovereignty of God and how everything happens for a reason, but I got to tell you, that the seed of faith looks awfully small at times.  Yet, I know my God is big enough to handle whatever Joe Park dishes out.  I learned this valuable lesson a while back.  I always thought being angry at God and raising a fist toward Him was sinful, but on the contrary I think it shows grace at it's fullest.  I know I am a sinner, yet saved by the blood of Christ and the grace that comes with it.  I will have sinful tendencies until my body will be whole as I go "home" to God, just like Andrew.  God is god who does not frown on His children venting, yet is a forgiving God and a God who wants a personal and loving relationship with His children, no matter what state we are in.  Some see prayer as a person reverently bowing their head and hands folded, uttering Psalms, but prayer is not only that, but a personal thing: a communication with God in any shape, way or form.  I do have days when I get on my knees and close my eyes to pray, but there have been many more days where I just talk to him wherever and whenever I want, in adoration or indignation.
My sincere hope is that Christians and those who are seeking God to know this fact.  God is gracious enough to hear whatever we say.  

This month has been hard as I have said.  Prom just passed and graduation is in a few days and these are the events which have stirred up the grief and the pain of not having Andrew around.  It was suppose to be Andrew I was to take pictures with at prom.  It was suppose to be Andrew in the cap and gown walking down the aisle to graduate and to mark a new chapter in his life, but this was not meant to be.  I have thought about all the things I will not be able to experience, that most parents will: the first ride to college, meeting a first love, marriage and grandchildren, among so many other things people take for granted.  I see all the pictures of Andrew's friends and the soon to be graduates going to the beach on "senior ditch day" and prom and I sit with a gaping hole in my heart.  My friends, my heart aches!  Jennifer's heart aches and we miss him a lot these days.  I can hear some of you say that Andrew's in a better place and he is pain free and eternally joyful, but I got to tell you the truth:  I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT!  I know all that!  I know people mean well, but that's not what a grieving person needs to hear.  As a Christian, I "know' these realities,  nonetheless, the grief is real and severe.  I know Andrew blessed so many people in our community and some people's lives were so profoundly effected, I hear amazing stories on what Andrew's life has meant and means to them.  We had almost 1.000 people come to his memorial,  but I would trade all that to have him back.  I ask for your prayers, thoughts, comments, emails and calls.  I really need them!  I  know I am grieving in a healthy manner, but please pray my anger does not turn into bitterness.
Graduation is May 30th and Andrew' friend, Tanner Makris has been so gracious in making stickers which have the intials "AP" in orange lettering symbolizing Leukemia awareness to be put on all the graduates caps.  He also has arranged a empty seat to represent Andrew, a moment of silence, and reading of his name, so he can graduate in spirit with the class of 2013.  I have not decided whether to go or not.  Please, please. please pray for me, Jennifer, Yun, Emily and Bry during this difficult season.

I know things are starting to "get better" by the virtue of me willing to help others out who are grieving and going through similar trials I did with Andrew.  With that being said, I got wind of a couple, Jason and Jeannie Cho, who are caring for their daughter beautiful young daughter Sophie, who is fighting pediatric brain cancer.  I am attaching a link to their blog for Sophie.  Please blanket them in prayer! To go to their blog,  press here. 

I know God is big enough to handle my anger and sadness and I thank you for taking the time to read this entry and to also pray for me and my family.  God bless.  Until next time.  xoxo



  1. Hi Joe. I think it's incredible that Andrew's friends continue to "save a place" in their lives and their memories for him. Those are forever friends that have been touched deeply by your son.
    It's been more than 19 years for me since the loss of my sister. I have felt the emotions you are feeling MANY times over the years. Where was my maid of honor at my wedding? Where was she when I gave birth to my sons? How about a Godmother and Aunt for my boys? Why aren't we raising our families together and celebrating our birthdays & holidays? What about those "girls trips"? Where is the person who always told it to me straight -- no bullshit -- and was always right on the money?
    I have great "sister-like" friends, but no one will ever replace Kassie.
    All you can do is continue to honor and remember your son, and keep his friends close. Although it is painful to see them go on and live their lives, try to find the joy and celebrate their milestones. Andrew would have wanted you to :)

  2. How do you pray for someone who you know is going to die? What helped me was when I listened to one of D. A. Carson’s talks from He and a friend was praying for a mutual friend (a Christian woman) who was very ill. They struggled for a long time trying to figure out how to pray for her. Then they realized what Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” In light of this, they prayed that God would finish the good work He started in her.

    I only read a few of your posts, but from what I can tell, it seems like God finished His good work in Andrew. But apparently, His work in you and your family is not finished.

    As for your grief, I’ll be praying for you. But I hope you have someone you can talk about dealing with your grief. You may want to look into the counseling services they offer at Trinity. I’m a firm believer in talking things out, especially with someone who knows how to listen. Pray for such a person.

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