This Day With God


How to Face Bereavement, October 20

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15. TDG 302.1

I cannot enter into the details of my husband's sickness. You will find the account in print. I was told he was not as well. The doctor said it would be well for me to see him. They carried me into his room and the moment I looked upon him, I said, “My husband is dying.” There was the unmistakable signet of death upon his countenance. Oh, how shocked I was. I knelt at his bedside. I prayed most earnestly that he should not die.... TDG 302.2

I was with him all night and the next day at noon he had a chill and from that time he did not sense anything. He just went to sleep.... TDG 302.3

We telegraphed for Willie and Mary to come.... In one week from his death Willie and Mary came; also John White [James White's brother, a Methodist minister].... TDG 302.4

John White said, “Ellen, I am deeply sorry to see you so feeble. A trying ordeal is before you in the funeral services of the morrow. God help you, my dear sister, God help you on this occasion.” Said I, “Brother John, you do not know me. The more trying the situation, the more fortitude I possess. I shall give way to no outbursts of grief, if my heart breaks. I serve God, not impulsively, but intelligently. I have a Saviour who will be to me a very present help in time of trouble. I am a Christian. I know in whom I have believed. He expects from me implicit unwavering submission. Undue grief is displeasing to God. I take up my appointed cross and will follow the Lord fully. I will not give myself to abandonment of grief. I will not yield to a morbid and melancholy state of feeling. I will not complain or murmur at the providence of God. Jesus is my Saviour. He lives. He will never leave me nor forsake me.” ... TDG 302.5

[The next day,] after Elder [Uriah] Smith had given the funeral discourse, I did so long to say something to let all know that the Christian's hope was mine and sustained me in that hour of bereavement, but I feared I could not stand upon my feet. I finally determined to make the trial and the Lord sustained me. The doctor [J. H. Kellogg] stood ready to “catch me,” he said, if I fell ... but I went through with what I had to say with clearness.... TDG 302.6

I feel grateful to God that I was not left to look for my consolation in the friendship of the world.—Letter 9, October 20, 1881, to “Dear Brother and Sister.” TDG 302.7