Friday is for Freebies – HCSB Minister’s Bible


My giveaway this Friday is the black, genuine leather version of the HCSB Minister’s Bible. This newly designed edition is ideal for pulpit use with its large type, wide margins, and extensive ancillary notes from many of today’s top preachers and church leadership voices.

Some features of the Bible include:

  • Where to Turn When . . .
  • Plan of Salvation
  • Four-color presentation page
  • Various wedding and funeral outlines by Jim Henry
  • “8 Traits of Effective Church Leaders” by Thom S. Rainer
  • “21 Essentials of Authentic Ministry” by James T. Draper
  • “Four Kinds of Expositional Preaching” by Ed Stetzer
  • “30 Keys to Giving an Invitation” by O. S. Hawkins
  • “Leading a Child to Christ” by Bill Emeott
  • “Reaching Students with the Gospel” by Lynn H. Pryor
  • “The Importance of Baptism and Communion” by Rick White
  • Commitment Counseling
  • The Christian Year and Church Calendar
  • The Apostles and Their History

To enter today’s giveaway answer the following question:

When was the first time you experienced grief?

The deadline to enter is midnight CST this Saturday. We will select one winner from the entries on Monday morning.

By entering, you acknowledge and accept the terms of the promotion.


  1. Doug Irvin says

    As a young child I am sure, but can’t remember anything specific. As a minister, my first church interview when they questioned me about my past. Recently when my wife was traveling in Spain and was without internet for a week. That was the deepest grief I have ever felt – not knowing if is was okay.

  2. Brion Rector says

    The first time that I experienced true grief is when my grandfather passed away. He pretty much was the main father figure in my life growing up. He taught me everything that I know to and my prayer today is that I could be half the man he was. The day he died I felt like Luke Skywalker without Obi Wan Kenobi. I know it is a silly comparison but he was full of so much wisdom and love for God that when ever he spoke I knew it was going to be good. That is when I experienced grief when the most important male roll model in my life was gone and I had to take what he taught me and live it out!!!!

  3. Colt Melrose says

    It was probably when I was 11 and my parents had just divorced. Learning to deal with all of the emotions, challenges, and loss of relationships that a divorce inevitably brings.

  4. Chris Holland says

    The first time I remember experiencing grief is when my father told me that he was divorcing my mom. I knew there were problems and really knew that it was going that direction. But I experienced a tremendous amount of grief over the actual decision.

  5. Dustin Oliver says

    My older cousin and his wife’s newborn son passed when he was only a few months old. I remember being so excited for them when he was born and then to see them go through him passing. This was the very first time I realized what grief was. I was 9.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. Daryl Miller says

    The first time I experienced grief was when my mother passed away. I grew up with a single mother and she was both my mom and dad. She unexpectedly passed away, but told me the day before on a phone conversation that she loved me. I was supposed to visit her the next day, but it was to late. Died died about six hours after our conversation on the phone. I felt lost, sad, angry, empty. That was the day I realized that there has to be more than just “being here”. That is when God took me on this wild ride that I love!! Everyday now I wake up and can’t wait to see what He has in store for me. Everyday is magical and I live it to the best that I can and show my wife and son all the that Jesus has shown all of us. Have a blessed day!! Acts1:8

  7. Nate Elgin says

    For me, it was after our miscarriage. It was only 9 weeks into the pregnancy, but 9 weeks or 90 years old, that’s my child. 3 1/2 years later, I’m grateful to The Lord that He has allowed us to see His hand at work in that time.

  8. says

    My first experience was in 1963 when I lost my grandma. We had been staying at her home over the weekend. I was taken out of school on Monday/Tuesday of that week. My dad went in to my grandma’s bedroom to say goodbye. “Mom, I’ll see you this afternoon.” Her response, “No, the next time you see me will be in Heaven.” She went into a coma that afternoon and died on Thursday. I loved her with all my heart, as I did my grandpa. Will never forget those words that she spoke to my dad. It reassured this 11 year old of a place called Heaven.

  9. says

    Nearly 6 yrs ago my 49 yr old very healthy active wife suffered a major life changing stroke. It turned our world upside down. I am now her caregiver. She served me for over 30 yrs, it’s now my time to serve her!

  10. says

    When I was 5 years old my mom had her 4th child name Lisa. She was a beautiful little girl and we loved her very much. One stormy night my parents and my sisters were playing in their bed waiting on the storm to pass. Suddenly the lights went out and when they came back on the baby was turning blue with trouble breathing. My parents carried us to a neighbors house and when they returned they were empty handed. Our sixth month old little sister had died of complications of pnuemonia and an allergy to penacillin. Mom said God needed her back so He sent the angels to take her to heaven. I was devesated at my parents grief and sad that we would not have her any more. I’ve had to do many funerals in my 37 years of Ministry but children dying really tears at my heart.

  11. Keith Jones says

    I first experienced grief when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My Dad was a pastor, and a church member had given us a little mixed breed ‘feist’ dog for me. However, the dog was just TOO feisty–it tore down the clothes from the clothesline, trampling and tearing them. It got excited and bit me several different times. In those days, you didn’t take a dog to the vet to be ‘put down,’ you, the dog, and a gun went to the woods, and you and the gun came back. Dad didn’t take me with him when he killed the dog, but I new what was going on. Even though the dog had been lots of problems and had even hurt me, I still loved it and was very grieved when it died.

  12. Bill Renno says

    The grief that I will always remember is the early death of a very close pastor friend. The emotions I experienced in his passing were the first and hopefully the last of its kind!

  13. says

    The first time I truly experienced grief was when I was 14 years old. I can remember it as if it were yesterday. I was coming home after practice with my dad and lying in a pool of blood, on the road right in front of our house, was the first dog that I called mine; Bandit. Wow, I’m starting to misty-eyed just thinking about it. My dad cleaned up the mess and buried Bandit for me because I couldn’t do it. Bandit was my responsibility and I failed him; he was a little over a year old when it happened.

  14. Michael Tollison says

    I was in 3rd Grade and lost my grandfather. I was at school the week after his death and funeral, but at the time of the funeral I really didn’t comprehend what was going on. It was not until the next week while I was at school that it dawned on me that I would never see my grandpa again. I broke down that day, but God gave me strength through it!

  15. James says

    I guess the first real grief that I ever experienced was the loss of my grandmother to ovarian cancer. I was about 4 years old and can remember my grandmother praying with me. She was the only Christian experience I had as a child and when she died I didn’t have another Christian experience until I became a Christian 20 years later. Now I am a Lead Pastor and have the privilege of helping many come to know the Savior.

  16. says

    I was 14 years old when My older brother was given a choice of following household guidelines or move out. The break in our family caused an insurmountable grief in our hearts and minds. The loss of relationship with my brother was overwhelming.

  17. says

    I was about 8 or 9 and my mom had lost a cousin to suicide. I had never experienced death before and so it caused me to question lots of things early on. I didn’t understand what happened when people died and I would sometimes stay awake for days because I was afraid to die, not knowing what was next. I wasn’t raised in church and my mom was not spiritual by any means, I can only contribute these thoughts and grief to The Lord seeking me out to save me. This time of seeking answers and being made aware of my own mortality went on for about a year and a half. I would never get over the fear of death though until about 7 years ago. I am 29 now. Jesus has rescued me and I am forever His.

  18. Gerald king says

    I was 16 when my Dad’s father passed away. Mom called home to tell me how things were progressing with funeral arrangements. I asked her how Dad was doing and realized that I hadn’t truly asked about his emotional well being before that night. It was a sad realization which changed forever how I valued my parents’ and their happiness.

  19. Paul Curry says

    The first time I read a Peanuts strip with Charlie Brown yelling “Good, grief!”
    I sure hope this brought a smile, I read so many hurts I thought a good laugh was in order.
    As, for myself it was when my youth pastor sodomized my best friend. I will never forget that day when my world was turned upside down.

  20. Tom Shelton says

    Probably when I was a child and realized my dad cared more about his next beer than he did about our family.

  21. John Babri says

    The death of my grandpa when I was 13. I remember grieving his death and also the fear of realizing bad things can really happen in real life.

  22. Jason Heath says

    I first experienced grief when my grandmother died. At least that’s the earliest I remember really feeling grief. It was when I was around 12-13 yrs old.

  23. Kerri Miller says

    My first time experiencing grief was a week before my grandfather passed away, as I was sitting with him he pleaded with me to get him off the ship (he was in WW2). The day before this he was fine yet that day his mind was no longer in the present. The look of fear in his eyes as if he knew what happened to his mind is a look I will never forget. I knew at that moment the pap I knew was gone and our time together would be over soon. It was a pain so deep at that moment. Thankfully the Lord took him home quickly where he could be completely healthy again.

  24. says

    When I was in first grade I remember the anticipatory grief because my favorite uncle, Uncle Dave, had cancer (also the first time I’d ever heard that word). And the day he died, my Grandma Mix took me to the nursing home and explained what I would see, how he wouldn’t be breathing, and explained he was with the Lord now because he knew Jesus. She even let me touch him.
    By taking away the mystery and the ‘hush-hush’ she freed me to be able to grieve, but not as one who has no hope. I could cry and miss him, but God could build and strengthen my faith and my own hope as I grieved.
    God bless Grandma!

  25. Richard Miller says

    The death of my great grandmother. She was 102. I was 27. She was my spiritual …. Leader… The person that showed me the most about how to love and treat others. 15 years later I still miss talking to her and seeking her wisdom.

  26. Greg Moore says

    My mom and dad divorced before I was 1 year old so them being apart was something that I just assumed growing up. My mom remarried and after several years her and my step-father divorced. That was a strange time for me and the first time that I really felt grief. Every summer I would spend two weeks with my grandparents. My mom came with me when I was nine and we had a good week and a half. One afternoon my mom sat me down in a bedroom in my grandparent’s house and told me that we weren’t going back home. She tried the best she could to explain the situation to me. She took the three hour trip back to our home once more to get our things and that was it. I’ve always assumed my friends assumed I just disappeared or died or something. I went from living in a large metropolitan area to living in small, rural community. There were so many changes, but my mom worked hard to make it work and to transition us into life there. Eventually, my experiences surrounding this allowed me to help others going through similar circumstances. Like so many difficult things that we go through, looking back I see God working and comforting and making something good out of something that was so horrible at the time.

  27. Eric Couch says

    In my twenties when i wasnt living for God. A previous girlfriend of mine was killed in a hit and run accident. God used the funeral to get a.hold of my life and i rededicated my life to Him. I have been in ministry ever since.

  28. Josh Reynolds says

    Everyone remembers grief as a child, my first truly memorable moment happened about 2 years ago. I got a call from one of my youth group teens letting me know that 2 boys in our group had a swimming accident at a Christian sports camp. I worked as a lay youth pastor. We had a small group…about 12-15 teens and just like that 2 of them were gone. I pray that no youth pastor has to go through that.

  29. Matt Haines says

    My first in-depth experience with personal grief was when my grandfather died when I was about 22. He was a strong influence in my life, especially after my parent’s divorce. I had family members die before that time that I wasn’t as close to. But, this was the first time I had a deep knowledge of someone that passed that caused me grief.

  30. Lewis Ecker says

    When I was about 5 or 6 my neighbor had a big white dog that I rode like a horse. I was heart-broken when he was killed by a car.

  31. Mark Lewis says

    I was 26 and we had our first child, a little girl. She was the first granddaughter. I answered a call to ministry 20 hrs from my parents andour daugjter was 6 weeks old. My dad retired not long after we moved. 18 months after his retirement he passed away as a result of bone cancer. I grieved over the loss of my dad but I still grieve over the memories that were never made with my dad and his first granddaughter.

  32. says

    Silly as it sounds, it was when as a child my long-time pet rabbit Fluffy died. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but it was memorable to this day about 45 years later. It wasn’t until later as an adult that I had close relatives die and understood the real significance of those moments.

  33. Iris and Sam Fitts says

    When our precious 8 year old son died after. 3 day illness in 1974. I know we’ll see again one day, but we still grieve over this loss. Many other griefs through the years, but God has always been there, carrying us through!

    Iris Fitts

  34. Jake B. says

    I think the fist time that I had grief was when my grandmother departed this world. I was in high school, and the only thing it meant to me then was the fact that I missed a day of class. She was a godly Christian woman and was the family matriarch. She helped lay the groundwork in everyone’s life, even though I never came to know my Savior until I was in college.

  35. Frank Emrich says

    It seems at times that my whole life has been one long grieving event. From my earliest memory of watching my dad shoot my dog out of meanness, parents drunk all the time, seeing friends die in Vietnam , divorce, becoming a Christian and then seeing. Christian people tearing each other up, becoming a pastor and being torn up. Lots and lots of grief, but so very thankful that I can cast all my cares upon Him who cares for me, to him who said “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden” looking forward to that day when there will be no more grief.

  36. says

    The first time I remember experiencing grief was when my grandmother passed away. I was 8, and had just trusted Christ, so processing eternity for she and I was an amazing reality for an 8 year old.

  37. Dale says

    I know I experienced sadness all throughout life but true grief came for my wife and I when our 4 month old son died unexpectedly

  38. says

    At Texas A & M I had a mentor, Prof. Smith, who guided me and taught me to love God and His Word. When he passed away in 1994, grief overtook me. My mentor and friend of 20+ years was gone.

  39. says

    The first time I experienced real grief was a few years ago when i lost my father. I also am currently experiencing grief. I found out my grand mom (my father’s mother) passed away this morning. Prayers would be appreciated.

  40. Nick Horton says

    When I was in the fourth grade my Grandfather died of a heart attack. I was confused and didn’t quite know how to deal with it. I can remember my Mother waking me up and asking if I wanted to go; asking if I was too tired. It was very early in the morning in February, quite cold, and Grandpa was burried to full military honors at Arlington Cemetary. It was going to be a long, cold, and sad day. I remember mumbling that I was tired, and yet cried as she left. I was afraid to go to the funeral, to let grief have any more of me than it did at the time.

  41. Heath Haney says

    Lost my uncle who was a minister, my great grandmother, and great grandfather within seven months of each other. Brought he family close but it was tough!

  42. Pat McDanal says

    I have experienced a number of periods of deep grief, including several deaths (that of my younger brother in a car crash involving a drunk illegal alien, my grandparents, and the drowning of a 2-yr old niece. The deepest grief, however, was experienced when my father died. For years I had attempted to talk with him about his eternal destination, always being dismissed. Exactly 40 days before his sudden, unexpected death, the Lord compelled me to write him a very loving, but direct, letter about his need for salvation. He was very angry with me after receiving it. The next time I saw him he was unconscious – and never regained awareness. The deep, deep grief was somewhat replaced by hope when I realized that the letter had been sent exactly 40 days earlier. God’s timing is always perfect. I cling to the hope that my father’s heart changed during his last days on earth.

  43. Robert L. Webb says

    The first time I experienced grief was when I was four and my teenaged uncle left to fight in Vietnam. I was heartbroken.

  44. says

    I had lost a grandfather at age 13 but two years later my next door neighbor died of cancer. He was 19 at the time. I was 15 and and my mom woke me up one Friday morning with the news of his passing. He and I grew up side by side. Our time together was inconsistent during the last four years. He was hospitalized out of town quite often. However, once home, I was quick to his side. On that Friday Evening I finished warm-ups for my first high school football game. I went back to the locker room but quickly had to excuse myself. I went outside and completely broke down sobbing. My coach was his uncle. He came to my side and we held each other, both crying, for about 10 minutes. This is the first time I remember grief and totally being overcome by it.

  45. John says

    When our family uprooted from the home/city/schools we had known for the first 15 years of my life to move to a seminary campus 3 hours away (before the dawn of the internet).

  46. Owen says

    Honestly not until I was 29. I grew up in a divorced home and with my mother (who was an only child) working I was raised by my grandparents. My grandmother contracted cancer in 2001 and passed away in 2003. I was quite lucky, growing up with the parents. This was all before I came to Christ. I thought they were superhuman and i really never crossed my mind that someday they woudn’t be here with me on earth, even as they aged. When she finally passed it truly sent me in to a chasm that took years for me to recover from, and really the healing started only after I gave my life to Christ.

    She was really my rock, the person who grounded me and kept me from going down the wrong path. My mother and never really got along and my grandmother knew of the challenges there, and really kept me from falling in to the same path that my father went (which resulted in divorce). She’s been gone 10 years this next month, and I still miss her every day, but I think she’d be proud of the family my wife I have raised and how I’ve “turned out”.

    I still have her KJV Bible here on my shelf and her Oxford RSV w/ Apocrypha that I use regularly.

  47. says

    It was definitely at the passing of my grandfather Daniel Herbert Outler when I was 7 years old. He was such a fixture in my life, like a second father. We did all sorts of things together. We would hunt pretend bears while out hiking and walking. He’d tell me stories every morning. He was a real jokester.

  48. LeighAnne says

    The first time I experienced grief was when I was in the third grade. My best friends dad committed suicide and hung himself in their apartment. It struck me hard because first of all, I didn’t know people actually did THAT…but second of all, he was very active in our lives and to all of the sudden have him gone was so weird. I remember the amount of grief from others the day of his funeral as well as my best friend’s shock and sadness.

  49. Hunter D. Johnson says

    When I was 14 my grandmother passed away unexpectedly. She had a stroke and was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. She had shown some signs of improvement, and then one day my father walked in and told my brother and me that she had passed away. I remember being in disbelief and I remember being angry at just about everyone for just about everything. It tested my faith because I had prayed for her the whole time she was in the hospital and I was convinced that she was going to be OK.

  50. Julie Clemens says

    My great-grandma died when I was 12 years old. She was a very special lady – she filled my childhood with much joy.

  51. Michael S says

    I went through several deaths in my childhood but they really didn’t have that much of an effect on me until my mother passed away in 1985. She was 47, I was 19. We believed in God but our immediate family was not a church-going family. I had lots of grief, lots of pain, lots of questions and really didn’t know how to resolve my issues. I met a wonderful woman in 2006 who led me to the bridge I needed to cross. In 2007, I was received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and my questions have begun to be answered. When I lost my dad this past year, it was much easier to understand and accept His comfort.

  52. says

    My first remembrance of grief was when I was 3-4 when our family dog was run run over in front of my eyes by one of our farm tractors. The memory still tugs at my heart!

  53. Buddy Reed says

    As time passes, we all face loss(es) in some form. But when my father was murdered…my heart was crushed in devastating grief.

  54. Amy says

    My grandfather died on my 13th birthday. I think that was the first time that grief really touched my life at a deep level. I had pets that had died prior to this, but a few weeks and I had forgotten about missing them. My grandfather’s absence at holidays and visits to my grandmothers were noticeable for many many years. My sister passed away when I was 22 and again, I missed her, but it was very surreal. My father has since passed away, a little over a year now, and I’ll say that has been the DEEPEST grief I have ever experienced. He was my best friend and the person closest to me and his loss is felt every day. I think each experience with grief that we have is different. I miss my grandfather and my sister, but nothing like I miss my Daddy.

  55. Walt Thompson says

    The first time I experienced true grief had to be 12/26/1997. The day after Christmas. My dad took me out to the backyard and explained that he was moving out, after 20 yrs of marriage to my mom, and he would be moving in with his girlfriend. I was crushed at the loss of my dad. I didn’t speak to him for just over 4 years after that day.

  56. Roger Flynt says

    My grandfather passed away in early 1995 and then six months later my grandmother passed away. They were the only grandparents I knew and both died after having a stroke. Praise God I will see them both one day in Heaven.

  57. Charles Rambeau, Jr. says

    My grandfather passed away the day before Elvis Presley. We were at my grandparent’s home and I remember hearing the news while I was missing my granddaddy. I saw so many people crying over elvis, but I was grieving my grandfather.

  58. Robert Caldwell says

    My first memory of experiencing grief occurred when I was seven years old. My paternal grandmother , “Momma Caldwell,” went to the hospital to have cataract surgery and never returned. Routine blood tests revealed that she had advanced leukemia. I was devastated, as I adored her and always looked forward to seeing her. It was so difficult for my child’s mind and heart to accept that I would never see her again. My mother told me, ” Remember all the beautiful flowers that Momma Caldwell grew? God must have wanted her to come grow them in heaven.” I remember that making sense to me, but I was still so very sad.

  59. Rusty Keltner says

    When I was around 6 I saw my mother being physically abused. We soon moved out of the house and lived with friends for some time. I remember being physically sick because of the grief I experienced. I know that even in that horrible situation God was preparing me to do great things for His glory.

  60. Sergio says

    The first time I experienced grief was when I was 15. I was at home with my grandmother when she approached me to inform me that my mother was in the hospital with cancer. I did not at the time understand what it all meant. But it suddenly hit me through her explanation of what the consequences were if the surgery/treatment failed. All I did was cry that day. I felt so alone. I had not seen my father in a couple of weeks (would later find out that day that he left my mother because of her terminal illness) and was uncertain of what would happen to me.

  61. RevTim says

    I first experienced grief as a child. I vaguely remember crying at my Grandfathers funeral, as a child of 7 years old. But, the first pain of memorable grief came when my Uncle was tragically killed in an oil refinery accident. I remember many, many details of the death, who told me, my response and even the funeral. It was definitely a life changing time.

  62. Jessica Lindblad says

    My first experience with grief was when I was in the third grade. My mom was my teacher, and she got a phone call in the middle of the day from my Nana asking her to come home because my great-grandmother had collapsed. When I got home, I found out that my great-grandmother had passed away suddenly from a ruptured brain aneurysm. It was a huge loss for me because she was the person I spent most of my time with. She taught me how to cook, play cards, crochet, and so much more. Most of all I remember her love for the Lord and her love for singing hymns of praise to Him!

  63. says

    I experienced grief for the first time when I was a child and my uncle passed away. I remember the funeral and going to the gravesite. It was a cold snowy day in northwest Texas and we actually slid off the road. We were okay, the car was okay and it had to be pulled out of the ditch. I felt a huge loss when he passed away. I was very sad and mourned for a long time.

  64. Steven McKenzie says

    The first time that I experienced grief was when I was 14. We moved from Ohio to Kentucky. I had to leave all of my friends and my plans for the future to move to a place I did not want to go. I wasn’t wrong, but I can now see that God had a larger purpose that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

  65. says

    I first experienced grief when my wife’s grandfather passed away after battling cancer. He had been such an inspiration to many who encountered him and changed the lives of so many people. He was also a wonderful carpenter which being a pastor seeing how he worked with wood reminded me of how Christ works on us.

  66. Andrew Roberts says

    The First Time I experienced grief I was over seas on a mission trip. My great grandmother died and I was not able to go back and be with my family. I cried out to God all night but God heard my prayers and gave me peace.

  67. Tim Hoke says

    When I was about 8 yrs. old, my brother got a German Shepherd puppy for Christmas. I was playing her (the puppy) & she got hit by a car & was killed. I prayed for that dog, but God didn’t raise her from the dead. I was devastated. Caused me grief big time.

  68. Andrew Gordon says

    I did not have to deal with the death of anyone close to me in my growing up years. Instead my first source of grief came from the moral failing of a pastor I knew. He was someone I looked up to in so many ways. If you asked me what was the main thing I learned from him I would say the importance of integrity for Christ followers. His falling to sin then devastated me an made me doubt and question a lot. Though I can say today that much of what was said about him was only partly true and he ha since been restored, at that time I mourned over what I perceived as the crumbling of a solid foundation.

  69. John Klink says

    Other than loosing my childhood pet, I would have to say it was when I chose to resign from my first pastorate. #longstory However, thank God for my current pastorate at Healing Springs Baptist Church.

  70. Sonny Sturgeon says

    When I was nine years old. My cousin was killed in an auto accident. However, it was not her death that affected me as much as my aunts despair. My cousin was 19 and I was 9 so we really didn’t have much in common and I didn’t know her all that well. But, I knew my aunt. She went from being a joyful and caring person to being broken and empty. I hurt for her because I wanted to help in some way but I didn’t know how.

  71. Jenn York says

    The first time was when my grandpa passed away
    when i was 11. I had just been on a trip with him
    fishing and then a few weeks later he had cancer
    and then what felt like another few weeks he was gone. I couldn’t explain my grief bc we were so close. Even the school counselor couldn’t really help. But i did finally stop morning and learned how to deal with grief in the right way.

  72. Vaughn Blue Jr says

    It was when my grandpa died while I was appx 11 years old. I remember walking to the store from the funeral home to get some film for a family member & then crying while walking alone b/c I missed my grandpa.

  73. Don Haflich says

    The first time I tasted grief was when the deadline to pay for college came and I had moved halfway across the country to attend this college and the money just wasn’t there and I poured myself out before God because I thought that’s where he wanted me. Turns out I met my wife going to that college so it turned out for good.

  74. Marty Middleton says

    May 6, 1995. My parents had divorced a year and a half before. My dad and I had become pretty close, and then he met my step mother on the Internet. On the morning of May 6, he drove off in a moving truck. I was staying behind to finish my senior year in high school. As he left, I felt more alone than I had ever felt. That was the first time I remember grief.

  75. Rodney Bice says

    When my grandfather passed away. I was in 7th grade and he died unexpectantly of a brain aneurism. It was the first time I can remember seeing my dad cry.

  76. Marshall Johnston says

    My first experience with true grief was when I was thirteen years old. My parents called me down from my room and announced to me that they were getting a divorce.

  77. Keith Eddy says

    February 20, 1980…the day my eyes were opened and the realization that I would not make it through this life without my Lord and Savior…really thankful for the grief that I felt on that special day!

  78. Jason Wheat says

    I would have to say it was when I had my pet parakeet die when I was 7 years old. Now I know that my example probably seems silly. Believe me, I feel silly writing it. But I was a very shy child with a big heart for animals, and that little bird was the first living thing that was the first life that I was solely responsible for. Having it get injured (when I let it out of it’s cage to fly around the room) and then die a few days painful days later. I felt the loss of the pet that I loved and the painful disappointment of knowing I failed the one that I was responsible for. That weight felt crushing to a little 7 year old heart. Remembering how my father held me in my grief, and never belittled my felt loss, makes me appreciate all the more: Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

  79. Ron Stoehr says

    The first time I really experienced grief was when my grandfather died. I was 9 and we got pulled out of school in GA and drove overnight to Nebraska because he was close to the end. He had had cancer for 7 years when he passed. I remember seeing him in a hospital bed in his living room when we got there. That night I slept out in our van on his farm because I didn’t want to sleep in the house. The next morning I woke up and went in to the house and my Grandma just hugged me and started crying, saying that he didn’t hurt anymore and he was in Heaven. I took his loss pretty hard because I always got to go to his farm and play and drive the equipment around with him.

  80. says

    The first time I experienced grief was when I realized later in life how I had hurt my father. One afternoon, he came to visit unannounced. He had traveled for 90 minutes and I can only imagine how excited he was, thinking of how excited I would be also that he had driven up to see me. As it turns out, when he pulled into the driveway I ran outside angry, letting him know I was ‘too busy’ working, and that he should have called first. I remember his face to this day. He was devastated. Pop hung his head, got in the car without a word and left. Now a father myself, now older than he was even at that time, now understanding – I wish I could tell him how sorry I am. I look forward to that day.

  81. Ashley says

    I was 7 at the time. My best friend, Justin, and his dad went out flying for the day. A storm came quickly and lightening struck their plane. The plane crashed; Justin and his dad died instantly. I couldn’t comprehend any of it. The hardest part for me was we were playing on the playground one day and the next he was gone forever. I never said goodbye. His dad was one of my dad’s best friend’s so he was also going through mourning. That was also hard for me because it was the first time seeing my dad really sad. I can honestly say it was the hardest thing I went through as a child.

  82. says

    I experienced grief for the first time when my cousin, who was diagnosed with Leukemia and died 6 weeks later from the treatment. We actually expected for a miracle to happen and well, it did. She graduated to Heaven, but it was pretty painful.

  83. JODI SMITH says

    The first time I experienced true grief….I was locked behind bars in a jail…It was right before Jesus saved and delivered me from a ten year drug addiction. I woke up to the sound of my youngest daughter (who was 7 at the time) crying for her mom. There is no doubt in my heart and Spirit that she was laying in a bed, miles from where I was, crying for me and the Lord allowed me to hear her. I was completely broken and in the deepest grief of my life at that exact moment.
    “He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.”
    Psalm 107:14
    Thank You Jesus!

  84. Tim Forsythe says

    My first real grief was when a youth worker raped my sister and several other girls in the youth ministry. My sister’s life swirled out of control after that. Family life was not perfect like it once was.

  85. Scott says

    It would have to be when I lost my Father to cancer when I was 15. Such a sad time when I needed a male role model during my high school years.

  86. says

    The death of my mentor, a retired Presbyterian pastor, in 2009. He had mentored through a rough period in my faith and helped me rediscover a more robust Biblical faith. Still miss him from time to time but find joy that he has rested from his labours and is worshipping His Saviour by sight as joyfully as He did by faith.

  87. Rebecca R Moran says

    Almost 19 years ago on February 17, 1994…I was 28 weeks pregnant and the baby had to be born via emergency c section…Andrew Dillon Moran weighed 2 lbs and 2 oz…He lived 3 days on life support…to know my husband had to sign the papers to take him off of life support ripped my heart out…just 3 years before his birth, I experienced a miscarriage at 14 weeks…TJ Moran was born in between these two babies…Our only child will be 21 in September…He has brought us so much joy…even through all of the grief, heart break and mourning we went through…loosing a child is the hardest thing I have ever faced, we were only 20 with the miscarriage, 22 when TJ was born and 24 when Andrew was born…we are now 43 and the pain some days is just as severe as it was standing in the graveyard the day of Andrews funeral…

  88. says

    The first time I genuinely experienced grief was when my father died. He was seventy one and had contracted lung cancer about a year earlier. The great thing is that he had trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior five years before his death. It was surreal experience. I had been “on the other side” of this for so many in their lives and now it was time for me to go through this bittersweet experience. The Lord proved Himself strong as He always does. And the Christian friends with their presence and expressions of love meant so much. I learned a lot from that time period and it helps me to help others to this day.

  89. Peter Mattice says

    My uncle died of anathema attack when I was 11. A classmate who lived across the street from my grandparents started to read his obituary as part of current events.

  90. Bill Coffey says

    Definitely when my grandmother died in 1986. It was the first time someone that close to me that died. It took months before I could truly cope and deal with the loss.

  91. says

    When I was about 8 I got word that a little playmate of mine had been hit by a truck and killed. His family had moved out of town and he had just gotten word they were moving back. He ran across the street to tell friends when it happened. I thought as a child he was going to tell them he was moving back to be near me.

  92. says

    When I was 7 yhears old I lost my grandmother. She was such a light to my light. She showed me Jesus. I guess I experienced the grief even more when I recieve4d two things in her will. 1. a ring brought over from the “old country” and 2. her Bible. The real treasure she said in her note was the Bible. Find a Godly wife and give her the ring. Live your life for Jesus. She wanted me to be a pastor and today and today I am. I also have a wife whose is Godly and a daughter who loves Jesus. My grandmother would be proud. That grief has turned to Joy after understand she is with Jesus and she wanted that same hope for me.

  93. says

    The morning during the summer before my sophomore year of high school when my mother informed me they could no longer afford to send me to the Christian school I attended.

  94. says

    My first real experience with grief was when my great grandmother passed away at the age of 100. We were really close, and even when here memory started to fade, she used to always say, “that’s my boy” and point to my picture. It was a bittersweet moment. I knew that she was going to spend eternity with the Father with no more pain or suffering, yet I couldn’t help but cry for her absence.

  95. Dennis Waldrop says

    I was 13. My grandfather passed away, and we were very close. It was immediately followed by my parents’ divorce. Very difficult time for me.

  96. David Ludwig says

    The first time I experienced grief was when a friend in High School died. He was a good friend to many, and his tragic death had a big impact on many students.

  97. says

    It was when my grandfather died after a long period of illness. It was horrible seeing him slowly lose his health and then slipping away without being able to say goodbye.

  98. Tommy Rucker says

    I was about 9 when my Dad had some emotional issues. His troubles bled over to me. Thankfully, he got it together.

  99. Edmond Long says

    Personal grief entered my life one week before I graduated from high school (1966): my Grandmother died. We shared a deep and intimate friendship. I miss her to this day.

  100. Ralton Emory says

    After my grandfather passed and my dad went into a deep depression state. He and my mom had issues to deal with and he actually left for a day. As an 8 year old first born son, that hit me hard. Fortunately, God intervened and my parents are still together and happier than ever. I’m almost 40.

  101. Stan Bray says

    When I was a child, I experienced Grief when my uncle passed away. He spent a lot of time with me on his farm fishing, sitting under a tree talking and allowing me to run through his chicken houses. He was more of a grandfather to me.

  102. Clay Carroll says

    My uncle passed away after a lengthy fight with a brain tumor when I was about 10. He was very close to me and my family always tells me I got all the same personality traits that he had and that we would’ve had loads of fun entertaining the group together.

  103. says

    The first time I experienced grief was when I was fourteen and my best friend in the world (my cousin) who was fifteen committed suicide. That night laying in my bed I remember the thought of never laughing or crying with him again on this earth. The sinking feeling of knowing that he was gone broke me. I cried like I never had before and never have again.

  104. Scott Silby says

    I wasn’t one of the cool kids, so when my best and really only friend moved away in 4th grade, I experienced a lot of grief.

  105. says

    When my grandmother died. It was the first time someone I was really close to died. I didn’t know it was possible to hurt that bad or miss someone so much. I still miss her to this day. She was the “wind beneath my wings”

  106. says

    At the age of 5, we moved to an house that was 3 units. We lived in the biggest unit and continued to rent to the folk that were there already.
    One night my father was talking to the tenant in the front apartment. When he was done smoking, he flicked the butt into the street. In wondered what it was like to smoke, so I grabbed it and went out back behind the garage and took a great puff. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING. two DIE.

    Such a coughing and hacking. i come around front again to get the comfort of my father.

    It was great grief!

  107. BMaloy says

    I was a senior in college getting ready to graduate — and got the news my cousin was very unexpectedly dying from an appendix burst. She was 24 years old. I was able to be at the funeral but had to spend the summer away from family working in Colorado. God was faithful, but it was a tough time.

  108. Bill Collum says

    My first taste of real grief was when my grandfather passed away when I was 23. Throughout the years of my parents divorce, grandad was always a source of stability, no matter where we were. At the time, I was not a believer, and my grief was untempered by any hope of seeing him again. Fortunately, he was saved, and I am now, so we will see one another again.

  109. David Atkins says

    My first experience with grief was when my great-grandmother died. I can remember my great grandfather lamenting the fact that he would never see her again, despite his belief that they would be together again in heaven.

  110. Jarrett says

    The first time I experienced grief I was in 3rd grade. We were the victims of a hit and run accident, and the sight of my mother’s bloody face sent me into hysterics — I thought she was going to die. Thank God, it was only a matter of stitching up her face, and she came home from the hospital later that night.

  111. says

    At 15, I was heavily involved in drama and one of my close friends committed suicide. It was the first time someone I had been close with passed away. There was a moment in particular that really made me break down.
    That year, our school was doing “Harvey” and I was the main character – a drunk with an imaginary rabbit friend. That year I got suspended from school for drinking alcohol on a school bus (a new standard for ignorance). I was removed from the play and my friend took over the role. For the role, a nice, large painting was made of him as the character with Harvey (the imaginary rabbit). At my friend’s funeral it was closed casket but the painting was front and center. My grief over losing my friend was intensified as I saw how important that painting became and how God used my sin to bring comfort to my friend’s family.

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