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Cooper's comments seem to reflect the joyous, childlike idealism and idealization that, as young boys, we normally have about our fathers. If fathers are not taken from us prematurely, we gradually and gently learn that they really can't beat up everybody else's dad or fix any problem we might have. But, when we lose them when we are younger, fathers remain giants on a pedestal, enduring as unreal beings that we veritably worship in their absence.

Cooper's writing also reveals a yearning for the Perfect Father. As an adult, I'm sure he has a cognitive grasp of the foibles and fallibilities of his earthly father. But the yearning and longing for the Perfect - of which our biological fathers are but shadows - remains and pulls at his boyish heart.

It is sad to read that twenty-seven years later he is still unable to deal with the enormous loss. For him, I suspect, the day his father died was also the day that God - or the hope of God - also died.

He needs a friend to walk with him through the valley of the shadow of his father's death. Tragically, it may be almost impossible for him to find a believer who will compassionately and patiently sit with him and listen to him as he pours out his still-broken heart. Only then, through compassionate caring, will the listener thereby earn (through love) the right to someday tenderly tell him of a Father who will not fail, disappoint or - perhaps most importantly for Anderson - leave him.


Those words reverberate to my core. I've shared that pain and despair, with the loss of my Dad. He was 47, I was 15. Twenty four years later, the pain is still there. One learns to keep it at bay, but the milestones in the lives of my children that my Dad can't share, and those I'll see that he never shared with me, bring it to the surface. It's more of an ache now than the sharp pain it once was. God is very present for me now, and He's brought men of wisdom into my life to help fill the void. But, there's always a longing to pick up the phone and say "Hey Daddy, what do you think about......?"


I, too, share this pain. I was 6, he was 38. Now that I am a parent of 2, I look at things very differently. You realize you may never have tomorrow, so I try to live my best life today.

Greg England

Sometimes the price of love is pain. When my father died, almost 17 years ago, it was as if someone I knew well had died but there was very little emotional loss. Sometimes I think I would rather have the pain than the emotional numbness. Perhaps there are advantages to both. I hope my children feel some pain at my death, but that it is overshadowed by the hope of resurrection!

Jim Martin

You have touched on something very important. I think you have the ear of many people when you speak of rather having "the pain than the emotional numbness."

I think many people who have an emotional "dis-connect" with family members wonder what this will feel like when that person dies.

Thanks for what you said.

Jim Martin

Thanks Meredith. It sounds as if you have felt this same pain.

Jim Martin

Thanks for this. I've heard you express some of this. But, you say it so well in this comment.

I apprecite you and suspect that others will resonate with your words.

Jim Martin

I really like the phrase you use--"...a longing for the Perfect."

I think my own longing for God involes a "longing for the perfect." Human beings always disappoint and frustrate. Only the one who is perfect is able to satisfy. I've learned that the hard way. Thanks.

ben overby

Whatever else Cooper's quote conveys, it certainly reminds us of the horror of death and its lasting effect. Thank God that He's taken away the sting in the resurrection of Jesus. But the creation is still groaning (evident in Cooper's pain-filled words) in anticipation of renewal.

Jim Martin

Thanks Ben. A very good cross/resurrection perspective on this.

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