My Story of Grief

By Sara Santos

April 12, 2019

I lost my father a year and a half ago, when I wrote this letter. After a childhood full of all kinds of abuse and nightmares, the Lord healed my life and filled me with forgiveness, compassion and love for him. God gave me the privilege of being by his side fifteen days in the hospital before taking him to his presence. Being able to hold his hand when he died was a healing experience.


There where you are, there is no more sickness.

There where you are, there is no pain, loneliness, abandonment...

No more getting up every day just to tidy up every corner of the house, to put everything in its place, the place you designed for everything.

No more washing your hands five, six and even ten times...

No more turning off the lights, the water, each outlet, each appliance, each switch before leaving the house, only to check them over and over again...

No more locking the four locks on the door, checking each window to feel safe before going to sleep.

No more neighbors plotting to harm you, painters watching your every step, family betraying you, abandoning and hurting you; the doctors who try to kill you... The people plotting and whispering things against you or looking at you evilly...

No more dangers, bacterium, dirt.

No more deleting calls, messages and data from your address book on your mobile, and no more fear to get your phone hacked...

No more fear, dread, wounds, rage, aggressiveness...

No more hiding the address book and writing our numbers with birth dates, so no one can find us...

No more uncontrollable thoughts...the monster inside you, the one you did not know, did not understand, and the one you feared yourself...

No more tears, dad.

No more waiting for us each Christmas, each birthday, each special occasion only to see we never arrived...

No more wonder every day why we were so far from you, without being able to understand...

No more doubts, no more unanswered questions...

The emotional storm you have lived with day after day the last seventy-two years...

Death is over, giving space to life, dad, for this is for you and for me, for us, not death, but the start of life at last. It is arising from permanent darkness, leaving dread, the storm, the cave half of you lived in everyday...

No more hurting yourself... and being afraid of hurting others...

No more enduring pain for fear of seeing a doctor...

No more anxiety over having an accident, being hurt, persecuted, attacked, abandoned; over not being loved, being alone, being found by the ghosts tormenting you, and over us also being found by them... All the ghosts are gone, dad! You are free! You are new, you are healed! You can be you eternally!

You can eternally be the one who taught us to read, to write, to add and subtract when we were only three years old...

You can be the dad who taught me to ride a bike or tie my shoelaces. You can be the dad who would every day during my 37 years of life, to read and study the Bible... The one who would daily feed us with His word, with faith, with the greatest inheritance.... you can be the smile and eyes full of HIM, that we could sometimes see in you.

Nothing can ever erase it, dad!

You can be the one who would hold my hand while walking on the street. The one who fought for my dreams, my yearnings, my calling.

You are now just the one who would whisper in my ear, “you are special, not like everyone else, you have my heart.” You are now just that immense heart, full of purity, kindness, full of HIM.

You can be the one who taught me never to have two of something; two pairs of shoes, two jackets or whatever, when I knew someone who had none; the one who would give not what he had left but what was hard to give; the one who would rather not eat, just to pay for my studies... to give to others...

The father who, instead of judging or criticizing me for wearing baggy pants, would take me to a skaters' store to buy me skates and whatever clothes I liked...

The only one who wouldn't look at the exterior, but inside...

The one who would sit to listen to me, who understood me, and put himself in my place...

You are now free to be the man God created, and not the one life, mistreatment, abuse, the enemy, sickness, schizophrenia, paranoia, anxiety, dread made of you...

There where you are dad, you are at last the person I always saw in you. My miracle has come and, even though I cannot see you, I cannot live it with you, even though I cannot show it to my kids, now you are you, the super hero I looked for ever since I was a kid.

The Lord told you “come home... come home,” and there you are!

No more being far from home... Our Father came to look for you and I surrendered you to him without doubt, free to be his son, free to be my father!

You and I know it, you are not dead but finally alive! You have not left your home, but are finally home!

For me, dad, there's no more fear...

No more nightmares thinking your ghosts or the monster inside of you would come looking for me...

No more fear, silence, no more not being able to talk about you, your story, who you were and who you are!

No more waiting forever... for my father – the part of you I love – to come look for me, hug me, dance with me to one more song...

No more worries thinking about what you are doing, how you are and where you are...

No more guilt, powerlessness and pain for not being able to be close to you, not being able to kiss, hug, honor and take care of you...

No more nights drowned in tears, begging God to heal you, to free you, to keep you from all evil...

No more constantly worrying about you, your suffering, your loneliness, your paranoia...

No more hearing more stories, hearing you talk about ghost after ghost, trying to catch them...

No more feeling powerless, feeling pain for I could do nothing to show you your fears, your dread, the persecutions were only ghosts! Ghosts that could not defeat or touch you, that were not real...

No more carrying your loneliness, which was also mine...

Carrying your pain, which turned into mine... your ghosts which fed my own fears...

No more running away, hiding, or being extra careful keeping at bay that part of you we could not control...

The Lord gave the greatest gift! Ten days by your side!

Ten days kissing you, caressing you, caring for you...

Singing worship songs by your side...whispering words of love, forgiveness, peace, calmness, grace and infinite mercy...

Ten days bringing out the little girl hiding inside of me, the one in love with her daddy, but afraid to love you...

Ten days of unfair love! The kind of love Christ gave to us, an unmerited love! Giving back love in exchange for wounds, care in exchange for abandonment, grace in exchange for pain, mercy in exchange for abuse...

Twelve days doing for you what someone did for me once; love me with unmerited, unfair, unconditional love! Love me like no one has ever loved me.

There where you are dad, you are free, you are loved, you are healed! See you in heaven daddy, where I will be able to hug, kiss and love you for eternity!


Eduardo, Sara, and their two small children have been living in Denmark since 2009. Eduardo is originally from Colombia and Sara from Spain. Both their children were born in Denmark. They have served in their local church in Copenhagen in several ministries and at several leadership levels, especially with broken women who have been victims of domestic violence, and families in crisis. 

Two years ago, they came to the realization that they needed to invest time and energy in their personal faith journeys as well as getting tooling and practical resources for pursuing a more effective ministry in Denmark and the Scandinavian region. The need for evangelism and restoration ministries in the Scandinavian countries is so great that it cannot be described in words!! Father-God clearly placed Eduardo and Sara in Denmark and gave them a heart not only for Danish people but also for the people of many other European nationalities. Even though these European nations enjoy a certain level of affluence, on the inside people are lost and struggle just to survive in the midst of the particularities of European life.

So it was that in 2016, trusting the calling of God on their lives, the Bonilla family came to the U.S. in order to pursue seminary education and personal training in areas such as deep transformational prayer, Biblical counseling, and a Christian approach to family therapy. The Bonilla's vision and passion is to see individuals and families find hope, restoration, and transformation through the presence and power of Holy Spirit. 

Currently, they are working on the completion of their theological education and training at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. Even though they are studying in the U.S., at the same time they are fully engaged in their recently established ministry in Denmark named “Bedrock.”  Bedrock is a shelter/training center for ministering to, encouraging, and training leaders who are called to the same ministry of hope, restoration and transformation of desperately broken and sin-enslaved people. Eduardo and Sara have personally experienced how the focused application of the unique message of hope and freedom in Christ genuinely transforms people, families and whole people groups. Pray for them as they finish their theological and spiritual preparation for ministry in the spiritually dark places of Europe. And as the Lord enables you, please give generously for their ministry in Europe.  The need is great, but the laborers are “very few.”

Learn more about The Bedrock Family:  https://bedrockashelter.com/

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