Reassurances in Grief: How the Lord’s Prayer Brought Peace to My Grieving Heart
Eugene Y. Yang
“I’m sorry, Mr. Yang. Karen has passed away.” Eugene’s wife of 20 years was finally at peace. “I can’t deal with this; I don’t want to deal with this!” I cried. In the ensuing nights, sleep was elusive. I turned to the Bible and came upon Matthew 6:9-13, also known as the Lord’s Prayer. This book is how I meditated on the components of the prayer, realized a richer meaning, and found peace in my grief.
I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, “in the shadow of the Golden Dome”, as my father taught at the University of Notre Dame. Practically a Fighting Irish (seriously, my nickname was O’Yang), I attended Notre Dame, receiving an undergraduate degree in engineering; later I obtained a master’s degree at Penn State. I am currently the principal of KISMET Consulting, Inc., a company that my deceased wife, Karen, started back in 1994. I have 36 years of experience in information management and technologies, primarily in the nuclear power industry. I’ve consulted with companies in the Fortune 500, as well as with federal and state agencies. I’ve served as an enterprise architect, systems analyst, business process analyst, and IT deployment project manager. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to travel worldwide: consulting, speaking, or providing training on nuclear information management in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
I’ve always enjoyed writing; one would say I like to write “creatively” not only as a hobby, but also in my consulting practice. I’ve always had an active imagination, conjuring up bedtime stories to my children; in business, I provide “outside-the-box thinking” to my clients – being able to effectively write about that – has been a particular asset while consulting in challenging situations. I am a member of a professional organization that addresses the role and business of records management as part of quality assurance programs in the nuclear power industry; due to my “senior position” with that group, for the past several years, I have written a retrospective column in the organization’s quarterly digital magazine.
Currently, I live in Plainfield, IL, and have five children and two granddaughters. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord in 2005 and I love being active in my church, Grace Pointe Church of Plainfield. I’ve been privileged with serving as a deacon and as an elder; nowadays, I continue to teach in the children’s ministry, and on occasion, I hack with my cello as part of the worship team. I enjoy staying active; I’ve run a marathon, I’ve been active in the martial arts (achieved a 3rd degree black belt in taekwondo), and smack around a pickleball.
This is my first book. I intentionally designed and wrote this for those that are early in their grief journey. I recall in the early dark days that well-meaning friends would provide 200-400-page books on the analysis of grief. I’d read the introduction and then the book would sit, no longer relevant; I had very little energy or attention span. I did find, however, that small books (booklets) that provided me with focused perspectives were “easily digested”, containing practical nuggets of information I could apply. These helped me with establishing my new normal as a widow and single parent. By using the Lord’s Prayer as I structure, I found myself being able to speak on various aspects of my grief walk that I feel can resonate and help others.
With this first book, it has provided me with insight in the opportunities of providing content on multiple media platforms; originally self-published in paperback, I’ve made an e-book version, and am also in preparation of creating an audiobook version. I am currently working on other writing projects. One concept is a thematic lesson regarding the challenges of the Christian faith when it seems that God is silent. I also am tapping into my inner child in recalling the oral stories I’ve told my children when they were younger.
Upon the loss of my wife, I joined a Facebook support group for Christian widows and widowers and started to “blog” on occasion with this group. I found solace in writing about my grief journey with this group and was encouraged that, in turn, I was providing solace to others. I’m a proponent of the safe sharing of grief with others, having initially participated in a Griefshare (www.griefshare.org) group, and thereafter I’ve facilitated several Griefshare sessions at my church.