Food for the Soul
11/18/15 at 05:19 PM 6 Comments

New book chronicles widow's overheard conversations from heaven

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When Rebecca Cooper’s husband Charles died suddenly eight years ago, she admittedly stopped praying to God. Two days after his 58th birthday, her husband suffered a thoracic aortic dissection – the same medical condition that killed actor John Ritter. Prayers went up on her husband’s behalf for two weeks to no avail. After 39 years of marriage, Cooper was alone, and consumed by grief and despair. Then she heard voices—they were in her head, but very clear. She wondered if she was going crazy, but then she listened…

“Hey, God?” “Yes, Charles.

”I’m worried about Becky. She’s running on adrenaline, not eating, crying. She needs me.”

She,” God proclaimed, “has Me.”

She grabbed a piece of paper, compelled to write down what she had heard. She continued to overhear conversations, and continued to chronicle them. Over time, there were hundreds of small sheets of paper all around the house. She shared several with others who were grieving. A friend suggested she gather the papers together and put them in a notebook for her children and grandchildren. Cooper’s very personal writings were discovered by a publisher and have now become a book entitled, “Hey, God? Yes, Charles: Conversations on Life, Loss, and Love” (Turner Publishing Co.).

“The conversations almost always had to do with something I was doing at the time,” says Cooper. “They were often sad and serious but not always – sometimes Charles’s humor -or even God’s - burst through. I don’t have a clear memory of when they started, but they must have been soon after Charles' funeral service because my friend brought me stationary and encouraged me to journal. They just seemed like Charles talking to God and I felt this compulsion to write down what I was hearing.”

In “Hey, God? Yes, Charles,” Cooper shares her personal, ongoing experience with grieving. Through the conversations that came to her, she began to find kernels of comfort, to understand the things that triggered the most painful grief, to accept that loss was now a forever part of her, and even to realize she could still laugh.

“Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think hearing these conversations, and writing them down, helped me process so many things to begin the transition from grieving to healing, and to realize that Charles could still make me laugh. Joy is a whole separate thing from acceptance or even happiness, and humor contributed to the rediscovery of joy in my life.”

Cooper has already heard stories from people who have read her book and been helped through their own grieving process.

“When people ask my advice about grieving, I tell them they are entitled to feel how they feel for as long as they need to feel it; and that they will eventually learn that, while they cannot change what happened, THEY will change, and in ways that will help them deal with the past and consider the future.”

Cooper admits, though she spent many months angry at God, she has discovered that her faith kept her going.

“I learned that no matter how hard I try I can’t just discard my faith,” says Cooper. “There’s a conversation in the book where God tells Charles that God can handle my attitude, so I guess I learned that God won’t discard me either.”

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About Rebecca H. Cooper:

Rebecca Cooper is a Belmont University graduate and former teacher, business owner and career professional. Her love of writing dates back to elementary school, and she has produced stories, poetry, and various articles over the years. While prioritizing her grandchildren and a love for travel and books, she divides the rest of her time among church and other family and friends – all of whom took turns carrying her along a journey of love, loss and recovery. Rebecca currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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