Grieving a Lost Soul

My daughter is having a very difficult time because she doesn't know if her friend went to heaven.

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A friend of my daughter's, James*, died of a heroin overdose last week. She is having a very difficult time because she doesn't know if he went to heaven. They were very good friends in their early teenage years but she hadn't been around him for a while because of his lifestyle. Nonetheless he still kept in touch. 

James had a rough life being passed around to different relatives because his mother could never quite handle him. He went back to live with his mother and step-father and siblings for about a year only to be thrown out for good when he turned 18. He really had nowhere to go. Obviously, he ended up in the wrong crowd. 

James always played the tough guy, but Lisa knew he was hurting inside. He said he wanted to change but his demons were too strong. Lisa wants to think that he is finally at peace after all he went through in his short life of 20 years. James knew Lisa was a believer, but she is pretty sure he was not. 

Can you help ease some of the pain with your thoughts on this question?

Thank you,
Julie Grant 

Dear Julie,

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's friend. What a tragedy it is to lose a young man at such an early age and what a heartbreak for your daughter as well.

James may have been a lost soul while he was on this earth, but I doubt very much if Jesus has allowed him to be a lost soul for eternity. If James knew that Lisa was a believer and he cared about Lisa then surely those things were brought to his mind by Jesus himself, during those last few hours of his life. We can trust that Jesus is a loving Lord whose compassionate and merciful heart does not want to lose even one of his children. He loved James dearly while he experienced his earthly life, even though he could not reach him. He loves him even more now that he has him safely home with him in heaven.

Please encourage Lisa to thank God for loving James and taking him home to himself, even while he was suffering so much here on earth. She will see him one day in heaven and he will be able to thank her for planting those seeds, which Jesus brought to fruition when James reached his heavenly home. Picture him there.

Blessings to you and yours,
Trudy Harris

*Name was changed to protect this individual’s privacy.

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