Sam’s One Year Anniversary in Heaven

Sam OstMy brother Sam died one year ago today.  It was a stormy, rainy Sunday morning when I was called out of church to rush to his bedside at the hospice where we sang quietly as he was ushered into Heaven. 

I often wonder what he’s up to in heaven.  Stephanie realized today that he has two children he has never met in heaven that were never born.  Is he teaching them Risk with “Ost modifications”?  Are they exploring heaven with a compass?  Is he showing them his baseline left-handed jumper?  We know for sure that he “has no less days to sing God’s praise than when he first began.”

Sam finished his race with joy, and we take a deep breath and start another lap of ours.

Here is his tribute page, here are my remarks at his funeral, and here is a link to all the multimedia from that day.

10 Responses to Sam’s One Year Anniversary in Heaven

  1. Linda Ost says:

    Thank you Jim. I miss him, I miss him a lot.

  2. Luis Nunez says:

    It was great to se those family treasures we will always miss Sam, but we have a promise that one day we will all see each other again in heaven.

  3. Nate Johnson says:

    Jim

    A year ago, I was out of the country and when I came back I just couldn’t even bear to watch the slideshow. I watched it for the first time tonight.

    Last night, I was talking to my youth leaders about the importance of having significant, godly heroes in a young person’s life, the sheer power of presence in kids’ life. When I started talking about the mentors and heroes in my life, I had to mention Sam (and I almost started crying). The simple and profound difference Sam (and you, too) made in my life was that of being cool, funny and fun cousins/heroes that had were also seeking God. I don’t think I can underestimate the subtle yet pervasive impact this made on my psyche. “Cool” was not associated with drinking and sleeping around, but with being witty, being competitve at sports, jamming on the horns together and enjoying games with family and friends.

    I don’t know how many significant spiritual conversations Sam and I had. There weren’t a lot of them, to be honest. We most joked around and played basketball. But his example as a cool, godly guy gave me a something else to aspire to. I can’t thank him enough, and I am glad that I told him so before he went to be in heaven.

    Nate

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for reposting this, Jim. It was tearful then, and it still was today. I’m so glad that he’s in heaven, and I am so glad that we have heaven to look forward to, even beyond seeing all of our loved ones!

    By the way, Sam’s marker looked incredible. Dad forwarded it to me. I don’t know who designed it, but it was really great. I think it captured him.

  5. Chris Chambers says:

    Thanks Jim for reminding me of my good friend Sam! Lately I often think back to things Sam used to say to me. Things like “how can people live without Jesus”? He loved Jesus and shared many things with me when we were college freshmen. He helped me as a young believer to grow in my faith. He taught me where to read in my Bible. Especially in the Old Testament. I didn’t really have a clue at that point in my walk with the Lord. I still remember him reading his Bible each day without fail! I remember his whistling trumpet parts, sleeping on his brown sleeping with his cowboy boots on and I remember dominating intramural sports with him at Judson.
    I loved him a lot and miss him dearly! I try to be more caring for people, because of Sam’s example!

  6. 5najeras says:

    What a touching post and slideshow! And what a great reunion you will all have someday.

  7. Greg White says:

    Jim…Thanks for the post. We all miss Sam and speak of him often.

  8. Mary Kaniff Jewell says:

    Thank you for posting all these great memories of Sam. I came looking for information when I read about Sam’s death in the Judson magazine.

    Sam and I were at Judson together our last 2 years. We spent many hours together in the computer lab and classes . I will never forget Sam and I growing in our life with Jesus together. There were funny stories as Jim and Sam learned that I was a Catholic that truly loves Jesus. We helped each other understand our beliefs and love of Christ. I will never forget how they supported and defended me. True friends!

    As my life and family have grown I often look back at Judson College and my friends there. Judson had such a huge impact on my life and Sam was one of the people that made it special.

    Knowing that he is with Christ in heaven makes me smile. I only wish I would have emailed or called earlier.

  9. Paul Young says:

    I read about Sam’s death in the Judson magazine as well. Shocked and sorry to hear about this. After losing many close family members who know Christ, sorrow soon turns to joy.

  10. Thanks for the recent comments on Sam’s passing. I will have more news and memorials on his birthday, November 8. We miss him dearly.

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