A collection of overheard conversations that offer a new way to deal with great loss and finding God’s grace after losing a loved one.
Sunday, November 11, 2007, Becky Cooper watched her husband drive out of sight, heading from their Nashville condo to his office and apartment in Atlanta. She never saw him conscious again.
Monday, November 12, was his 58th birthday. Since he would be out of town, their granddaughters and Becky had made him a cake and celebrated before he left on that Sunday.
Wednesday, November 14, Charles caught Becky at her desk, calling just to let her know that he’d had some pain radiating down his back. He was sure it was nothing, but the company nurse, who just happened to be in the office that day, heard what happened and insisted on calling 911 as a precaution. They swapped love yous. She didn’t even get out of her chair.
Twelve days later, despite hundreds, maybe thousands, of prayers, Charles died. Emergency open heart surgery was followed by complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and various lung infections. He and Becky had been married almost 39 years.
In the following year, Becky learned that the connection with someone you love doesn’t cease with death. Charles was always bigger than life, and his presence, his love, his humor, and these conversations were just as real after his death.
For better, for worse, Becky started scribbling down what she was overhearing in heaven.
She was done talking to God. Charles, as it turned out, was not.
Hey, God? Yes, Charles. is a rare narrative of the beauty of life and the endlessness of love, all told from the perspective of intimate, humorous and poignant conversations between Charles Cooper and God. An “accidental masterpiece” taken from author Rebecca Cooper’s notes, each conversation between Charles and God is full of joy, empathy, and the revelation that while we may not live forever, our memory and love are eternal.
PRAISE FOR HEY, GOD? YES, CHARLES. & REBECCA COOPER
"Although I had initial reservations about the premise, I found ,Hey, God? Yes, Charles to be a delightful book about real life, real grief, real faith, and real hope. I highly recommend it, especially for persons walking through the complicated journey of grief."
― Martin Thielen, author of the best-selling books, What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? and The Answer to Bad Religion Is Not No Religion (Westminster John Knox)
"In this heartfelt memoir and series of dialogues, recent widow Cooper copes with her husband's sudden death by imagining the conversations her larger-than-life spouse might be having with God: 'I was done talking to God. Charles, as it turned out, was not.' Cooper believes she overheard these snippets of Charles's conversations with God, chronicling them through her first year of widowhood in this witty, bittersweet collection. In the dialogues, Charles helplessly watches his wife go through the grieving process, remarking to God about everything from the comments made at his funeral (a best friend gave away the fact that Charles was a 'commando sleeper') to the fact that 'Becky' now takes his T-shirt to bed every night. Much of the book reads like a diary as Cooper speaks to her imagined Charles, showing the daily starts and stops in grieving the loss of a partner. The result is a cathartic journey into a husband's afterlife from the eyes of someone that shared his earthly love."
― Publishers Weekly
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, high school and college newspaper articles, and travel blogs (before she knew she was blogging). In this first published work, scribbles on scraps of paper capture imaginary conversations she began to overhear after the sudden death of her husband. 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. Becky currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.