NBC's David Bloom's Last E-mail and Eulogy
I thought this was too special not to share with you.
Dear Family and Friends,
Many of you have asked for a copy of Jim Lane's eulogy for David Bloom. Jim got permission from David's widow Melanie for us to send these out to all those who were praying for David and his family...
Jim Lane at David Bloom's funeral service - St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City:
"Hello, my name is Jim Lane and David Bloom and I were best friends.
A moment ago, Tom Brokaw eloquently provided a picture of David's extraordinary career. In a moment, his brothers John and Jimmy will share some wonderful memories of David's life - his time with friends and family. In fact, it was his family - Melanie particularly - who asked me to share with you another part of David's life - his spiritual journey, a journey of faith - a story not fully told to date.
I feel honored and humbled to be here today. You see, I only knew David for 2 1/2 years. We met when he first attended a Men's fellowship group and Bible study in my home - what we call the New Canaan Society. From that first day, Daid loved it. From then on, he came every Friday, when he wasn't on assignment.
In a short time, David and I became very close. We spoke often, nearly every day, and ate countless meals together at 30 Rock.
One reason David and I became such fast friends is because we had so much in common. We both had early successes in our respective careers. I always thought it was ironic that I had become such close friends with a Media guy. As a Partner of Goldman Sachs, I was taught - when you see the media coming, do a 180 turn - and run! We had another thing in common - we were both tall, athletic and good-looking - well, that describes one of us, anyway! We were both young at heart, passionate about life, determined and extremely competitive!
We both have beautiful, wonderful wives; we both have 3 children - in fact, we both have 3 girls (my youngest daughter turned 20 on the day David died).
friendship deepened quickly due to these affinities, but it always
came back to Friday mornings and the New Canaan Society. The New
Canaan Soceity, which began in
For some reason, men seem to have a harder time forming deep friendships than women. As a consequence, men, especially successful, ambitious men -are often lonely. Like every other successful male, David had struggles and personal issues to address and in those, we also shared. On Fridays, he had a safe place to come to.
And in this environment of loving and caring men, guys who knew David Bloom only as Dave, he came to a place of faith. He was thrilled and completely satisfied by this new found faith - a faith based entirely on a personal relationship. David felt that he had finally found the deep purpose of his life - to know and to enjoy his Creator. He knew he could now feel free and forgiven, free to be the man, the father, the husband that God had created him to be. This meant a huge amount to him.
I don't believe it's a coincidence we are celebrating David's life today at the beginning of the Easter and Passover seaons. You see, David believed Jesus was the Messiah who came to live among us as a human being, who lived a perfect life and then died, as a sacrifice for our sins - all of ours -including mine and David's.
We would talk for hours and hours about this amazing concept and its implications. David wallowed in God's love. At David's insistence, we began starting each day together on the phone reading Oswald Chambers devotional book, "My Utmost for His Highest." Every morning we would discuss the daily reading, encouraging one another, and talking about our love for our families.
In our last telephone conversation from Kuwait City, just before the war started, David called to say that he wanted me to convey a message to Melanie and the girls if he didn't make it back. I wouldn't hear of it, I refused to even go there; but he absolutely insisted, raising his voice and pleading with me. Realizing he needed to say what was on his heart, I listened - and now pass it on.
David wanted you to know, that he knew, how much you loved him.
He wanted you, Nicole, Christine and Ava to know that he loved you
too; that he loved you all very much
Just eleven days ago, on April 5th, I left David what was to be his last voicemail from me. I can't help being amazed by the content of that day's reading. It concerned Jesus praying in the Garden the day before His death (i.e. Maundy Thursday - tomorrow). Jesus was in agony praying to God, His father.
Here is what I read to David from Oswald Chambers: "The agony in the Garden was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being can now get through into the very presence of God - AND I REPEATED THIS LAST SENTENCE: Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being can now get through into the very presence of God." Within minutes of hearing these words, David indeed was in the very presence of God.
(One of David's favorite songs which we sing often on Friday mornings was "Knowing You." We recorded it onto his cell phone one Friday morning when he was in Iraq. He saved the voicemail and played it back every day for the last 2 weeks of his life. The last verse goes like this -"O to know the power of Your risen life, And to know You in Your suffering, To become like You in Your death my Lord So with you to live and never die" "Knowing You Jesus, knowing You There is no greater thing.")
Following last Saturdays' memorial service, one of David's close friends remarked to me - "David was a young man; and yet I've never known of anyone who was more ready to die - He seemed so at peace with himself, his family and his God."
I can tell you that that's true. Let me read you a quote from one of David's last e-mails to Melanie, which John Bloom will read in its entirety in a moment.
"You can't begin to fathom - cannot begin to even glimpse the enormity -of the changes I have and am continuing to undergo. God takes you to the depths of your being - until you are at rock bottom - and then, if you turn to him with utter and blind faith, and resolve in your heart and mind to walk only with him and toward him, picks you up by your bootstraps and leads you home. I hope and pray that all my guys get out of this in one piece. But I tell you, Mel, I am at peace. Deeply saddened by the glimpses of death and destruction I have seen, but at peace with my God and with you. I know only that my whole way of looking at life has turned upside down - here I am, supposedly at the peak of professional success, and I could frankly care less. Yes, I'm rpoud of the good job we've all been doing, but - in the scheme of things - it matters little compared to my relationship with you, and the girls, and Jesus. There is something far beyond my level of human understanding or comprehension going on here, some forging of metal through fire."
Today we grieve the loss of David Bloom - husband, father, son, brother, friend, colleague - a man beloved by so many. This makes no sense to us. We are angry. His loss is palpable.
I am so sad - I will terribly miss David's voice saying "Hey Buddy, how ya doing? Hey - love you, man!" This is a sad day for everyone who loved David, especially for Melanie and the girls' but - there is good news - I firmly believe - NO - I know that my friend, David Bloom is in the presence of his Creator, smiling like never before - beaming - forever joyful.
In the Gospel of John Jesus said, "Now is your time of grief but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy." Mr. and Mrs. Bloom, John and Jimmy, Melanie, Nicole, Christine, and Ava - be of good cheer, for even in this day of sadness, there is great HOPE! - This is not a fairytale. This is the Gospel Truth!
Thank you and God bless you all."
END OF EULOGY
Saturday, April 5, 2003 E-mail from David Bloom to Melanie
"It's 10 a.m. here Saturday morning, and I've just been talking to my soundman Bob Lapp about his older brother, whom he obviously loves and admires very much, whose undergoing chemotherapy treatment for Leukemia. Here Bob is- out in the middle of the desert - and the brother he cares the world for - who had been the picture of health, devoted to his wife and kids, is dying. Bob can't wait to be home to be with him, and I can't wait to be home to be with all of you. You can't begin to fathom - cannot begin to even glimpse the enormity - of the changes I have and am continuing to undergo. God takes you to the depths of your being - until you are at rock bottom - and then, if you turn to him with utter and blind faith, and resolve in your heart and mind to walk only with him and toward him, picks you up by your bootstraps and leads you home. I hope and pray that all my guys get out of this in one piece. But I tell you, Mel, I am at peace. Deeply saddened by the glimpses of death and destruction I have seen, but at peace with my God, and with you. I know only that my whole way of looking at life has turned upside down - and here I am, supposedly at the peak of professional success, and I could frankly care less. Yes, I'm proud of the good job we've all been doing, but - in the scheme of things - it matters little compared to my relationship with you, and the girls, and Jesus. There is something far beyond my level of human understanding or comprehension going on here, some forging of metal through fire.
I shifted my book of daily devotions and prayers to the inside of my flak jacket, so that it would be close to my heart, protecting me in a way, and foremost in my thoughts. When the moment comes when Jim or John - or Christine or Nicole or Ava or you - are talking about my last days, I am determined that they will say 'he was devoted to his wife and children and he gave every ounce of his being not for himself, but for those whom he cared about most - God and his family.' Save this note. Look at it a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. You cannot know now - nor do I - whether you will look at it with tears, heartbreak and a sense of anguish and regret over what might have been, or whether you will say - he was and is a changed man, God did work a miracle in our lives. But I swear to you on everything that I hold dear - I am speaking the truth to you. And I will continue to speak the truth to you, and I know that you still love me. Please give the girls a big hug - squeeze 'em tight - and let them know just how much their daddy loves and cares for them.
love and devotion, Dave."