The death of a child often brings about the darkest trial of faith for parents. They need not feel alone, however, for the list of great Christians who shared this pain is long: John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, and John Bunyan are but a few. Gathered here are short accounts of how they and other believers wept and found comfort in God, as well as their pain, peace, and hope expressed through eloquent poetry.

About the book
The Lord has numbered each of our days. But few parents expect that their days will be longer than their child's. When a child is buried, parents also bury the hopes and dreams, the joys and experiences that won't be shared.

James Bruce and his wife walked through the darkest trial of their faith when their infant son died. They found some comfort in the words of others who had walked the same path. The list of great men and women of the faith who shed tears over a departed child is long.

Bruce has gathered together short accounts of how believers like John Calvin, Charles Spugeon and John Bunyan wept--and yet were comforted by the Father of mercies. Their pain, peace and hope is also shared through the beauty and eloquence of their poetry. It is Bruce's prayer that these accounts and words will help mourning parents journey through the valley of weeping to the path that leads to glory while considering the work of God.

What people are saying about From Grief to Glory
Looking back on the death of my son, I see now the value of trudging through life's struggles with others who have trod the same path. . .The comfort they obtained has helped me, and I believe that all who suffer similar losses may discover these saints to be comrades and find in their stories comfort and encouragement.

There are few joys to match that which a child brings to a family. And even fewer sorrows that rival the pain of burying a child. James Bruce and his wife Joni knew that pain when their infant son died. They found comfort in the words of others who had known similar loss: fellow Christians such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, and John Bunyan, who also wept and yet were comforted by the Father of mercies.

Their intimate, emotional expressions of pain, peace, and hope and their prevailing faith are shared throughout these pages in both the short accounts and the eloquent poetry gathered here. If you or a loved one are walking through the valley of weeping especially at the loss of a son or daughter know that you are not alone, and let those who have come before remind you of your heavenly Father's sovereign grace and the mystery of joy in the midst of suffering.

To be healed from grief and loss is to be led by God gently and gingerly along the path of pain others have trod. James Bruce does this so powerfully and poignantly in his excellent book so full of history and heart.
- Joni Eareckson Tada
Best-selling author and founder of Joni and Friends

I can say, from the perspective of a pastor, that this book has significant value for ministering to Christians who have lost children. I have been moved to tears while reading it. The book is useful, among other reasons, simply in reminding us that so many of God's faithful ministers have suffered in the same way. - The late James M. Boice
Late pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church

My heart resonates with this book. It instructs and inspires. It comforts and convicts. The pages pulsate with the wisdom and hope of saints down through the ages. They comfort us with the comfort they received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4). This is as it should be. - Susan Hunt
Women in the Church Consultant, Presbyterian Church in America

About the Author
James W. Bruce III and his wife Joni knew their son John Cameron for only 55 days before his death in 1997. This book is one of the legacies of his life. The Bruces and their children live in Oklahoma City, where James works in a family-owned business and serves as an elder at Grace Bible Church. His wife is executive director of the Oklahoma Family Network (formerly the Neonatal Parents Network of Oklahoma), a nonprofit organization helping families and their children through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit experience.

Contact the Author
Send messages to the author or contact him about speaking engagements at

Order the Book
Order the book through the publisher or from

Listen to three special programs by my good friend Charles Morris of Haven Ministries about the death of his son from a drug overdose: Grief to Glory Part I, Grief to Glory Part II, Grief to Glory Part III. (Courtesy of Haven Ministries).

Listen to the Radio Interview about From Grief to Glory with James W. Bruce and radio host Ted Elm of WWJC Radio, Duluth, MN (Interview courtesy of WWJC Radio, Duluth, MN).

Recommended Reading
Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven about the Death of a Child by John MacArthur.

Saving a Life:  How We Found Courage When Death Rescued Our Son by Charles and Janet Morris.

Memorials:  If you wish to submit a memorial for possible publication on this site, you may do so by emailing the author at

Music by the Author:
I recorded many of these songs over the past few years with my brother, John (the real musician in the family) in his home studio, the rest I recorded in my home. Except for Vows to Glory, which is for my beloved wife, Joni, and Songs in the Basement (about me and my brother), these songs mostly deal with the experience of burying a child or are intended to comfort grieving parents. This is particularly true of From Grief to Glory, which is an intensely personal song about the death of my son, John Cameron. Heaven At Last is a song about what I think John Cameron might say to us from his heavenly home. A few of the songs are old hymns set to new music (God Our Hope In Ages Past, Jesus Loves Me, Around the Throne of God In Heaven and Psalm 23). Some of the songs are drawn from poetical works in my book (such as My Angel which was inspired by a poem of Hetty Wesley and Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field).

I think that music can touch the soul very deeply, perhaps in ways the written word might not. So, as Paul said (Col. 3:16), Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

The recordings are definitely not professional – but, if nothing else, they are from the heart.

With prayers for God's richest blessings and comfort,


Romans 8:32

All songs are copyright 2005, James W. Bruce, except for Will You Walk With Me and My Angel, copyright John C. Bruce and James W. Bruce. Songs may be downloaded for personal use, but may not be sold.

  1. Vows to Glory (Joni's Song) (MP3 Format)
  2. Will You Walk with Me (MP3 Format)
  3. From Grief to Glory (MP3 Format)
  4. My Angel (MP3 Format)
  5. Here I am (MP3 Format)
  6. God Our Hope (MP3 Format)
  7. Our Little Boy Blue (MP3 Format)
  8. Jesus Loves Me (MP3 Format)
  9. Around the Throne of God (MP3 Format)
  10. On the Immortal Shore (MP3 Format)
  11. Psalm 23 (MP3 Format)
  12. Whatever God Ordains is Right (MP3 Format)
  13. Heaven at Last (MP3 Format)
  14. Songs in the Basement (for John) (MP3 Format)
  15. My Angel (John Bruce, Lead Vocal) (MP3 Format)

I would like to give special thanks to my brother for his help and inspiration in this project -- you're the best! I have included a version of My Angel (which I think is far better than mine, and has just a hint of Dylan in his voice). For more music by John Bruce, check out his work as part of the The Sparrows.

  • Here is a selection of one his songs - Angel* (The musical inspiration for My Angel)

*The Sparrows, copyright 2002, John Bruce (ASCAP)

Copyright, 2002-2008, James W. Bruce, III. All rights reserved.