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Local pastor turns tragedy into opportunity for growth

The Rev. Bill Moon, of ESM United Methodist Church of Bogalusa, and his wife, Anne, have been in the business of meeting the spiritual needs of their congregations for many years. While Moon ministered at a church in Winnsboro, La., he also worked as chaplain for TLC Hospice Care.

Moon’s experiences as a pastor and as a hospice chaplain have proven invaluable for his own family in lieu of recent tragic events they have faced.

“Any crisis where we experience loss has the potential for becoming a burden or blessing. We all must decide if we will become bitter or better. The choice really is ours. We have to work our way through grief, and it is hard work,” said Moon.

“We lost our daughter-in-law, Christi Lynn Moon, in a terrible accident. Perhaps the saddest part is that her son, Cody, was driving the car when his mom was killed. Cody was only 15 and obtained a hardship license to help out since his mom was blind,” said Moon.

Christy was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a youth and did reasonably well. About six years ago at the age of 32 she had a terrible bout with her illness and spent quite a while in ICU. Her kidneys stopped functioning, and she has been on dialysis three days a week for the last six years.

Christy’s health continued to deteriorate, and she lost her sight in both eyes. She had many additional medical issues, but in spite of it all Christy continued to have a sense of humor.

According to the Rev. Moon, “Christy was full of spit and vinegar. Once we were riding in the car with her, and she said, ‘Look at that horse over there.’ Of course we all looked. She just cracked up laughing because we fell for it.”

As sick as Christy was, the family was not expecting her sudden death.

“For whatever reason, Christy was not wearing a seatbelt. Cody was driving a vehicle he was unfamiliar with and was tired. He dozed off and ran off the road. The car looked like a crushed coke can after it rolled three or four times,” said Moon.

“The injuries sustained by Christy would have made her life so much more challenging. They were horrendous. God knows best. When we don’t understand our circumstances, we can rest in the knowledge that God knows our pain and He cares,” said Moon.

“Cody will be alright. There was an outpouring of concern and affection at the visitation and funeral. God will use the people of strong faith around him to support and encourage him. Ann and I, along with our son, Will, will continue to help Christy’s son, Cody, understand that the death of his mother was not his fault,” said Moon.

“People can grieve the loss of a job, loss of a loved one or loss of a marriage. Whatever causes grief, God can and will help you process your pain and reframe your life,” said Moon.