Come Find Me in Heaven – A Tribute to My Cousin and My Friend

Posted: February 1, 2014 in Character, God's Will, Jesus
Tags: , , , ,
Photo from Find a Grave

Photo from Find a Grave

It’s funny how something that happened  more than six years ago can be mentioned and bring to mind a flood of raw emotion that I really thought I had dealt with. Turns out I did nothing more than bury the feelings so deep because I was not equipped to deal with them then.

I am not 100% sure I am right now, either.

The anger, frustration and sadness, I felt in 2007 was at times overwhelming. The complete futility I felt at the news of my cousin’s death was only compounded a couple months later when I learned of the death of a high school friend.

They were both known to me as Michael. Well, Mike – my cousin and Dorman – whose first name was Craig but none of us – to this day – call him that.

My cousin and I were never close and Dorman – would not have been considered great friend but we were friends and THAT’S what matters.

Earlier tonight someone sent me a link to Dorman’s head stone and I was sick to my stomach  – like I was much the second half of “07. Questioning my life, my faith, my purpose my motives and all too aware of my shortcomings.

Oh yeah,  and I was pissed that answers were not rapidly doled out.

As I get older, I have come to realize that we’re not always ready for the answers we need or think we’re ready for when we ask the questions.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I knew everything I needed to know or worse what I thought I wanted to know at the exact moment I wanted to know something.

The thing that haunts me about both deaths is the fact that the last time I spoke to my cousin or Dorman, I had begun my relationship with Christ and knew enough to, at least plant a seed for them both to find their own way to a life saving relationship with Jesus Christ but in both cases I side stepped the opportunity. I turned away from the responsibility to care for and to love my family and my friend.

I am sorry to you both for my mistake. I hope someone else did my job – no, I PRAY that someone else did what God put on my plate to do. I pray that someday both of you will come to me in Heaven and say “It’s OK, we heard the gospel and we’re here with you.”

If not, their lives are on me. Their eternities were placed in my hands and I dropped them. I let them down. I let their families – my family – down. I had information that could have changed the forever and I kept it to myself.

Information that CAN save you too if you’re willing to listen.

And why? Fear. “Yellow freakin’ fear.” This is something that I have to live with, something that I GET to live with because at the end of the day – I am still here. They’re not.

I have seldom spoken about either death and I never dreamed that I would write something about this and post it – but that’s what I feel I must do right now – how can I not?

I have already possibly cost two people an eternity in Heaven how can I not tell you that it was a mistake to NOT say to my friend and my cousin – “Hey, you know what, I don’t have all the answers but I know this – Jesus loved you so much that he died a brutal, ugly, horrible death FOR YOU on a cross. And the best part is that he DID NOT STAY DEAD! He is alive – today right now and he loves you more than you can imagine.”

How can I not say that to YOU?

You can choose to believe that or not – but the bible promises that IF you choose to believe it you’ll see Jesus some day in Heaven.

Here’s the other thing I KNOW and this part may not sound loving but I MUST say it – YOU WILL LIVE FOR ETERNITY – that’s pretty cool right? Everyone wants to live forever – and you will.

It is up to you to decide WHERE you live out that eternity. Will it be in a very real place called Hell – separated from God or IN His presence?

Despite knowing that it is your responsibility to make that decision I have zero doubt that it’s MY responsibility to make you aware that you have the decision to make. A responsibility I wish I had taken seriously for Mike and Dorman.

If anything I said has made an impact, struck a chord, even a minor one – I beg you to talk to someone about it. If not me, find someone that follows Christ. Not JUST a person that goes to church – they may be as lost as you. Please – come find me in Heaven. I am begging you – come find me.

  1. Rod Jurado says:

    2 Corinthians 5:11-21 … hang in there Mike, the pain is real, but temporary, let it continue to motivate and inspire you. In the meantime, know you are setting a great example, at home, at work and in the community.


    • mickholt says:

      Thanks Rod,
      Your scriptures were a welcome read this morning – I believe that much of what I was feeling last night – and still a bit this morning – is Satan’s attempts to incapacitate me. To render me useless to Christ and His church. I can choose to allow that or choose to use what I learned from Mike and Dorman and make sure I don’t leave anything left unsaid again.
      Thank you sir for stopping by and commenting. Your input is welcome anytime.

  2. Randy Dewitt says:

    thanks for putting this up Mike, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about Dorman

    • mickholt says:

      Randy, I cannot say it was a pleasure but I think you know what I mean. It’s funny that we don’t see the impact we have on people lives but when I think about that night we got together to honor him and the diversity that was on display I can’t help but be encouraged, but not surprised, that one guy could have that kind of affect.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting – come back anytime.

      • Hannah Gillin says:

        Hello, this is Hannah Gillin. Mike Dorman was my uncle. If you’d like to reach out to my family the number is (removed for security). Thank you so much for writting this.

      • mickholt says:

        Hannah, thanks so much for reaching out. You might notice the number is no longer included in the post I wrote it down and will call your grandmother soon. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • Chris says:

      Hey Randy it’s Chris Mike’s little bro it’s been a while man, my mom just told me about this site.Just seen your post and wanted to say hi. I know what you mean there’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about him!! I miss him everyday! Hollar at me sometime!

    • Lori Green says:

      This is Lori his baby sister I want to think all of u for all the kind words. He was the best man I ever knew. And there’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t miss him. We mike left this world it took a piece of all of us. I try not to think of the bad but remember all the fun we had together. He was there to walk me down the isle and he gave me away. He was always there gor me no matter what dream he was chasing or how far away he was. He always made time gor us. I love you and miss you sooooo much Big Brother. I cslled him Dorman to.

      • mickholt says:

        Lori, thanks for commenting. I don’t know if you remember me -you were young pretty young when Mike, Dave Naeve and I hung out -I was the “other” Mike at times referred to as Little Mike – I wrote this as a memorial and a reminder that life is too short and you don’t know when you wake up if that day will be your last – I missed my opportunity to tell Mike about my faith in God and how I believe our salvation from an eternity separated from God can be changed by putting our faith and trust in the death burial and resurrection of God’s only son Jesus. If anything I wrote here, in the post or what I wrote to Chris strikes a chord and you’d like to talk about it feel free to reach out to me at – I’d love to tell you more about how Jesus has changed my life.

  3. Jay Fernandez says:

    Hey mickholt my name is Jay Fernandez and I was one of D’s best friends for MANY years in Florida. I miss him EVERY DAY. We had a celebration of life for him in Tampa as we were unable to attend his services up north. I shared your post on my FB page and wrote something of my own as well. I will NEVER have another friend like D. He was my brother from another mother if there ever was one. The pic of his gravestone hit home for me as it was the first time I’ve seen it. It brought back a lot of emotions and I had a good cry , but it was followed by lots of laughter about the good times I had with my “brother”.I would really like to get ahold of his brother Chris or his mom if you could point me in the right direction or point them towards me. Please let Diane and Chris and Lori know that I’ve thought about ALL of them a great deal and hope they are all doing well. Thank you for your post. It’s nice to know D is missed. While I don’t share your religious beliefs I’d like you to know that you can rest easy because I can assure you that if there IS a heaven, then D is most certainly there. He had one of the most gentle loving souls ever to walk this earth. Peace & Love and God Bless You.

    • mickholt says:

      Thanks. You and I met a couple times and I think I was at the same Tampa memorial. I had not seen the headstone until last night either so I share your emotions, tears and laughs – there was never a shortage of those when Dorman was around. I wish I could help with finding his family. I asked around at the time and no one seemed to know anything. I think I may take up the challenge to reach out to them again – seems like the right thing to do. If I find anything I will certainly contact you. I appreciate you sharing this on your FB page. Religious stuff aside, we’re not guaranteed another day on Earth so I encourage you and anyone that reads this to MAKE sure you say whatever it is on your heart to the ones you love, right now may be your last chance.
      God bless you , my friend.

      • Hannah Gillin says:

        This is Hannah Gillin, Im Lori’s first daughter. I live with my grandmother Diane, and if you’d like to contact her still, the number is (removed for security). Me and my uncle Mike were close, and I was extremely blessed to have the time with him I did, and I hope I can be as open minded, free sprited, and good person he was. It’s really cool to see what you guys did for him, and how many people’s life he touched. I hope you can contact my family soon. Thank you for everything you did for my uncle, take it easy.

      • mickholt says:

        Hannah, Your Uncle meant a lot to many people and to this day I think of him often. Thanks for commenting. Please come back again – feel free to have a look around while you’re here.
        Just curious, how did you find this post?

      • Lori Green says:

        I’m Lori Dormans baby sister
        Thank u for all that was said about him .He thought me a lot he was my best friend no matter what I was into at the time he never judged me. I’ve never heard my bro say a bad word about anyone. A piece of me left we he did. I’m going to miss our talks more than anything besides that beautiful smile of his. It could light up a whole room.

      • Lori Green says:

        Hey Jay its Lori Dormans baby sis. I remember you two together more than all the other friends. I know u meant a lot to him. And thanks for the kind words about my big brother my hero.

    • Chris says:

      Hey Jay this is Chris D’s brother just talked to my mom a little while ago and she told me about this site! Yeah Mike was something man that was the hardest thing I ever had to do was to bury him,but I have learned a lot from it just that life is short and not to take things for granted I miss him everyday and think about him all the time! Holland at me sometime!

      • mickholt says:

        Chris – thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You might not remember me – you were pretty young when Mike and I hung out -I was the “other” Mike and we hung out with Dave Naeve – really Mike and Dave were friends and both welcomed me into the fold when my family moved in across the street from Dave. I was incredibly saddened by the news and the picture that inspired this post took me to a place that I had long burred. You’re right life is short and none of us are promised tomorrow. In light of that, I would not be doing my Mike’s memory justice if I did not tell you what I failed to tell your brother – YOU are LOVED. You cannot always see it because of all the hate and anger in the world but you are. That love is from God and because of his love for you he send His son Jesus to come and sacrifice himself to pay the penalty for our sins. See, we’re born sinners – separated from God – not because of any one thing or choice you’ve made but because we’re born into it thanks to our great great grandparents Adam and Eve. Recognizing that fact, accepting that your sin will keep you separated from God, accepting the truth of Jesus’ death for our sins and confessing that to him and accepting him your savior – savior from what? eternity without God – and God promises to adopt you as a son and heir along with Jesus.
        I know that’s a lot to take in all at one time – it’s pretty heavy stuff so, if you want to contact me at about anything you read – or anyone else that reads this – I would love to talk to you about it.
        God bless

  4. Barry says:

    Really appreciate the authenticity and transparency Mick. I know your words reflect the thoughts of many. This post made a difference my friend!

    • mickholt says:

      Thank you Barry. I know this can be a tough thing, talking about death usually is tough – on any level. If it helps one person do something they might not otherwise have done then I have done my job.

  5. mickholt says:

    I wrote a bit more about Dorman here –

  6. Diane Yale says:

    Mick, this is Diane, Mike’s mom, I just want to say thank you for this post. It really made me happy to know so many friends he had, and always did. The day he left us, was the worst day of my life. But with God’s help and many prayers, I can say it gets a little easier. I know where Mike is. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to lose a child, parents are to go first. I worry now sooo! much about my other children and grandchildren because I would be able to go through this again! My children and my grandchildren are my life. No matter how old they get they will always be my babies, and my world. I wanted to contact Mike’s friends in Tampa but did not know how, I thought I have to find them I have to let them know. Most of them were always at my house they were all like my kids too. I have always have a place in my heart for my family they are all that has ever mattered to me. Now there is one place that’s emty I do thank everyone’s post’s and prayers. Mike will always be with all of us. Mick I can’t thank you enough, I love you all. Diane, Dorman’s grateful mom.

    • mickholt says:

      Diane – I think of the days me, Mike and Dave used to hang out – I think about them often. I apologize for not doing more when I had the chance. My prayers are with you and you family and your kids and grandchildren will have a permanent place in my prayers.

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