No Words

This morning it’s with a sad heart to tell you that my nephew’s wife, Dawn, succumbed to COVID last night as her husband Lyle sat by her bedside. I want to say a big thank you to all who have remembered us over here in Australia, unable to travel, during this emotional roller coaster. Dawn was a much-loved wife, mother and friend, and I know that we are all better people for having known her.
I know most of you are no strangers to such painful partings, and you know as well as I do that it never gets any easier, even when all those around are brothers and sisters in the Lord. It’s hard to accept sometimes that our plans and God’s plans are not always the same. But accept it we must, and rejoice in the knowledge that He loves Dawn and knows why He let her be healed only in Heaven.  We also know He loves us and feels our pain as well.

With a recent newborn in the family, I can’t help but remember the comment made in Tony’s “Letters to Schnicklefritz” (written in anticipation of Grandson Jeremiah’s pending birth). He said, “Keep in mind, kid, that what you’re about to experience will seem like death to you. Your world is going to come tumbling down around you, and you’ll find yourself in a whole new world of unfamiliar sights and sounds. But keep in mind that your tears of grief will be more than matched by our tears of joy. To you it will seem like the end of everything, but all the while we know, Schnicklefritz, that your world is just beginning.”

I think death, for a child of God, is a little like that. A few hours ago, Dawn passed from “life” as we all know it to something altogether different and better. While we sat around and wept, the angels in Heaven were rejoicing to welcome her into what, so far, we here can only dream about. Knowing that, and accepting it by faith, we can rejoice along with the angels, looking forward to that time when we will be together again at His feet.  Dawn, my Mom and Dad, Tony’s parents, our son, Trevor, and so many others will be there to cheer us on.

Nephew Lyle got a tiny glimpse of that last night as he talked and prayed with Dawn. She was in a coma, but we all felt certain that she was aware of his presence. Finally, he told the doctor to “pull it all out” and let her go. “It only took two minutes,” he said. “She was more than ready, and felt no pain.” Dawn is a woman of the rugged west, so I think she can understand the words of the old Indian, remarking on a trapper’s encounter with a grizzly bear, “It was a good death.”  But it’s the living I grieve for today: a loving husband, two fragile young boys and family scattered all over the world and unable to come give them a hug.
Please pray for the family, who thankfully are even now reaching out to God for His comfort and wisdom.

My own measure of comfort came this morning at church, when we read from John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that where I am you also will be.”



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