Yet Another Loss

I have some more unhappy news – a dear friend of the family has passed away from pancreatic cancer (http://etzen.blogspot.com/). Mark Etzen was a much loved and a wonderful guy. He was another bright, talented, and a deep lover of Jesus guy. A few months back he’d been diagnosis with pancreatic cancer that had metatesized to the liver: a death sentence. There were many around him who strongly felt that God would cure Mark. Certainly there was no doubt that God could. Yet, God chose to allow Mark’s body to respond to the disease like the vast majority of other folks.

Mark, since the time we met about ten years ago, had been a great friend to me and my family. We served on various ministries at our church, Community Baptist of Alta Loma (http://www.cbconline.org/), watched our kids grow up, and sweated through our mutual issues with career and family. The pattern usually went like this: I would fret, Mark would give a little laugh, cock his head, and say something like, “Is it really that bad?” I would get the reality-check he just offered, and we would go about our day. I could go on and on about Mark, but you get the idea.

I would count it a favor if you could pray for this situation. Please remember Mark’s children (three daughters: two married and one going through college) and wife (who now has to manage a very disruptive ‘transition’) – the loss in their lives is palpable.

I am so happy to know that Mark no longer has pancreatic cancer and is now living the way God always intended us to be. Still... I will miss him very much; the world is now a little emptier for me knowing that Mark is not around. I look forward to the day when we'll see each other again and catch each other up on what's happened since today.

As you may remember, this is the second death close to our family so far in 2007. Please take a look at my blog, “A Loss Experienced” on March 1st (http://ericmesselt.blogspot.com/2007/03/loss-experienced.html). In that blog, I mentioned several things about grieving and some things that occurred to me. My observations just a few months ago haven’t changed that much, but I want to conclude with the summary:

  • Death is pretty crappy. It is good to remember that death is still the enemy
    It is not unspiritual, immature, faithless, or less godly to feel pain at the loss of a loved one or friend
  • Death, in itself, is a reminder that it is not supposed to be this way
  • As much as we can try to ‘handle’ or ‘manage’ our grief ‘process,’ we should not be surprised when that breaks down: we can NOT expect this kind of thing to be ‘managable’