Goodbye For Now

On Tuesday morning, August 14th, we heard some devastating news: Forrest (my brother-in-law)’s younger brother, Ford, was killed on impact in an auto accident. I remember the feeling of blood draining out of me, then a dull heaviness in my heart. Memories I had with him, though few, rushed back to me all at once. He was only 18. The tears I shed for him were nothing compared to the huge wave of grief felt by all those who love him that he left behind.

The comfort, however, is that Ford knows his Savior, and His Savior knows him. We cling to the hope of eternal life through Jesus and that final day when we will all be reunited with each other and with Jesus, face-to-face. We know that Ford doesn’t feel pain or anguish. He has no fear or anxiety. I’m thankful that even though I know his family’s hearts are aching, his heart is filled with joy. He is truly resting in peace, and I believe that with all my heart.

Obviously, even if I didn’t know Ford well, I was connected to him via several of his family members; most notably, Forrest, my brother-in-law, who is an extremely important person in my life (seeing as how he married my older sister, and has proven himself to be a faithful and loving husband to her, for which I am very grateful). I’ve also formed relationships with many of his sisters—Heather, Heidi, and Holly, and perhaps more intimately, Hilary and Hannah—two of the sweetest girls I know.

This entire family has been a wonderful example to me even in the midst of one of the most difficult tragedies imaginable. Even in their grief, they find a way to continue loving, giving, praising. God’s love and grace shines in such an undeniable way through this family. We traveled to Nevada to attend Ford’s funeral and demonstrate our care for them during this time in their lives, and to honor the memory of Ford, and I pray that my presence somehow did minister to them—but I know without a doubt that they actually ministered to me. Thanks be to God. I am truly amazed.

My heart is still aching for them through their pain. And I am, like them, holding fast to the hope of God’s promise that we will meet Ford again.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
-John Donne

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