Dying is an ugly process and brings an incredible amount of sadness and grief. God did not create us to die, but to live and it was only after sin entered the world that death became something that would be experienced by every human being – “for when you eat from it [the tree of knowledge of good and evil] you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)
After living a life of only 18 years, today Markus has passed through death and is now experiencing life eternal with his Lord and Saviour. And even though we are sad and grieved at what death has brought our family, we are so incredibly thankful that Markus died well.
We have suffered much with Markus and in his last days Markus has shown to us what it is to find meaning in suffering. This was manifested in even more intense ways during the last few days of his life on earth. It was so good that we were able to make it to Canuck Place Hospice on Friday. The staff there immediately took over all of Markus’ pain management and it was such a relief for us. Markus would wake up from his sleeps and comment how “this place is nice…it feels like we are in an AirBnb…doesn’t feel like a hospital at all.”
We were able to share many powerful and precious moments with Markus as he expressed that he loved us, shared stories of his funny dreams, did his best to mouth the words to the many hymns and songs we sang with him and told us of his confidence in where he was going. Some precious moments were saved for his last full day on earth when he spent time with the other most important people in his life – his buddies and mentors. It was clearly the work of the Holy Spirit in him that he gave words of encouragement, advice, and even admonition, to each one of them personally. His friends have been so good to him, and those moments will stay with them forever.
God has been so good to us in these last days and we feel so loved. In addition to Markus’ buddies, mentors and grandparents coming to say their final goodbyes, we were blessed to receive pastoral care from Doug Vandeburgt, as well as a heartwarming visit from Dr. Rod Rassekh, Markus’ oncologist. And the many messages we’ve received throughout our time at Canuck Place have been so encouraging. We feel God’s grace showering on us in the many people who are sharing in our suffering this way.
Markus ran a short race. But it was a good race and now he has entered into the joy of the heavenly realms. Markus’ final prayer request was that our family would find the peace to move on in his absence. We will miss him forever, but we are confident as he now rests in the literal arms of Jesus and come what may, we rest in His arms too. He is our peace and even though we are sad and grieving, he will carry us day by day. We thank Markus for showing us how to both live well and die well. We love him forever….to the moon and back, to the moon and back.
In John 11 we read, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. ” After Jesus asked these words of Martha when Lazarus had died, he said to her, “Do you believe this?” Martha’s simple confession of “Yes, Lord” was Markus’ confession and it is our confession. Is it yours?
*The next few days will be spent making funeral arrangements and we will post them here when they are confirmed.