During these last months of remembering, mourning, and finding a new way forward, I have found some comfort in responding personally to each message and each kindness. I’ve been pacing myself with this, and I’m not nearly done yet, so I also wanted to say a huge THANK YOU here to all those who have:
- texted, phoned, emailed, sent cards, or connected with me in some other way during this time of great loss
- shared my grief and offered prayers on my behalf
- shared their memories of my husband and made donations in his honour
- taken the time to walk and talk with me
- brought homemade muffins and granola; dropped off delicious soups, pot pies, lasagna, and other foods; ordered meals for me from local restaurants; given me flowers, candles, chocolates, books, colouring pens, bath melts that look like mini-cupcakes, and a cross to hold when I pray.
I am grateful to God for all this and more! And for anyone who might be wondering how to respond when someone you know is grieving, I hope this list might encourage and inspire your own expressions of care.
Last week I posted Pentecost: Come, Let Us See What These Strange Events Are All About on my When You Work for the Church website, and in the coming weeks I plan to resume my writing here as well, still with a focus on everyday faith in God, who is present with us through every circumstance.
I still sense God’s call in my life to encourage others through my writing and speaking, a call that my husband always encouraged me to follow. “People need to hear your voice,” he would say to me.
But today, it’s his voice I miss.
His precious last words to me before he passed from this life to the next:
I love you.
The vows he wrote for our wedding a lifetime ago:
I am excited at the thought of us continuing to grow together in Christ, always having Christ as the head of our relationship. . . . I realize that we will have times of sorrow, hardship, and failure. But I know that we will also have times of joy, progress, and victory. I promise to share in all of these times with you, supporting you when you need support, comforting you when you need comfort, protecting you when you need protection, and loving, honouring, and respecting you always. I wish to be a source of encouragement and strength for you.
Ever the optimist, he started every National Hockey League season with this thought:
This could be the year the Canucks finally bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver!
As a contributing writer for The Canuck Way, he said this about himself:
I am obsessed with all things Canucks, and especially enjoy drawing attention to stories and ideas that may have been overlooked by the mainstream.
Gary’s articles included “Do the Canucks Have a Dynasty in the Making Here?” and “Canucks: Pettersson’s Performance Through Advanced Stats.”
With over 25 years of experience teaching New Testament Greek, Gary went on to create his own animated video course available on Teachable: Learning New Testament Greek by Gary Yamasaki. In the introduction he wrote:
“Introduction to Biblical Greek” are words that have often struck terror in the hearts of prospective students, owing to the course’s reputation as a gruelling marathon of study that has left many defeated and strewn by the wayside. However, learning Greek does not need to be such a terrifying experience, and can even be enjoyable.
On his scholarly work, bringing together his love of movies and his love of Scripture to develop perspective criticism, a new methodology for analyzing biblical narratives:
Perspective Criticism untangles the intriguing complexities of point-of-view crafting and isolates how a storyteller’s choosing one point-of-view strategy over another can make a significant difference to the readers’ experience of a biblical story. Perspective criticism takes the interpretation of biblical narratives to a whole new level.
Innovative scholar, creative teacher, Canuck fan, sensitive soul. Your voice is missed now by me and by many, yet you and your voice live on in so many ways, and call me forward. Rest well, my dearheart. Always yours.
For more on writing and other acts of faith,