On Thursday, 25th of January, I got a phone call from my younger brother telling me that my father had just passed away earlier that day. The news hit me like a hammer, mainly because it was totally unexpected. There were no warning signs or hints that would happen. Ok, he was 82 years of age, that in itself should be reason enough to expect a person to die some time soon. But apart from that he was in perfect health. He was a wonderful person of great integrity and love. Life without him would not be the same, that’s for sure.
We flew over to the funeral on Monday, 30th of January. The funeral was huge – somewhere between 800 and 1000 people attended it. Relatives and friends from all over Germany assembled – as well as many people from the congregation that he was a part of. All spoke of him with great affection, love and respect – and that really moved me. He got the kind of death he had been praying for: no suffering, no slow deterioration, no painful sickness. On Monday he had done a visit in the local prison with the visitation team he was involved in, on Tuesday he gave his last talk in the Evening Service of his church and called us here in Greystones (unfortunately I wasn’t there so he spoke to my wife), on Wednesday he called in at my older sister’s home for the evening meal, and on Thursday he got unwell, went to the doctors, they referred him to the hospital for tests where he died a sudden and peaceful death. Wow. When I think of him, I can’t help but feel very thankful and privileged to have had such a father. A godly man, a man of great integrity, a very diligent worker, a man of prayer and a wonderful father, grandfather and grand-grand father. He left loads of good traces here on earth. I pray that I will be able to finish like he did.