I just found out this morning that a publishing industry friend's wife died yesterday. Ann Baker was in a critical car accident in mid-January, and though she survived the accident, she was in a coma, and eventually it became clear that her injuries were not recoverable. She leaves behind her husband, Dan, and their two children, Adam and Ingrid.
I'm still in shock. Dan and I have been industry friends for about a decade. We're about the same age. Our kids are about the same ages.
I am at a loss. I have all these thoughts and feelings jumbled up in my head, but there is nothing to say.
Here are some excerpts from Dan's message. I am amazed by his eloquence and hope even in the midst of what must be horrible pain and grief. Please pray for him and his family.
"The permanent repercussions of the Jan. 16 accident in so many lives and families represent an unfathomable tragedy and many unanswerable questions. It is what it is, and we grieve deeply. For Ann's part, our grief comes with the assurance that through her death, Ann has been welcomed into the fullness of Christ's presence, and that she will be spared further suffering in this life. Because she belongs to him, her joy and her peace are now complete, far beyond anything she has experienced in her 35 years with us. In confidence we await the day when death and crying and pain will be no more, and our children will run once again into her outstretched arms.
"As Ann's condition deteriorated, we held the Ministration at the Time of Death service from the Book of Common Prayer at her bedside. Near the moment of her death, I prayed for Ann using the words of the Commendatory Prayer from this liturgy, which is copied below. I invite this community to join me in this or a similar prayer for Ann, knowing that by the grace of God in Christ it is already being fulfilled:
"Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Ann. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen."