Goodbye

It is with a heavy heart that I post this update. Stefan passed away this morning, December 21, at 1227. He fought so bravely to beat this cancer. Our comfort comes in knowing that he is now cancer free in heaven. Please continue to pray for us and think of us as we walk in new territory. Derek, Justin, Carley, and I will miss him greatly. He was an amazing husband and father.  I will post again once final arrangements are made for the viewing and service.  Right now, I am tentatively planning for his viewing to be Friday evening and the service on Saturday morning.  I will post the details as soon as I know them.

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83 Responses

  1. Sandi, Carley, Justin & Derek:

    God’s way of healing is not always the way we want it to be, but it is the best way. Our prayers are with all of you for grace to continue on. Lord bless you.

  2. My heart is heavy hearing of your loss. I pray that peace and love surround you and comfort you. With deepest love and friendship, Laurie Beitzel

  3. Sandi, We are so sorry!! Our hearts are heavy with yours. Stefan has been an inspiration throughout his illness. Stef won this battle by remaining positive and truly living without fear. He is perfect now!! You, Derek, Justin and Carley will continue to be in our prayers. Someday when you are all reunited you will see the big picture and know why you all had to say goodbye to an amazing man.

  4. So many mixed feelings with this. Many prayers for all of you. I am excited for Stef’s next journey though, and know he is working hard for Christ already! Anything we can do, you know we will. Goodbye Stefan and thank you for who you were and all you did. Truly a hero. I will miss you and can’t wait to see you again.

  5. Words escape us…our hearts are full of sorrow for you and the kids, Sandi, yet full of hope for the day we see Stef in a healed & perfect form. You will be on many hearts this week and may God give you His amazing grace in new ways. As Stef fought bravely and amazingly, so did you, Sandi.
    God bless you and hold you so closely,
    Love,
    Krysty

  6. Sandi – We too share in your sorrow today. We also share in the hope and peace of knowing that Stef received the ultimate healing. We will continue to shower you and your precious children in our prayers. Please know that we are here to support and help in any way moving forward. While I too will miss Stef dearly, I know he has heard the words “Well Done”. He was a warrior and yet always maintained the spirit of a servant. He changed my life and for that, I am grateful. We love you all. – The Conrads.

  7. Sandi and Kids – We hear the news with heavy hearts for we will miss Stef and can only imagine how much you will miss him. Knowing that his painful fight with cancer is finished is a bit of encouragement. We have seen how good of a husband, father and friend that he has been. We pray for peace and understanding to wash over your family during these days of transition. Because of Christ we look forward to seeing him again and believe that this same hope will encourage the family to press on during the days ahead. Thanks for letting us in and sharing your journey with so many of us. You have inspired us.

    We love you all. – The Burkles

  8. We Love you guys! Your Husband & Dad was an AWESOME man! Earth’s Loss is Heaven’s Gain!

    You will continue to be in our prayers…

    REFUSE TO LOSE! The Butch Davis Family!

  9. We are so sorry to hear of your loss! We love you guys and will continue to pray for you and the kids daily! Stef was amazing! He is in the arms of Jesus now – perfectly healed. We hope you find comfort in knowing that you will see him again in heaven someday. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do.
    Love,
    The Nelsons

  10. thinking of all of you & praying for you. so sad about all of the loss that culminates today in Stefan’s death. sad for all of us.

  11. Praying for all of you. We are so sorry and sad. Stef was an amazing inspiration to us. And still is.

  12. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

    We are praying as you rely on our Lord’s rod & staff.

  13. Sandi,

    Please accept our condolences on the passing of Stef. He was truly an inspiration. HIs unwavering faith and complete devotion to you and his children will always be with me as a testimony of how I should continually strive to live my life.

  14. Please accept my most heartfelt sympathy for your loss…my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Stefan was a wonderful person and will always be an inspiration to all. He will be greatly missed.

  15. Sandi, Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Justin, Derek, and Carley. Stef was a wonderful person and an inspiration to us all. You are, too. We have admired your strength and faith during this difficult time. God Bless all of you.
    Steve, Laura, Nick, and Jon

  16. My thoughts and prayers are with you Sandi, your wonderful children and your family. It’s so hard when God needs one of us more in heaven vs. here on earth. I also want you to know that you amazed me throughout Stef’s journey. Your stength and support were incredible. Take Care.

  17. Sandi and Kids,
    We will continue to pray for you. May you experience God’s peace and comfort – that only He gives during this time.
    Carrie & Bruce Holt

  18. […] blog readers and to all of those that have been praying for our dear friend Stefan, please see Sandi’s post this morning. Romans 12:15 instructs us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who […]

  19. Sandi,
    We just feel as if a knife has been stuck through our hearts…Stef was an awesome man who made the world a better place by his presence. With heavy hearts, we will continue to pray for you and the kids.

  20. Sandi,

    All of you are in our prayers and thoughts during this time. Stefan was an amazing guy who loved God. His faith was and still is an inspiration to many.

  21. As a mother of two boys and a girl, my heart aches for your loss and your children’s loss. I know there is no pain on earth that Heaven cannot heal and I know that Stef is whole and healed…..there is comfort in that. My heart is here on earth hurting along with your family. Know that we are praying for you all through this time. Praying that you will feel the Lord holding you, tightly, in His arms. Praying – especially – in the upcoming days.

    Janet and Brian Megilligan

  22. I am overcome with sorrow and yet joy for you sandi…I only knew stef online, but even then I have grown to love him as a friend and to love his heart for the lord.

    I and my family are praying for you and the kids

  23. I am so sorry.

  24. I am really thankful that I got to meet and know Stef and for his amazing encouragement to all of us in the battle. May he rest in peace with the risen Lord.

  25. Sandi — I am full of thoughts of you and the kids as I pray for you now. If I know Stef, I am sure he is in heaven right now asking God to send you & each of your beautiful children an angel to watch over you & asking for a spot in heaven where he can see you all. We love you so much and will not cease to pray for you. With much love, Sharon

  26. I don’t know what to say, I know you must be so thankful Stef is in heaven and no longer suffering but your hearts must be breaking with grief. I pray God’s love comforts you and guides you and your children. I never knew Stef but from all description he sounded like an angel on earth. I am sure in heaven he shines even brighter and will continue to love and watch over you and your children until you meet again.

  27. Your loss is truly heaven’s gain. I am honored to have known Stef, and then to have had the opportunity to reconnect through FB over this last year. Please know that you will continue to be in our hearts and prayers.

    The Wolcott Family

  28. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family, and all the lives Stef has touched. We are grateful to know Stef and all the goodness that that he has brought to this world. May God’s love continue to surround you and the kids and help you through this time.

  29. Dear Sandi,
    My heart is so heavy for you and your family. We will be continuing to lift you up in prayer that God will comfort you and give you the extra strength you need to keep going. Stef was a wonderful person, and he will certainly be missed.
    Adrienne

  30. I truly am sorry that you and the kids have to walk this road! My heart hurts for you and I will be praying for you in the coming days & weeks.

  31. Sandi, My heart breaks for you and your family in the homegoing of Stef. I, also, think about how he has had complete healing but it is those left here that go through the sorrow. May you feel God’s complete comfort and peace during this time. I think of Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 a time for every emotion. Reading your posting has encouraged me to see you and your families trust in the Lord. Keep hanging in there during the minutes, days, months and years ahead. I will be praying for you and your family. -Amy Basinger

  32. Sandi,
    Our hearts are broken. We love you, Stef, Derek, Justin, and Carley. You are truly amazing. I’m so sorry you have to walk this journey. The warrior you are for your family is beautiful. May the Lord give you peace and strength deep within you even as you are hurting.

    Love and prayers,
    Janet F.

    For all of us that are confused, hurt, and even angry about the loss Stef and what your dear family is going through:
    Bring Me Your Emptiness
    Matthew 14: 16-21

    My Dear Child,
    Today I am asking you to bring all that you have. “But,” you say “I have nothing to bring, for I am spent, wrung out and empty. I have nothing but heartache and inadequacy.” Then that, my child, is exactly what I am asking you to bring.
    You see, I want nothing from you but yourself, just as you are, feeling as you feel, hurting as you hurt. Just as Jesus asked His friends to bring an inadequate amount of food to Him, I am asking you to bring your inadequate amount of faith and hope and courage to Me. Just as His friends gathered up their scant supply of nourishment and took it to their Master, you must gather up your scant supply of inner strength and bring it to Me. For I will touch and break and transform your lack and hand it back to you as life and substance for the journey. So come now. Bring your emptiness to Me and I will fill it with My Spirit.

    I am here waiting,
    God
    (From Letters from Heaven: Comfort for Those Who Are Hurting by C. Cloninger)

  33. Stef is walking the streets of Gold!! Pain free with a perfect body! Oh how we all long to get there too. As we wait, we can still reach others for God’s kingdom. Stef’s personality and drive has always been to bring peace and happiness to those around him… to show God’s love to them. This example will always be a part of us who know him. I send my sincerest sympathy and prayer to you Sandi and to Derek, Justin and Carley. I pray for many friends and family to surround you during this time of moving on and to know and understand God’s real peace and understanding everyday. You are a great example of a Titus 2 woman who fought with Stef every step of the way! I have been touched by you!

  34. My heart is so heavy for yur family!!! You are in my thoughts and prayers Sandi!!
    Thank God he is in a better place now……….

  35. Oh Sandi,
    My family is saddened by the passing of Stef. Such a good person that we wished we would have known longer. We will be thinking and praying for you all. As you may have been told you will never lose track but it does get better in time. Remember what I said before. What a special time to be in Heaven right now. Thw Exterovich Family

  36. We are so sorry for your loss, but are rejoicing with you that Stef is pain-free and whole again today! God bless you and your family. He will see you through! Thanks again for keeping us all updated and for being such an incredible testimony.

    Paul & Jackie Wetzel

  37. Sandi,
    We are so sad for you and the kids. We will CONTINUE to pray God’s wonderful peace and grace for you, Derek, Justin and Carly. We will also remember your extended family and friends as they surround you during these days and months ahead.
    With much love,
    Bob and Jill Kinney

  38. Our hearts are heavy with grief yet we rejoice in Stef’s victory in Christ. We pray God’s comfort for you.

  39. In everything we give God thanks (1 Thess. 5:18). It may not be easy to do so, but we must trust the Lord, nevertheless, for He knows exactly what He is doing. He is sovereign. Our hearts have been heavy just knowing what your family had been going through for the last few months, and we know it must be really hard just to experience the loss, but we still give God thanks. Sandi, your love for and faithfulness to Stef shines through and is a great source of encouragement to all. The Lord will reward your labor of love and comfort your family. Trust Him to be a faithful Father to your lovely children.
    You remain in our thoughts and prayers. It is well with you (Is. 3:10).

  40. Sandi,

    Please accept sincerest condolences from the Conners family for your loss.

    We will continue to pray for your family as you grieve for Stef.

    We thank the Lord for your and Stef’s commitment to Him and each other during his illness.

    But we also rejoice that Stef is in the presence of the Lord Himself.

  41. With Sympathy. Praying for you and your three children for continued strength and peace. Stef did not lose. His strength and yours shines through. His comfort now is pain free in heaven and I hope this comforts you too.
    May God hold you in his hands during this time.

  42. Sandy and kids,

    Words escape me, but I just want to say Stef was so amazing to read on here and to see each Sunday that he came to church. We have been so blessed to have known him and watched his faith take him through this journey. And you, Sandy, have been such an amazing witness of God’s faithfulness. Every time I have just gotten the chance to see you serving and smiling… I’ve been so deeply touched.

    You and the kids are on our hearts so very much tonight. Neal and I are praying for you and all your family in this new season. And praising God Stef is with Him.

    May God be such a real Presence with you all now, as He has been.

  43. Sandi and Kids,
    We were very saddened to read about Stef passing. We have been following his journey and steadfastly praying for a complete healing. Both of you have inspired us with your incredible faith and strength. We will continue to keep you and your precious children close in prayer during this difficult transition period.

  44. Sandi,

    We grieve with you. We are so sad for this, but we also know that God’s strength is perfect when ours is not. He’ll carry you through this along with the kids. Please know that we would love to do anything we can for you. Thank you for being such a witness through this; and you have been as much as Stef. We will pray for God to bring you strength each moment of each day, and that the kids will still understand God’s love for them. You are an amazing woman! We pray continually for you.

    God bless you and keep you…may His face shine upon you…

    I cast all my cares on Him, for HE cares for me.

    God is LOVE.

    We pray for God, our Abba/Daddy, to give you the comfort you need.

    The Lowes

  45. Sandi and Kids, I’m so sorry that you had to lose someone you loved so much. I can’t imagine your loss. Sandi, the work you have done to take care of your family during this past year has been phenomenal. Know that you are loved and never alone.

    John

  46. Sandi,
    Please accept our condolences. Stef was such an inspiration to me. Just seeing the faith he had and the strength he showed through his journey was amazing to me . We will continue to pray for you and the children. We don’t always have the answers, but God has His reasons, and we have to lean on Him. God bless.

  47. There are no words of comfort for times like these, but please know that we will pray for you and the children often.

    The Porter family

  48. Our hearts are heavy and grieve for you and your loss. We will continue to lift you all up to our Father.

  49. Sandi

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. While I can not comprehend the loss of a husband, I can relate to the loss of a father as I lost mine last year. The days ahead will be difficult. I pray the LORD will be the source of your strenth. I will continue to pray for you and your precious children.

    With love,

    Angela

  50. Our prayers are with you and the kids. May God grant you peace and strength is He walks this road with you.

    In Christian love
    the Bush family.

  51. Our family will continue to pray for you and yours during this difficult time of saying goodbye.
    The Hill Family

  52. Sandi and Kids,

    My heart is heavy hearing of your loss. Stef was such an amazing person and a dear friend and co-worker. I will miss him so much. At least Stef is not suffering now and he is watching over his family and helping the Lord.

    I will keep praying for you and your children to get through this difficult time and if you need anything please let me know.

  53. Sandy and Kids.
    We will continue to pray for you all. The Joy of the Lord will be your strength through this time.
    Our Prayers – Roberts Family

  54. Sandi,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve been following the posts “from a distance” for several months now. I never had the privilege of meeting Stef personally, but felt that I came to know him thru the posts. I will pray for you and your precious little ones. May God hold you close to Himself during these days.

    In Christ’s love,
    sc

  55. Though I only knew Stef through his blog and our partnership through AC180, I am a different man because of his example of faith. All along he refused to lose and it’s comforting to know that Stef won.

    I will continue to pray for you and your children, Sandi.

    David.

  56. He is in God’s hands now and he is perfect. You and your family are in my thougths and prayers.

  57. I only but worked occasionally with Stef for the last few months… but he seemed to be a great person- I can only imagine and admire your strength through these rough times. Know that you and your family are in my prayers and in my thoughts!

  58. Dear Sandi,
    My heart is heavy with your loss. Please know that all of us who worked with him at McKesson have you and the children in our prayers.

    Stefan was an amazing man and walked the earth in the footsteps of the Lord. I am proud to have worked with him and am inspired by his courage.

    With unspeakable sympathy and many prayers for you and your family,
    Dot

  59. praying for you and your children……

  60. Sandi and family,

    I am very saddened to learn of Stefan’s passing. I had the privilege of meeting Stefan when I first came to Nationwide Children’s in summer 2007, but only got to work with him briefly. He was one of the nicest people I’d met since coming here, and was definitely a class act. He will be missed. My thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time.

    Lainie Bradshaw

  61. Sandi, I am so sorry for your loss. know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Stef is pain free now. love, Chris

  62. My heart aches for you and the children. You must miss him so. Yet, this morning he is standing in the presence of the King, whole and healed at last. He fought the brave fight and inspired so many along the way with his faithfulness, optimism, and bravery.

    Jenn Voight and family

  63. Sandi and Kids –

    There are just no words, other than your husband and father was a wonderful man, and I only knew him a fraction of the way you did. It’s clear that so many people love you all and that your faith, will be what gets you through this very sad time. God bless all of you.

  64. Sandi,
    Stef was the boy’s favorite soccer coach and we are so deeply saddened by his passing. As a mother of 2 boys and 1 girl, exactly your ages, I can’t imagine the loss. Please know our family has prayed for you for over a year, and we’ll continue to pray. Keep those babies close to you, they will get you through this. God Bless You!

  65. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
    Too deeply for mirth and song;
    As the burdens press and the cares distress
    And the way grows weary and long?

    Does Jesus care when my way is dark
    With a nameless dread and fear?
    As the daylight fades into deep night shades
    Does He care enough to be near?

    Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye
    to the dearest on earth to me
    As my sad heart aches Til it nearly breaks
    Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

    OH YES, HE CARES; I KNOW CARES,
    HIS HEART IS TOUCHED WITH MY GRIEF;
    WHEN THE DAYS ARE WEARY, THE LONG NIGHTS DREARY,
    I KNOW MY SAVIOR CARES!!!

    With our love and prayers!

  66. no words seem adequate right now.
    our family is praying for you and the kids.

    Psalm 121
    1 I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
    2 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
    3 He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
    4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
    5 The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
    6 The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.
    7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
    8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

  67. We prayed, we believed, and though we grieve, we rejoice in his final victory. God’s peace be with you, his family.

    For the Kingdom,
    Fred

  68. Dear Sandi and kids,

    I am so sorry for you loss. Praying that God will carry you all through,

    Mary Lynn

  69. Sandi,
    Stef and I were in the same group during the weekend of “Getting Started” our freshman year. About a year ago, a mutual friend shared his “fight for life” with me, and I began to follow your blog and pray for your family. I cannot imagine the loss…it was so obvious what an amazing husband and daddy he was! I know you will treasure that forever. I will continue to keep your entire family in my prayers.

  70. I’ve never met your family personally, but have followed Stef’s blog since a mutual friend asked us to pray for him. I hope that you can re-read his posts one day and be comforted by the love that he had for you and your children… you all seemed precious to him. I will continue to pray for your family.

    Cindy Miller

  71. Sandi,
    I am extremely honored to have met both you and Stef. I will pray for you and your adorable children. May God bless you in this time of sadness.
    Cathy

  72. Aunt Sandi,
    I am so sorry about Uncle Stef! He was an amazing man. I am praying for the kids, that God will give them strength to get through this. It is definitely going to be a healing process. The Lord will not give you something you can’t handle. I will continue praying for you all!
    All my love,
    Kelsey

  73. Dear, dear Kathy and all the family,
    I’m sitting here quietly, trying to find the words in my heart that would express what I’m feeling. I already know that whatever I write will never say it.
    The past several weeks, whenever I would send my prayers for Stefan and all the family, I’d be surprised because I could feel his presence. And I would think, how strong this man is, and how quiet his spirit. I had understood that all nutrients had been stopped, and yet he stayed here such a long time. I was expecting to receive news that he had already gone on, yet every day, there was his presence. It seemed like God was giving him the time to shift from his valiant fight for his life here with all of you to getting ready to go Home. And this weekend, he was gone, and in the place of his presence was a quiet peace.
    How can you not be in deep grief and missing him? In this man’s life was so much love, going back and forth. Of course you miss him, and no one can replace him. I’m so, so very sorry and wish I was there to — do what? Nothing anyone can do will heal the pain. Only God can, and all we can do is tell you how much we love you and stand beside you in our hearts. I know that you are surrounded by a strong community and are filled with a deep faith that will support you and carry you through this time.
    I will continue my prayers for the next several weeks, wishing I could do more.
    So much love and aloha,
    kiko

  74. Sandi,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and the kids continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  75. Dear Sandi,

    I am heartbroken for you and your precious children. My prayers will be for God’s sustaining grace, comfort, provision, and blessing to be abundantly poured out upon you and your three children. We lift you up in prayer before our Father’s throne of grace. Jesus, your Savior, Comforter, and best friend will lead, guide, and direct your paths always. Keep seeking His face and rest in Him. Our love to you and your family, dear sister,

    Lisa and Bill Rodebaugh, Abby and Kevin

  76. Dear Sandi
    We are so sorry for your loss. We pray that God will lift up you and the children and hold you all tenderly in His care. Our love goes out to you in this time and always.
    Love: Judy, Rodney, Meschelle, Scott, Lennie and Uncle Wally.

  77. Sandi, we are friends of Michael & Abigail Crawford and have been following your story every day since the beginning. We are so sorry for your loss…we can’t even imagine…so we must rely on the HOPE we have in God.

    Steven Curtis Chapman – With Hope
    1 Thess. 4:13-14 / Heb. 6:9, 10:23

    This is not at all how
    We thought it was supposed to be
    We had so many plans for you
    We had so many dreams
    And now you’ve gone away
    And left us with the memories of your smile
    And nothing we can say
    And nothing we can do
    Can take away the pain
    The pain of losing you, but …

    We can cry with hope
    We can say goodbye with hope
    ‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
    And we can grieve with hope
    ‘Cause we believe with hope
    (There’s a place by God’s grace)
    There’s a place where we’ll see your face again
    We’ll see your face again

    And never have I known
    Anything so hard to understand
    And never have I questioned more
    The wisdom of God’s plan
    But through the cloud of tears
    I see the Father’s smile and say well done
    And I imagine you
    Where you wanted most to be
    Seeing all your dreams come true
    ‘Cause now you’re home
    And now you’re free, and …

    We have this hope as an anchor
    ‘Cause we believe that everything
    God promised us is true, so …

    We wait with hope
    And we ache with hope
    We hold on with hope
    We let go with hope

    we must also rely on the NEVER-ENDING FAITHFULNESS of God our Savior. We know He will provide ALL you need in the coming hours, days, and years.

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

    Refrain

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    Refrain

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    In a heart-uplifting letter dated 1941, Thomas O. Chisholm (wrote the lyrics as a poem) wrote that although his income has not been enough due to his impaired health, he must record the unfailing faithfulness of God for the “wonderful displays of His providing care” and for which he is “filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

    Your family has been such a testiment to the Kingdom of God. I know MANY lives have been saved, and MANY people have renewed their faith because of the life Stefan lived so honestly.

    To God be the glory
    For the things He has done
    With His blood, He has saved me
    By His power, He has raised me.
    To God be the glory
    For the things he has done.

    To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. AMEN!

    Barry & Michelle Petrey
    Gilbert, AZ

  78. Your family is in our prayers. I’m honored to have been called his friend.

  79. Sandi:
    I have a lot of good memories of Stef, from our early C’ville days in pre-engineering classes to our two trips to Florida on spring break (Beach Evangelism one year and once with Bumper and Todd). I was very fond of Stef. You just couldn’t help but love the guy…his personality and contagious smile. I have followed this blog for quite some time now, and in recent days Stef has been on my mind daily. Between posts, I’ve been impatient for updates to the point of calling my parents for news. Of course, this latest news breaks my heart. I ache for you and the kids, especially during this particular season. I will be praying for you all.

    Stef refused to lose. His victory is evident in the many, many lives he touched of which I am one. Only eternity will fully show just how much God used Stef for His glory.

    With many prayers,
    Brad

  80. I’ve got tears in my eyes. I don’t know Stef and you personally but I’ve been a blog friend for sometime, visiting and praying for Stef. I has been busy these past weeks I hardly had time to visit, and when i did today, I read this.

    I don’t know what else to say except that I pray God’s loving arms will wrap around you and your kids today and the days to come. (((((( hugs)))) I will continue to remember you in prayers…

    Liza

  81. Dear Staci,
    My deepest and heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your children. As well as to Stefan’s Parents and Sister. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this trial in your lives. Know that God never gives us more than we can handle, and that everything happens for a reason. All things come together for the glory of God. Know that angels come in all shapes and sizes, yours came in the form of Stefan Tarapchak. He may be gone, physically, but he’ll never be gone from your heart or the hearts of your precious children. He’ll live on in your hearts and memories. Noone can ever take that away from you. Know that he’s with the Lord and he’s being taken care of. No more pain or medicine. My heart is heavy for all of you. Stefan will be missed by all. Remember… we were never promised a set amount of time here on earth, but we were promised an eternity with God, as long as we believe in Him and Recieve Him into our Hearts. Stefan was a good testiment to us all. He fought a good fight, now it’s time for him to rest. May God be with you all. I came across some poems that I pray you’ll find comfort in. A few of them gave me comfort at the times when I lost my parents as well as other loved ones. I hope they help.

    Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;

    I am not there; I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow.

    I am the diamond glint on snow.

    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you wake in the morning hush;

    I am the swift, uplifting rush

    Of quiet birds in circling flight.

    I am the soft starlight at night.

    Do not stand by my grave and weep.

    I am not there; I do not sleep.

    -Mary Frye

    After Glow

    I’d like the memory of me

    To be a happy one.

    I’d like to leave an afterglow

    Of smiles when life is done.

    I’d like to leave an echo

    Whispering softly down the ways,

    Of happy times and laughing times

    And bright and sunny days

    I’d like the tears

    Of those who grieve,

    To dry before the sun

    Of happy memories that I leave

    When life is done.

    – Carol Mirkel

    When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

    When tomorrow starts without me

    And I’m not here to see…

    If the sun should rise and find your

    Eyes filled with tears for me,

    I wish so much you wouldn’t cry

    The way you did today…

    While thinking of the many things

    We didn’t get to say.

    I know how much you love me,

    As much as I love you…

    And each time you think of me,

    I know you’ll miss me too.

    But when tomorrow starts without me,

    Please try to understand…

    That Jesus came and called my name,

    And took me by the hand.

    He said my place was ready

    In Heaven far above…

    And that I’d have to leave behind

    All those I dearly love.

    So when tomorrow starts without me,

    Don’t think we’re far apart…

    For everytime you think of me,

    I’m right here in your heart.

    ~ Author Unknown

    I’m Free

    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free

    I’m following the path God laid for me.

    I took His hand when I heard Him call

    I turned my back and left it all.

    I could not stay another day

    To laugh, to love, to work or play.

    Tasks left undone must stay that way,

    I found that peace at the close of day.

    If my parting has left a void

    Then fill it with remembered joy.

    A friendship started, a laugh, a kiss,

    Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

    Be not burdened with times of sorrow

    I wish you the sunshine to tomorrow.

    My life’s been full, I savored much,

    Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch

    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief

    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.

    Lift up your heart and share with me

    God wanted me now; He set me free.

    -Author Unknown

    The Broken Chain

    We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

    In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.

    It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone,

    For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

    You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,

    And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.

    Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,

    But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

    -Author Unknown

    God’s Garden

    God looked around His garden

    and found an empty place.

    He then looked down upon the

    earth and saw your tired face.

    He put His arms around you

    and lifted you to rest.

    God’s garden must be beautiful,

    He always takes the best.

    He knew you were suffering,

    He knew you were in pain,

    He knew that you would never

    get well on earth again.

    He saw the road was getting

    rough and the hills were hard

    to climb, He closed your weary

    eyelids and whispered

    “Peace Be Thine.”

    It broke our hearts to lose you

    but you didn’t go alone.

    Part of us went with you

    the day God called you home.

    – Author Unknown

  82. I can only pray that I will be as admirable and faithful a man as Stef was should I have to face what he did. I am honored to have known him. I will not forget him. I look forward to meeting him. Until then, he will be missed.

  83. […] blog readers and to all of those that have been praying for our dear friend Stefan, please see Sandi’s post this morning. Romans 12:15 instructs us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who […]

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