Tuesday, January 01, 2013

An Unexpected Journey

My husband of 31 years is no longer here. A son mourned, a father missed, a brother gone, a colleague absent, a friend departed.

People ask "How are you?" and the truth is that we have been carried by the Lord and embraced by the body of Christ. Friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, vendors, pastors and church members have met our needs at every turn.

Yet emotions are inevitable and every stage of grief is becoming familiar. Anger, sadness and loneliness are alternately foreign, in-your-face, large, distant, overwhelming, inconceivable, and more feelings for which there are no adjectives. We have been perplexed, shocked, grieved, aghast, in denial, at peace, quietly accepting, recalling memories in tears and laughter, praising all that was good, asking questions, praying against darkness, clinging to the One who is holding us in everlasting arms.

We have given our tributes and laid his body to rest in a place where we can view the city and mountains he loved, but this was only his mortal frame, the now-silent jar of clay by which we related to him and he to us, so tenderly, the smile that touched us, the glint in his eyes that warned us a tease was coming, the hands that were quick to do whatever needed to be done, the legs that carried him swiftly to his duties and on his favorite lunchtime walks or mountain hikes, the heart that beat fast for his wife, his son and his favorite hockey team and driving fast, the laugh that included himself and was never unkind.

He has taken his last journey and we begin a new one with only his wisdom and memory to carry with us. Hand in hand with the Lord Brent loved and served, we now walk forward one step at a time, one breath at a time. Nothing in a hurry, looking everyone in the eye. Treasuring each moment.

My tribute to him are with words that cannot possibly contain the joy and complexity of the 52 years he lived, the 33 years he was part of my life. But I leave you with them. There will be more words, as time and grief allows a suitable expression. For now, this is enough.

You saw me before I was born. 
Every day of my life was recorded in your book. 
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  
Psalm 139:16 

Caring son, loving brother, faithful husband, devoted father, dedicated manager, and loyal friend. Talented singer, avid hockey fan and sports car enthusiast. Tenacious, tender, enthusiastic and perceptive. A mischievous prankster and an entertaining story teller, an accomplished singer and consummate baby kisser.

Brent was a true Alberta boy, born and bred, who played as hard as he worked. He loved taking long drives to explore the city or the mountains and enjoyed hiking, skiing, and hockey, especially if his son or the Calgary Flames were involved. He loved to travel, sing and act. He won awards for his singing, but more importantly, he blessed hearts.

With colleagues and friends, he earned nicknames like Tigger, Mr. Clean and Beloved, and called himself “a Doberman spirit in a poodle body.” While he struggled with his health and energy level in recent years, he worked with integrity to reach his goals and motivate his team. His career spanned 32 years with Husky Energy where he gave leadership to a team of talented professionals for whom he had great respect and affection.

It was Brent’s great delight to entertain others whether he was on stage or in a meeting. His dry sense of humour and fondness for pranks endeared him to all. He always tried to lighten the mood with a funny story. He enjoyed kids and would have been an amazing grandpa.

Brent placed his faith in Jesus and accepted the free gift of salvation by grace. We know with confidence he is with his Lord.

Beloved Brent, you will be missed.


  1. A very loving tribute to your husband of 31 years Joyce. You are truly an amazing writer and your love for your husband shows in your writing for him. God truly blessed you both with each other.

  2. Thank you Joyce. A beautiful and loving tribute. With you in thought and spirit.

    1. Thank you for a beautiful tribute. Lori

  3. I just stumbled on your site while looking up when and why Annie Johnson Flint wrote "God Hath Not Promised." I decided to check out your blog some more. I am so, so sorry you have lost your precious husband. I wish you all strength for each day. May Jesus hug you so close to his heart that you hear the faithful rhythm of His love!