It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Erik’s brother’s death. Nathan & Rosanna and Doug & Elissa were traveling to Calgary on Friday afternoon when an oncoming semi rolled over top of them. Nathan was killed instantly. Elissa (at almost 8 months pregnant) was air-lifted to Calgary in critical condition. Rosanna & Doug were both fine, having been on the passenger side of the vehicle.
If that wasn’t enough to grasp, Doug called with the news early Saturday morning to say that he was a Daddy. Elissa gave birth to a 5 lb, 5 oz boy via c-section. The doctors decided to do the surgery after monitoring his heart rate. They named him Caleb Nathan. He has had a few rough moments with his breathing, but appears to be breathing on his own now. The doctors are saying that they will both probably be in the Foothills hospital for another 6 weeks which seems like forever. An answer to prayer is that Elissa does not have the spinal injuries that they first suspected. She still has a long recovery ahead of her though from a severe shoulder injury.
Unfortunately Erik’s parents were in London on the last leg of their month-long trip and we had no way of contacting them by phone. Their flight was due to come back last night (Saturday) and after much discussion we decided it would be best to wait until they could be home with family before giving them the news. We took extra precaution to make sure they wouldn’t find out any other way, which is why many of you found that my blog was inaccessible in the last couple of days. We didn’t want to risk the chance of Erik’s parents reading a comment referring to the accident or offering condolences. Erik had the horrible task of sharing the news with them and I think it was probably one of the hardest moments of his life.
For us the grief comes in waves – moments of acceptance and almost normalcy give way to crying spells and then leave us with a tearless ache that won’t go away. It’s still hard to grasp what has happened and it’s only by the grace of God and the AMAZING Christian community around us that we can find peace and comfort in all of this. There is such sweetness in the tears – the fact that Nathan was an incredible man of God and touched so many people’s lives, the fact that he is home in heaven!, and the fact that there is new life for Doug & Elissa in the midst of the tragedy.
We thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts and phone calls and flowers and offers to help…. It’s overwhelming – in a good way.
The funeral is planned for this Friday, July 27 at 11 am at South Abbotsford Community Church. We know that there will be many, many people there to mourn the death of our brother but also to celebrate the incredible life that he lived.