I believe today marks the first day that I have seen the dead body of someone I have known who is my own age. Brad Friesen is someone I have known ever since I moved to North Carolina eleven years ago. He and his wife Tiffany have been very active and faithful members of Church of the Good Shepherd since before I arrived.
About five years ago Brad was diagnosed with brain cancer. We are a very well connected church, medically speaking, and Brad was able to meet with some top neurosurgeons who performed surgery pretty quickly and followed with whatever they felt was the appropriate treatment. Brad and I were not especially close, simply due to not being involved in the same activities, but we all were told that Brad's surgery and treatment had gone quite well. Unfortunately his cancer returned this year and in the past month spread very quickly through his brain. His wife and friends reported that he was quite lucid (and sarcastic) right up to the last few days.
We received the news of the return of Brad's cancer about a month ago, along with a prognosis that he probably had a few months to live. Brad died early on Thursday. One friend I spoke to commented that Brad really was fortunate to have had as much success as he did following the first surgery, since most with his form of cancer die pretty quickly. Brad's wife expressed her amazement to me that Brad had retained so much function and personality through his cancer growth.
Thank the Lord with me for Brad's life and witness. Pray for strength and grace for his surviving wife and three little girls. I know many will tell them about what a terrific man their father had been and that they will see him again at the resurrection of the dead.