The Struggle Has Ended

Greg Hewlett passed away on January 17th after nearly eight years of battling colon cancer. While we grieve his loss, we are comforted to know that he is with his Lord.

If you would like to leave your thoughts on Greg, please see this thread.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Greg's honor, please see this thread.

Saturday, December 4, 2004


tyson_family.bmpChristine and I are mourning the loss of a dear friend, Lisl Tyson. We became very fond of Lisl and her family (husband Steve, children Maggie and Ben) while living in Philadelphia. We were particularly good friends with her parents, Dick and Jean Gaffin, who opened their home to us many times while we were living there. Lisl died yesterday afternoon. Our hearts go out to the Gaffins and Tysons.

I regret not talking with Lisl this past year. From her emails, she seemed to be developing such wisdom as she struggled with issues of life and death. I wish now I could learn more from her. To me, she seemed to grow in faith of her Lord as she knew that she could not grasp all the things of this world. Most of us are so easily satisfied with the world because we are not forced to savor the quiet beauty of reality. Lisl knew this beauty. And I am trying to.

As I have battled cancer at the same time as Lisl (she was diagnosed in October 2001), I felt as though I were struggling alongside her. In my opinion, we both got a raw deal with this disease. But in this sad situation, I was not alone. Now I must say goodbye to her. And I am resolving to fight on with increased vigor. I think she'd want me to keep up the good fight. And do so in the beautiful reality of the Kingdom of God.

I liked what Lisl wrote in August:

I�ve has spiritual highs and lows. In church a couple months ago I had this realization. I always say that I want God�s will to be done. I mean that. But I�ve always tried to squirrel away my life-span and not really give up my desires for that. I decided that even if I have to die that I want that if God wants that. We think we have so much control. But we don�t really at all. I wonder why I�ve always fought God, because I felt really relieved after that.

Please don�t get me wrong. I�ve waffled on that quite a bit since then. Just last night I had a pity party and actually said things like: this isn�t fair, why do jerks get to live long, useless lives. You get the idea.

I�m not giving up. I am being very honest. Please pray that something will happen. Even just my hair growing all the way back!

That was Lisl � honest faith. The kind I find in the Bible � not the pop, denial-laden stuff that keeps us happy but doesn�t sanctify us or stand firm in true times of trouble. Lisl was a real saint.

This morning, her husband Steve, wrote:

While I am experiencing this baseline sense of sadness and loss of my wife and my kids' mom, and miss the most real and honest, thoughtful and caring, loving and lovable person I ever knew, I am struck most immediately by God�s mercy in the way He took Lisl to be with Him, and the grace and peace He is lavishing upon her family right now. I know personally that many of you were praying for this very thing yesterday. Thank you for the wisdom and fervency of your prayers. I hope your sadness will also be tempered by this sense of God�s goodness.

It is indeed tempered, Steve. But as I think of Lisl I must admit I am still groaning�

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:20-23


susan said...

I notice there are no comments...I imagine just quiet tears and prayers..

Carl said...

Susan has it right

Jean Gaffin said...

Dear Greg and Christine,
We don't have your address, so please accept this note.
First, thank you so much for the lovely comments about Lisl. They touched all our hearts. We pray that Lisl's journey to glory will help you, Greg, as you prepare to live long in the land and as you also prepare to meet with the Lord. That's what we started talking about last spring. Lisl began to prepare her memorial service and write letters, while at the same time fighting with all her might to keep well for her family. When all is said and done, that's what we all should be doing no matter what the state of our health.
The service was wonderful and I think Steve Tyson will be putting the program on his web page with other information, so be watching for his e-mail. The church has been wonderful as you can imagine in their support of the family. Ben and Maggie are much loved. Pray that Steve will have wisdom and courage as he tries to be both mommy and daddy. He has already had lots of experience over this past year, as Lisl was at the Gaffins from octber 2003 to August 2004. God graciously gave them September and November as a family at home.
Thank you, too, for the beautiful arrangement of flowers. It graced the platform during the service and then it was placed in the reception hall. Now Steve has them at his home. Thank you, too for all your prayers. We continue to pray for you, Greg, and you, Christine. (Every time I read of a new help for fibermyalgia I think of you - Jean).
Love, the Gaffins and the Tysons.