Read this letter from David (Markus’ Elder Brother), brought tears of healing grace into my eyes, and later when May Chin read it she too could not hold back the emotions that it generated.
I’m grateful that David shared this letter with us, which in a way includes us in his and the family’s journey of grief – a journey which though is deeply painful but full of the grace of God throughout.
The more I reflected on the inner strength displayed in and through Markus’ life, I conclude that the following prayer is most apt giving insight to the center of his life. For me, I hear the call to pray this way afresh deeply this past week. May it be our corporate prayer too as people who have embraced his gift of love.
ABBA, bring me closer to you. Help me follow the example of your Son, to make your will the center of my life and a daily concern. Teach me that this life is a task of love. Grant me the wisdom and strength to see your love as the pearl for which all sacrifice is worthwhile. Amen.
– Christopher Maricle
The Jesus Priorities: 8 Essential Habits
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Words just cant express how I feel right now. It’s been 3 days since you’ve gone and a part of me is still in denial. I ask God "why did you have to go so early?" You had so much more to offer.
Papa, mama, Peter and I went through a period of great grief. A sorrow so deep that there was a point where I felt completely shattered and did not know where to start picking up the broken pieces from.
We miss you so dearly.. I think that papa feels that there was so much he wanted to tell you, so much wisdom & knowledge that he wants to impart to you, but did not have the opportunity to do so. I cannot imagine his shock the morning he found you on your bed. Mama misses you, how you never fail to ask her "how was your day?" when she fetches you back from work each evening. Peter is grief-stricken too, he was the last one you emailed just hours before your death.
I will miss all the good times we had together. It’s been my pleasure being a brother to you for the past 23 years. I’ve seen you grown up into a man after God’s heart, growing in wisdom and stature and touching many lives as you go along the way.
I remember the times when we were young. Playing together as brothers, having simple fun with one another. I remember the time while we were still in Mentakab, we used to play and pretend as if were travelling in a plane, visiting places all over the world. We would take papa& mama’s travel suitcases, arrange them on the floor as if we were sitting in a plane. I’d become the captain, you and Peter were the passengers. We took out the big atlas book and you’d would point to where you want to go, and I ‘flew’ both of you there
I remember when you first started playing football. I used to teach you tricks and dribbled around you while you were younger. Over the years, you grew more skillful and became a better player than what I am today.
I remember how you first picked up guitar and I taught you a thing or two. Over the years, you grew better, began composing your own songs and became a tutor to many others. Have i told you that your songs sound good? You must have heard that many times already. I love the way you write your lyrics, how you beautifully & truthfully express yourself on your struggles. I am at awe at how you manage to write your lyrics and yet add a nice jazzy tune to it. I remember two weeks ago when you played the guitar for me and sang two songs that you were still halfway through in composing. I guess now, we’ll never be able to hear those songs again.
Over the years, you have grown so much in the Lord. We used to attend different churches ever since we came to PJ. I was comfortable in GA with my friends, but the family moved on to SSGC. I myself am not sure why I did not follow the family, but looking back, I think it gave us time & space to grow and flourish in our own special ways. I had the opportunity to serve and lead in my youth and music team, and you were able to develop and stand up on yourself, not always under the shadows of your elder brother.
We had a memorable wake service. Many of your friends, relatives and even people whom did not know you came. They were all saddened at your lost. We were so blessed to see the crowd, it moved us to tears to see all the people you knew coming to mourn at the service. Some stood up and testified on the footprints you left in their lives.
We really thank God for all the people who came to show their support-
your childhood friends, the people from TGC, your secondary school friends, collegemates, unimates, churchmates, football kakis, the people from ibridge, the PJ vigil, Unicef, the Headstart group and so many more which I cannot even recall.
Their presence, support and testimonies gave us so much encouragement. It really helped us during this time of despair.
We are so proud of you. We are proud to know that your death is not in vain. We are proud to know that you have made a difference in many lives that you came in contact with during your short time here. You were a friendly person, full of humility and also had a vision for a better Malaysia. I could see your love for the country, to see our country united under one banner, under one race called bangsa Malaysia. I hope this dream comes true and I too dare hope for a better future. You know, we sang ‘Negaraku’ at your memorial service. It was so unconventional, but yet I know if you were there, that was what you would have wanted.
We put a few of your favourite things into your coffin. There was your bible in there, your ‘Anak Bangsa Malaysia’ name cards, your favourite shirt, your football and boots. Hey, your comrade at PJ vigil has also left behind the Anak Bangsa Malaysia cap which you wanted very much. Then there were also letters from your Essex unifriends / course mates.
Found 3 guitar picks in your wallet. Peter took one and exchanged it with another of his pick. I took the orange one and replaced it with my orange pick (its still brand new). Keep it for me yah.. I’ll collect it back from you when I meet you in heaven. Till then, keep playing songs for God!
Sigh.. It feels like you have left for a long trip and we are saying goodbye to you.
The difference is that you have already made it to the end of your journey and will never come back here.
You have fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Cheer us on as we
complete our own race. I remember the lyrics of your song ‘feeling blue’.. You ran and you ran, without knowing where you’d land.. All weary, from that aimless journey, that you began.. Now, it is time for you to rest. No more running, now safe in the arms of our Lord Jesus.
Your departure doesn’t change the fact that God is good. He cares, He loves us, and He is faithful. Dear Lord, grant us the comfort, grace and strength in time of our greatest sorrow. Heal those wounds, help us to pick up all the broken pieces. Make us whole again, renew our joy. Thank you so much for Markus!
I’ll miss you my brother, my football partner, music buddy. Our family misses you dearly. We rest assured knowing that one day, we will all be united again.
Lots of love,
7 February 2009
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