Date: February 4, 2021
I have been touched by the countless messages – texts, emails, and notes – that I have received. Thank you. My father, Stephen Keith Markham, died at 10.30pm (UK time, 5.30pm EST) on Tuesday February 2nd. He was 93 years old. He had two long and happy marriages, six children, fourteen grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. He loved the Lord Jesus his entire life; and he was confident to the very end that by grace God would receive him.
It is a little indulgent to use this commentary to reflect a little on grief, but please permit me to do so. For all of us, grief takes different forms. My father was active until about four weeks ago; and then deterioration happened quickly. Towards the end I was praying for release. My farewell was a FaceTime call facilitated by my brother – actual proximity was impossible.
For me, over the last thirty six hours, the universe has felt a little more empty, a little colder, and lonelier. A life that was part of the furniture of my mind has gone. The mystery of presence and then sudden absence is acute. Yet his presence in my life is real even now; I am living with some very precious memories that I am deliberately visiting with attention. For the privilege of being his son, I am grateful.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President