Sudden Death, Sudden Glory… Sudden Greif, Gradual Strength.

Sudden Death, Sudden Glory!

Words penned by Charles Spurgeon and echoed yesterday by our pastor in Budapest have scarcely seemed so real and close. Pat Curby, a quiet, faithful, selfless servant of God suddenly passed from life, to death, to glory while at his home in Érd, Hungary on Friday night.

And yet while we know that Pat is finally where he was eternally meant to be, the grief is still heavy, real, and ever-present.

Death may be sudden, and glory may come in an instant, but God gives strength slowly. After 2 and a half days of shock and processing what had occurred, many (myself included) are just now beginning to feel the real effects of loss. Pat was a good friend, the Curby family being a kind of second family for us in Hungary. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, holidays when those closest to you are in the same room with you, were spent with Pat, Tina and whichever family members of theirs were in the country at the time.

For those like me who know the Curby family so well, the heaviness of grief is two-fold. First, the loss of Pat… but second, the deep sadness felt for Tina and their daughters. All Friday night, all I could think of after hearing the news was Tina, Cassie, Alli, Erin, and Anna. I count Cassie as one of my closest friends during my time in Budapest in 9th grade, (10 years ago!) and I taught English alongside Tina just this past year. I haven’t cried a whole lot yet, but I can’t make any promises when I see them in the coming days.

Most of the reason I’m writing this is to get it off my chest. I process things like this internally, and it takes something like writing to get it out. (I can thank my dad for sharing that quality with me!)

However, if there’s anything I’ve learned (and there’s much more learning to go) in the past couple of days, it’s that God uses everything for good. With sudden grief is coming gradual strength and comfort, even to the precious middle-schoolers we teach. On this, the first day back to school since Pat’s death, one girl is struggling during the 6-year anniversary of her mother’s death from cancer. Another 8th grade Hungarian girl approached Ariel today wanting to talk about a friend she lost to Leukemia last month, something we didn’t even know about. She came with questions of why, and Ariel was able to explain that even know we don’t know why, we know that God is good.

So we praise God for the slow movement of strength, encouragement, and love he is bringing many people through this tragic event. We also pray for those who bear the greatest load of grief, for it is certainly not me. May those of us around the family gather God’s strength, so we may pour it on them in prayer and fellowship and love. Amen.

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