original e-mail announcement of my father's passing

At 9 p.m., July 17, 2003, our dad/husband (Joseph) passed away. For some reason the doctors indicated that something happened catastrophically in the early hours of Thursday morning which resulted in the shutting down of his vital organs. They're not sure if he had a heart attack, a blood clot in the lungs, or a massive infection that grew throughout the night. Whatever it was, it changed the whole course of yesterday's planned events. Little did I, nor my family, know that this would be the last time we would be together with our dad/husband on this earth. Before he left us, we gathered around his bedside and shared with him how much we loved him and thanked him for blessing us with his life.

As a family we are grieving immensely and our loss is huge, beyond any expression of words or communicated feelings. And because of the impact our dad/husband had on us, his absent presence is felt even more. There's no question that our lives have been changed. We do know the Lord will get us through this difficult transition, but this is quite a painful reality, one we knew we might have to embrace. Personally, I already miss those precious moments with him, whether it be coming home from VA early in the morning and getting a big hug from him, or simply hearing his voice on the phone. I love him dearly and wish he were home again.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - II Cor. 4:16-18

Conversely, we rejoice that our dad suffers no longer, for in spite of our selfish desires to have him with us, we know he is at a place that is far greater than this life - the presence of our Lord. In that, we celebrate dad's return to his true home.

On behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone who took the time to fervently lift my dad before the Lord in prayer. I don't take that lightly and feel so touched by your time and generosity to join us in our plea for a miracle. Again, as mentioned in my last email, thank you to those who prepared such wonderful meals. They were so helpful especially after coming home late at night. May God return the blessings you gave to us and touch you where you need it the most.

With so much appreciation to you,

Justin & the rest of the Agoglia Family