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Death of Christian writer Rachel Held Evans left 'gaping raw wound,' husband says

Dan Evans said he is trying to maintain "stubborn hope" after the sudden and devastating loss of his wife at 37.
/ Source: TODAY

The husband of bestselling Christian writer Rachel Held Evans has opened up about maintaining hope for the future despite the "gaping, raw wound" left in his family's life by her death at 37 earlier this month.

Dan Evans wrote in an emotional blog post Thursday that he aims to "start reassembling my shattered imaginary future" after the funeral for his wife Saturday at First-Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Rachel Held Evans died on May 4 at 37. Her husband wrote, "This gaping raw wound in my life isn’t something I can fix."

"But I have hope,'' he wrote. "The kind of stubborn hope that exists in the face of certain future tragedy. It's a hope that's aware of the past, the present, and the future possibilities. It's a hope that's fulfilled every time I remember I can still laugh at bad jokes, still be a friend to my friends, still love my children.

"It's not a hope that requires life to turn out how I want. It's not a hope that I have to wait for. It's a hope that takes delight in all the things that are still good. It's a hope I learned from Rachel."

Evans was the author of books exploring Christian faith, including "Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church," which was published in 2015.

Rachel Held Evans died on May 4 after being hospitalized for complications from the flu and experiencing a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. Her husband wrote on her blog that she was being treated for an infection in the hospital when she began having seizures and was put in a medically induced coma.

She experienced swelling in her brain and never emerged from her comatose state.

She was the mother of two children, a 3-year-old boy and a girl approaching her first birthday.

In a note announcing his wife's funeral plans, Dan Evans says he is trying to maintain hope for the future. "It's a hope I learned from Rachel," he wrote. Rachel Held Evans/Facebook

"This gaping raw wound in my life isn't something I can fix,'' Dan Evans wrote on Thursday. "Sometimes things just hurt and there’s no avoiding it. Any attempt to do so, to move on too quickly, to outsmart it, to cover up the pain, will backfire. It will have to ease on its own with the passage of time."

The Tennessee native was the author of several books, including last year's "Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again." She was known for exploring themes of faith, doubt and life in the Bible Belt.

Her husband also announced that her funeral will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. and will be livestreamed for those who can't make it in person.

"I want anyone who would gain some small amount of solace from this imperfect ritual in the face of massive loss to have a chance to do so,'' Dan Evans wrote.