Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Farewell Dad

Today we said farewell to Dad/Brian/Grandad and it was hard to do so from such a long way away, but that's one of the harsh realities of these strange times.

Rev Mandy from St. George's did a great job in leading the service at the crematorium and spoke so well about him and his life with genuine grace & wisdom. Thank you Mandy!

We had to decamp over to The Gathering's home in order to live stream the service given that loadshedding was due to begin at 12pm at home and it was lovely to be joined by our dear friend Annatjie.

We did have the privilege of recording a video tribute by Paula and a Bible reading by Dean, so though we were over 6000 miles away we were there in spirit as well as the live stream.

R.I.P. Grandad

Most of you probably know by now that Dad/Brian/Grandad passed away yesterday morning. It wasn't totally unexpected though we didn't think it would be quite so quick. He was battling leukemia on top of dementia, so in many respects it was a blessing to see an end to his suffering, especially knowing he was a Christian and his place in eternity is assured, but we're still heartbroken by the news.

He was a dearly loved father, father-in-law & grandad and we're very sad at the thought of never seeing him again.

We heard on Sunday lunchtime that our 'dad' had died. Uncle Paul was a giant in the faith and a man we had grown to love very dearly.

I never had the privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela, but I did have the awesome privilege of knowing Uncle Paul and I now treasure the few occasions I got to sit with him and listen to his stories about his life and growing up in this amazing but divided country.

20 September 2013 will go down in history as the day the earth lost a precious lady, a woman who spent her life giving and serving, a woman who loved Jesus with all her heart, all her mind and all her strength, a woman who loved her family and pursued unity at all costs.

Aunty Poppy was one of my first real friends in South Africa, very quickly she won her way into my heart and before long I regarded her as my South African mother. She loved me and my family with a passion and could never wait to see any visiting members of my own family from the UK, particularly my Dad!

Ernest - RIP

I just heard the sad news that my friend Ernest died this morning. Ernest had been battling after a number of strokes and had his sixth major stroke just a couple of weeks ago. Sadly in the last day or so he took a turn for the worst and passed away this morning.

Thankfully Ernest was saved so we can rejoice in that. Also, he has the biggest family I have ever known and they've been amazing in supporting him, caring for him and loving him.

Vicky

I was really saddened to hear of the death of Vicky last night.  I knew he had been sick for a while now but it's such a shame to see yet another young man die of HIV related illnesses when he could and should have been on ARV's over two years ago.

Life, Death & Cake!



Once again the weekend demonstrated what a diverse life we seem to live at the moment, and quite how many opportunities we have to participate in all walks of life and be ready with a word of encouragement, listening ear, tissue(!) etc. etc.

Weekend

This is a weekend with a twist in so far as it's four days long and we're up to a few different things.

On Saturday Dean attended Josie's funeral, it was actually a celebration of her life rather than a turgid funeral and it was truly a joy to behold! The main thing that struck Dean though was just how different a middle class Cape Coloured funeral is to a Cape Coloured township one. It's hard to explain but the differences were palpable (hope that makes sense).

Feeding Programme

Our feeding programme in CNP continues to go well and As has become custom over the last few years, once a month we deliver food to some of the neediest folk in the community. Today we bought the food (made possible by the Phillipi Trust and St.George's Weald) for our 13 HOPE home based care patients. This is a monthly venture and really blesses the families concerned, particularly in these days of huge price rises. It is quite a big task, but, together with our local supermarket, we are finally getting a system together that runs like clockwork! We then use the bakkie to pile all the food in before taking it off for house to house deliveries - you should see the smiles on people's faces and hear their thanks!! It's very humbling.

Not In The Job Description

Once again, yesterday found me doing things I never thought I would have to and that certainly aren't in my 'job description'!! It was the day of the funeral for my friend in CNP (see: Grieving & Rejoicing). I turned up at 8 am knowing that CNP funerals never run to time, only to find that the first part in the house was already underway!! It was a truly fitting and glorious occasion, in the right sense of the words. My friend's life was honoured and all the glory went to God. As usual though, things never go as you might expect. I had greeted all the family members and stood for an hour in the wind and rain outside the house because there were so many people. Just as we were waiting for the coffin to be brought out of the house and taken to the tent in CNP for the next part of the funeral, my friend's oldest daughter came and told me that I was needed. I went in and next thing found that I was carrying the coffin whilst holding on to the 12 year old daughter who is wailing at this point. I find it strange that noone seems to want to comfort a crying child in this situation. I then spent the next 2 hours taking part in the service whilst trying to be of some comfort to the daughter who was really distraught, yet lucid enough to say that she would never see mummy again. How powerless you feel in situations like this! I was honoured to be able to speak about my friend and managed to provoke a few laughs as well as many tears amongst those gathered, so I think it went down well.

Grieving And Rejoicing

Today has been a very sad day. We learnt this morning that our friend and patient in CNP who has recently got on to ARV treatment died. She had been very sick in the past week, but we never thought that this was it. Paula took her to the clinic on Tuesday and they immediately admitted her to the hospital where she stayed until her death. Thankfully, Paula, one of our carers and the family were all able to visit her in the final week and spent some quality time talking and praying with her.

Jacques Funeral

I attended Jacques' funeral this morning, or at least the first part of it! Chris Nissen funerals rarely run to time and this one was massive so there was no way it would stick to time. I've never seen so many Rastas in one place and they just kept coming long after the cort├Ęge should have moved from the house to the marquee. By the time the cort├Ęge did move I had a banging headache from the 'dagga' (pot) so started to excuse myself. I don't do drugs but smoked so much dagga vicariously that I had to drive carefully on my way home!

Rastafarian Death

We're safely back from holiday and we'll post about it tomorrow with some photos.

We arrived home to hear that Jacques one of the Rastas in Chris Nissen has been murdered whilst working away from the community. He had picked up some hitch hikers and whilst dropping two off he was carjacked and murdered. The funeral is on Saturday so Dean will attend.

Jacques was a really nice guy and it was quite typical of him to be giving lifts to strangers, being keen to help folk out. He was a gifted musician too, playing the flute in a Rasta band.

Please pray about this as it could be a great opportunity to witness to the Rasta community in Chris Nissen. This murder will also have knocked the community quite badly so please remember them in your prayers.

Vissy

Vissy died on Monday, after a long battle against ill health. Vissy had suffered from TB for a very long time and we suspect she had a form of cancer but will never know. She was a dear friend in Chris Nissen and was always ready for a laugh, however she never really got over the death of her husband two years ago.

Vissy has been an amazing battler throughout and on a number of occasions it looked like she would die, but each time she pulled through. We are so grateful to God for the witness she was in the community.

The funeral is tomorrow morning and Paula will attend on our behalf.

Chris Nissen Park

Death has been a fairly frequent visitor to CNP this winter with another death on Monday. Samuel died in the early hours having had a long fight against TB. We helped him on many occasions with hospital and clinic appointments and tried to sort out his 'unemployment benefit' which he had contributed to, sadly getting blood out of a stone was far easier! Please pray for Susan who cared for samuel, she put up with a lot of grief from him and yet she was uncomplaining through out. Also, Samuel had no funeral policy so there will be a heavy financial burden on the family to pay for the funeral. Hopefully his former employer might help.

Aunty Kuku

Aunty Kuku died in the early hours of yesterday morning. Sadly this is the third death in Chris Nissen in 4 days. She had really struggled since Patrick's death last year and was deteriorating rapidly. Paula spent some time with Aunty Kuku before we went on holiday and felt at the time that she had said goodbye. The funeral will be next Saturday as there is another big funeral this Sat in the community.

We're really grateful to Aunty Kuku's family for looking after her so diligently since Patrick's death, they really did do a great job!

Douglas's Funeral

This morning Dean attended Douglas' funeral and these were his thoughts afterwards:

So, how do you address the congregation at a funeral where you had little respect for the deceased and really didn't like him very much. After all, I only knew the man as a cantankerous old drunkard who placed a heavy burden on his son and never showed any appreciation for his loyalty and unconditional love.

Michael's Father

I spoke to Michael this morning to find out what's happening with Douglas, as when we visited him in hospital on Friday evening he was unaware of why he was in hospital and what was going to be happening. I managed to explain to Douglas (with Michael's help) that he was due to have both his legs removed due to gangrene. As you could imagine Douglas was very upset, whilst Michael was just cross that the hospital staff hadn't informed Douglas about the impending surgery.

Evelyn

Dean & Joel popped into CNP briefly this afternoon, mainly to catch up with Michael but also to see Dina. Remarkably as we discussed this at lunchtime, Paula suggested I take Joel to see M.i.c.h.a.e.l to which Joel immediately said: "I see Michael", how did he know that was the name we were spelling out? Never mind!