Comfort in grief; a personal experience

My granddaughter Leila (7) was staying over at the weekend and on our way to the cinema to see Aladdin she was talking about birthdays and how her birthday is next.  I corrected her and said Uncle Zachary is soon and then it would be Aunty Anna’s etc etc…………………….

So she asks has Aunty Anna got a grave, as she would like to put flowers for her on her birthday. So I said no.  Oh, so she is ashes then?  Where are they? she asks.   At my house, I said.    No further discussion.  She is quiet. Then a minute later she said,  I wish it wouldn’t be Mother’s Day for another 2 years.  Why, I asked.  Because you were so sad on Mother’s Day…………….

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Leila with Aunty Anna, Mum

Since the death of my Mum in 2017 and more recently my daughter Anna in November last year, the experiences of journeying  through an expected death and a sudden loss have been challenging in so many ways.  Mum had her funeral planned; who was going to do what, what she was going to wear, hymns, readings etc.  With Anna we were shell shocked and the bureaucracy of death and  planning to bring her home from Edinburgh where she lived; they were tasks to focus on, delaying our real grief till after the funeral.

And so recently, because of my own personal experience, I have been sharing about CAFOD’s award winning project from 2015, that illustrates how no one is beyond reach of  our support; through prayer, through fundraising, through compassion, through partnership, through love.

 Safe & Dignified Burials in Sierra Leone

The BOND Humanitarian Award recognised the courageous service of the more than 800 burial workers who served with SMART, a UK government-funded consortium comprising of World Vision, CAFOD, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Together the three agencies trained and equipped burial workers to conduct Safe and Dignified burials for Ebola victims across Sierra Leone. 

sierra leoneWe continue to work with our partners in Sierra Leone and last year our Gap Year volunteers visited there.  Life goes on.

As hard as it was and continues to be, we were able to plan and organise for Mum and Anna’s funerals, gathering family and friends to mourn and celebrate their lives with us; something perhaps we take for granted.

 

 

DeLisle Lenten Soup Station

Every Wednesday during Lent the Chaplaincy team at DeLisle School in Loughborough have provided lunch at their Lenten Soup Station.

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They have been raising approximately £70 every week to support this year’s CAFOD Family Fast Day #GiveItUpChallenge.

This reflects so well Bishop Patrick’s call for us all to be missionary disciples and putting our faith in action by responding to the needs of our global neighbours.

Money raised this Lent enables CAFOD, the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England & Wales, to continue the work we do in the many countries where we work, often alongside of CARITAS International sister agencies, ensuring that No One Is Beyond Reach.

Thank you to staff, students, parents and Chaplaincy Team for inspiring us!

 

Beeston Soup Lunch

On Friday I visited the parish The Church of the Assumption in Beeston. Every Friday during Lent, after the 1pm Mass, people are invited to go into the parish hall for a welcoming bowl of homemade soup and a roll. Costing only £2, all proceeds are going to CAFOD.

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The team on duty this week were Jane, Ann and Diane who served very tasty leek & potato or parsnip soup; with garnishes of fresh parsley or cream. Approximately 35 people come along every week so a great amount is being raised each Lent.

Donate to CAFOD Lent 2019 Fast Day

The parish have done this sporadically over the years but the last 3 years it has been part of the parish calendar of fundraising. It was great to have the opportunity to thank all those involved and also to enjoy some tasty parsnip soup!beeston 2

It was also good to see the active relationship between parish and English Martyr’s school, with a a very colourful noticeboard in the church hall entrance