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.

 

 

Carrying CAFOD partners in prayer – the Poor Clare community in Bulwell

It was great to welcome Niamh to the volunteer centre today. As well as making time to do some of her admin work we were able to visit the Poor Clare community next door. After I had taken the Sisters through the CAFOD Quiz, Niamh then spoke about her visit to our partners in Uganda earlier this year. 1
The Sisters were really receptive and engaging, asking lots of questions about the work of CAFOD; how can we get involved, they asked? Sr Juliana put it in such a lovely way; who can we tuck under our arm and carry in prayer. They have requested details of 17 of our CAFOD programmes, one for each Sister to ‘adopt’ and pray for.

St Anezka was really interested to hear about Niamh’s love of music and her going to study songwriting in September.  She called in afterwards to give Niamh a CD of one her favourite New Zealand singer/songwriters, Brooke Fraser. 20190408_121954

Apparently they are quite a musical community next door!

Be a Gap Year Volunteer with CAFOD

 

 

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!