Wednesday, March 07, 2007

She's a Lady

I met her at the Crematorium where I was teaching my students about death, undertakers and cremations. I was alive and well. She was not. Encased in the unfinished pressed board of a pauper’s coffin, she lay on a trolly awaiting cremation. Her name, scrawled in felt-tipped pen on the top of the coffin, read “Christina Niemand”. And the sadness of this overwhelmed me. Because the Afrikaans second name “Niemand” when translated into English becomes “Nobody”. Here lies ‘Nobody’, about to be cremated by the state as a pauper, because nobody has claimed her.

No one deserves to be a Nobody. Everyone begins life with a father and a mother. There are connections with family and friends. And yet here is someone who has lost them. So I said a prayer for Christina Niemand. Because I know that in God’s sight she is a Somebody.

3 comments:

Dave Lynch said...

Thanks for being there for her

digitaldion said...

umuntu ngumuntu, abantu ngamantu....

I guess even in Africa we have a few things to learn about ubuntu.

Pete, did I ever tell you that you're a gift!? Perhaps not often enough. You are a gift!

Please pray for our colleague Zdsis Hanslow whose baby was also born at 27 weeks and is still in neonatal ICU.

Anonymous said...

Ja Swaer. Maar ons weet dat sy familie het! Give thanks for the ones who love you,know you, care for you, miss you. Give thanks for the ones who lie awake with you at retreat centers with the same issues as you! So much to be thankful for ... so little time!Pieter G