Saturday, 6 March 2010

A Sad Goodbye...

Dear Friends,

yesterday I went to visit Yasmin, a dear friend, Trustee-in-charge and devoted SCANN founder.  Yasmin as you know has been fighting cancer for a year and after extensive chemo therapy managed to pull through and gain strength enough to attend a clinic in India for the radio therapy following her surgery.  Whilst in India Yasmin was able to have the chance of visiting many sacred places that she had always wanted to reach.

On returning to Nakuru Yasmin's health declined and we were advised that she was weak, expecting her to recover her strength after a rest period, however this was not the case.  Last night I went to visit Yasmin and was shocked to see how frail she was.  I managed to talk to her not really knowing she had heard or understood as she was not up to conversation.  I told her that I was there to pass on the love of the boys, staff and myself and to know we held her dearly in our hearts.  Yasmin held up her hand and acknowledged that she understood.  I left the room feeling that life was truly being cruel to someone who had done so much for so many.  

I returned home knowing that Yasmins time was short and spent a sleepless night thinking of the best way to help the boys deal with the loss of someone they loved so dearly.  Today I went to SCANN to hold the doctors clinic for the boys and made some phone calls to the Chairman suggesting that neither the staff nor the boys were aware of the situation and would need to be prepared.

It was decided that we should arrange for the boys to visit Yasmin to say their farewells in the afternnon.  I busied myself with arranging for boys to be excused from their schools where they were attending their Saturday tuitions.  The boys who were present at SCANN were explained that Yasmins health had declined quickly and they were to prepare themselves to visit her in the afternoon. I talked to the boys to try and ease the shock they would feel on seeing Yasmin but knowing from my own experience the night before. that nothing I said would.  I eventually told them that they were going to say 'goodbye' and to remember try to Yasmin as she was before.

I busily sent text messages to all the university and college boys asking them to return to SCANN as the time to see Yasmin was short.  Many phone calls later we heard that before the boys had a chance to return from the local schools Yasmin had passed on.  I felt guilty as having seen her the night before I had wished her a swift release from the pain and suffering she was in but knowing that the boys had not had the chance to say farewell.  We waited for the majority of the local boys to return from school and made the announcement, so many listened in disbelief and then many broke down and sobbed the realisation had set in that she had gone.

I then spoke to the boys and told them that I had had the chance of seeing Yasmin the night before and had given her the love from all of them and that they should be happy that her suffering was now over and she was at peace, she would always be living within the hearts of each one of them.  I hoped that this would help them a little in the knowledge that someone had passed on their feelings.  After they boys held prayers the hall soon became quiet as the boys left and found solice in their solitude.  I am not sure what was worse the sounds of the boys sobbing or the silence that fell across SCANN as boys disappeared into their own cocoon of thoughts.

I struggled alot with the emotions of dealing with the boys knowing that it was strength that they needed and I was the last person to provide it.  Whilst the staff dealt with the shock of the received news I wandered into the 3 dormitories and checked on the boys,  offering a hand on the shoulder, a ruffle of the hair, or just a look to let them know they weren't alone, actually what I wanted desperately to do was to wrap my arms round the shuddering shoulders of the boys and take away their pain but their grieving process had started and here it appeared to be a solitary one, it would need to run its course, the majority of the boys had experienced loss so many times before and this just opened new wounds.   

I resent messages to all the university and college boys informing them what had happened and that they should continue to return to SCANN to attend the funeral to be held on Monday at midday.  The family of SCANN reuniting under such tragic circumstances.

My two IKEA girls Anna and Nicole have been fabulous, supporting me last night on my return from Yasmins and today doing shopping and preparing dinner in my absence (including managing to light the giko).  I am so glad for the company and support they have given.

Tomorrow I will return to SCANN to finalise arrangements for the boys prayers and attending the funeral on Monday, I will hopefully take time to sit and talk with the older boys on their return.

Yasmin was a formidible woman, quick to rile and with a roar louder than a lion, she worked tirelessly for the boys welfare and often did alot more than people were aware of.  Yasmin's shoes will never be filled. We love her and will miss her terribly.  My one great relief was that I was still in Nakuru to be with the boys to lessen their burdons of grief.

Rest in peace now Yasmin.

Love to you all,

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