FAREWELL TO TINA

Over the past few months a lot of information has come to light which has been confusing about Tina and her history.  It seems that she kept part of her life in compartments which were separate from each other.  The discovery of what has been going on in some of the other compartments has been sometimes bewildering and sometimes distressing.

But in the end, what mattered was that this young woman  had been through a great many problems and her strength, courage, determination and faith kept her going.  She managed in the only way she knew how, and she was completely devoted to her daughter Anna.

Tina died last Thursday peacefully in the hospice.  Anna, who is living with our daughter, was told the news when she got home from school.  This weekend they have been on a long-scheduled weekend with my sister in the north, who will know just how to deal with a bereaved child.  I hope it will give them a break from the long valley of the shadow of death in which we have all been walking.

The past will no doubt continue to throw up the unexpected and unknown.  But now our family will concentrate on helping Anna  to deal  with this massive loss in her life.  It will be a long, slow and often painful process, but we all want Anna to know that  she is loved and wanted, and that her mother’s life is valued by us and by God.

Tina was not her real name.  It was her trafficked name, the one in the false passport she was given.  As she became sicker, she told me that her real name was Kalo, the name her mother gave her.  At the end of her life, her true identity emerged.

Kalo spent many years in Ghana and spoke Ashanti.  She had an Ashanti Bible which she read frequently and which was falling to bits.  We gave her Communion in the hospice when we were last there, and she read this from the New Testament in Ashanti:

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

With Anna there too, we talked about how her Mum’s body was very sick, but one day Jesus would give her a new body, that would never get old and that would never know pain or tears again.  When I looked at her, there was a small, slow smile crossing her little face.

We’ll take good care of her for you, Kalo.  Nanteyie.  Goodbye.

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17 thoughts on “FAREWELL TO TINA

  1. Hi Gill,

    It’s an enormous amount for Anna to process; the trafficking, (losses that may be associated with that move) her life as a child refugee, adapting to a new community, its communications and way of life, now the death of her closest kin, her mother, and her transition into a new family. It sounds like the transition into her new family has been quite smooth. It should be a great emotional help to her.

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    1. Indeed it is. Helped enormously by the church family, who have been very much involved with her and her mother over the past 7 years, and two of whom were named as next of kin, so it means that she is still surrounded by people who have been familiar to her since she was 3 years old. When we first knew them she was a selective mute, so we’re just keeping an eye on that. But she does seem remarkably settled, and we’re blessed with my son in law, who is a genius father figure – something she’s never had before.

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      1. What you describe is better than text book guidance. It is beautiful. Would that it were possible for more, who, without a doubt have great need of it.

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  2. Question from her the other day, as she was answering a written question: ‘this tells me to draw my family, but I don’t know which family to draw. Should it be Mum’s family, or yours?’
    Me: how about all of them? We’re all your family now.
    Anna: I can’t get them all in the box!

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    1. Thanks Dina. We buried her near a tree full of blossom. Our daughter took Anna to the grave the next day, to lay a posy. They are going to plant bulbs there in the autumn.

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    1. Thanks, Elliott! We’re here at present helping our son in law look after her as our daughter is out of the country. She shows very little emotion but I suspect things are going on deep down which she will share when she’s ready.

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