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Hope in the darkest hour

Margaret Wise
Thursday, August 17, 2017

WHEN the family of Adi Tamari Finau Beryl Tabakaucoro bade her farewell in Nadi yesterday, the congregation at the funeral service got to hear how she radiated the calm of goodness, right to the very end.

The 22-year-old succumbed to leukemia just a week after she was diagnosed, her sudden demise causing an unbearably intense feeling of loss for those who knew her.

But true to form, and even in death, the Fiji National University student found a way to give her parents and loved ones a way to find hope in their darkest hours.

While death is an ugly reality of life, and while no parent wants to outlive their children, the young Bau native was able to comfort those who mourned her passing, giving a close cousin the opportunity to speak of hope and why it should be embodied.

In delivering her eulogy at the funeral service in Nadi, Adi Kelera Tabakaucoro said her cousin's Bible fell on her lap while collecting her personal belongings at the Lautoka Hospital.

"Some pieces of paper with notes on it fell out," she said.

"When I read it, I knew it was meant for me."

Adi Kelera said one of the writing pieces was a poem on how to cope with the loss of a loved one.

The second was a verse from the Bible which captures God's perspective on grief.

"On the second sheet of paper was 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 'But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope'."

Her mother, Elenoa, said her daughter's brief experience with cancer taught them that wonderful things can come out of the darkest moments of our lives.

"We just thank God because we got the opportunity to be with our daughter. We are thankful we had the whole week to have an intense and close intimacy with God. We were told she had two months, and although that time was cut short, we are grateful she was normal throughout until the last day.

"One thing I do know is that Adi Finau was spiritually prepared.

"That is the one consoling truth of our sorrow."

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