When grief happens

On Monday I emailed you all with the sad news that Sonya Kadel’s husband, Sean, had died after a long battle with cancer.

This is a very sad time for Mrs Kadel, her family and friends. Those of you who know Sonya would have been impressed by her strength in this journey. What you may not know is Sean’s strength. Early in his illness Sean spoke to his church family about trusting in God whatever the outcome. Many of us have prayed for his healing and yet Sean knew with a certainty that ultimately death would not be the end but the beginning of a life in heaven with his saviour Jesus Christ. This sure hope in his God meant that even though there were tough periods, Sean and Sonya cherished the time they had together and Sonya knows that she will see Sean again in heaven one day.

Sonya is a well-loved Middle and Senior School teacher so this was a difficult week for many of her students and those on our staff. Our College Pastors have spent the week making sure they were available for those who wanted to talk, cry or just make a sympathy card for Sonya. Children deal with grief differently and if your child has questions you can’t answer, then our College pastors will be happy to help.

Sean’s memorial service is being held at the Glasshouse Country Baptist Church on Saturday 9 February at 11am. We are expecting a lot of people however if you would like to attend, you are more than welcome. For those who were thinking about sending flowers, Sonya has requested donations to Open Doors instead. Open Doors is a charity that supports persecuted Christians all over the world and one that was close to Sean’s heart. https://www.opendoors.org.au/

It is often difficult to know what to say to someone who has experienced the death of a spouse or close family member or friend. We are often at a loss for words and say the first thing that pops in our head. Can I encourage you to think about what you say in situations like this because it is a sensitive time for the people experiencing such deep grief.

One of our students, Paige Thompson, put together a wonderful response to support Sonya in her grief. In her thoughtful email she asked staff and students to send through kind words and notes so a jar could be filled and given to Sonya at the right time. This is love in action – simple, kind and supportive. Well done Paige and all those who contribute.

Mike Curtis, Principal

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