(Tiago’s note–This is the sixth in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil and the second by Fifi. The women have given their permission for this blog post although their names have been changed. In this reflection, Fifi shares the feeling of loss after losing her one-week old son shortly before coming to prison. Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and her angel. Pray for the thousands of women in prisons who also desperately miss their loved ones.)
When you lose a loved one, it is very painful. It is like they take a piece away from your life. For some, its easier to get over than another; everyone is different. The pain will never go away, but you will learn to live with and handle it.
The moment the person you lose is going to heaven, it is better but still very painful for the loved ones left behind. Everybody handles the grieving process differently.
In your mind, you know its better that your loved one has gone to heaven, but in your heart you want something else. Your loved one has no more pain and can be happy in heaven; away from your life they are actually nearer. I know that I will always have the new angel with me and he will watch over me.
(Tiago’s note–This is the fifth in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil. The women have given their permission for this blog post although their names have been changed.
In this reflection, Fifi shares the feeling she has being incarcerated shortly after losing her one-week old son. Please think about and pray for the deceased child, the author “Fifi” and the other women in prisons throughout the world. Let’s ask Him to provide them with the strength to carry on in these dark places.)
To be a human is to feel pain, sadness, happiness, and love. But for me, feeling like a human sucks.
If I could go to heaven, I would tell my son how much I love him, I miss him, and ask him how he is doing. I would ask him if he is happy and if he is proud of me for doing everything I could do until his last breath.
I also wanna tell him how proud I am of him, how he fought for his life, but it was not meant to be, to be a (long) life.
Then I want to come back to earth and live a life like a normal human being. This is what it feels like to be a human right now for me.
Mira signed her work, “Thank you for being so good friend. Happy Birthday. From Russia with Love.” While it did not come from Russia, I knew what she meant. It came from her…a Russian…and it came from her heart. It was a birthday present for me and she was delighted to share her talents; a hand-drawn owl using only a simple black pen. As we say in Mission, we often get more out of our work than the people we minister too. This drawing and her words are just another example. спасибо (Thank you) Mira!
(Tiago’s note–This is the fourth (and the second for Angela) in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil. The women have given their permission for this blog post although their names have been changed.
In this reflection, Angela shares the story of a recent death in the prison and how the women shared the grief in order to help them make sense of it all. Please think about and pray for the deceased woman, the author “Angela,” and the other women in prisons throughout the world. Let’s ask Him to provide them with the sense of togetherness that will help get through their own trials.)
A week ago we said, “Goodbye” to one of our country mates from South Africa. It came as a very big shock to all of us. Two days before, her cellmate had to carry her to Saúde (Health Clinic) because she suffered from asthma and could not breathe. From there, she was transferred to the prison hospital where she passed away.
It was a very sad weekend for all of us. I know that not only for me but for all of us, our thoughts were with our loved ones, thinking that if anything should happen (to us) there are no last goodbyes. We are all so far away from our families.
On the next Tuesday, we all got together with our consulate to pay our last respects to her. It was heartbreaking but the unity of everybody present was overwhelming and the togetherness of all the different cultures were all that some needed.
My thoughts and prayers go out to her parents and family who lost a special person in such horrible circumstances.
God bless you!
(Tiago’s note–This is the third in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil. The women have given their permission for this blog post although their names have been changed.
In this reflection, Winona tells a little bit about her experience and what keeps her strong. Please think about and pray for Winona and the other women who write these reflections. Let’s ask God to provide them with the strength needed to finish this painful and lonely Passeio.)
Hello, my name is Winona. I am a middle-aged woman from the Netherlands. I was arrested last year together with my boyfriend. We have been together for almost 3 years now! We were arrested for drug-trafficking, so we are both now in prison. To be here is not easy and can be very hard but I’ll have to keep strong!
I miss my boyfriend a lot, same as my family and his parents! But luckily I’ve got four good friends here from South Africa. Also the letters from my boyfriend keep me strong and the letters from our families too. And of course my faith in God and my prayers helps me to get through this!
From Monday till Friday I work, but its hard work, but it keeps me busy, and every Saturday I look forward to see the missioners and Pastoral Carcerária members (who visit us) to talk with them and this also keeps me strong!
We hope and pray that our sentence will not be that long so that we can go back home soon and see our families again!
But I know God is with us.
(Tiago’s note–This is the second in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil. The women have given their permission for this blog post although their names have been changed.
In this reflection, Dawn from Canada, provides us with a short poem. Please think about and pray for Dawn and the other women who write these poems and reflections. Let’s ask Him to provide them with the inner peace and silence they need to stay strong while incarcerated.)
Three Little Birds–A poem by “Dawn” (Title by Bob Marley)
Is it all for a reason?
The human experience is painful
The world is small and beautiful, big and scary
Full of complex organisms and coincidences
time, love, hurt, memories, Thoughts
How to turn ones head off?