A Tribute to Paul Walker

Monday, 9 December 2013

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela - Tata

Freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.
That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid.
He died Thursday night at age 95.

His message of reconciliation, not vengeance, inspired the world after he negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that imprisoned him.
"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison," Mandela said after he was freed in 1990.
Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
Despite rare public appearances, he held a special place in the consciousness of the nation and the world.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," South African President Jacob Zuma said. "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
His U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, echoed the same sentiment.
"We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth," Obama said. "He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages."
A hero to blacks and whites
Mandela became the nation's conscience as it healed from the scars of apartheid.

His defiance of white minority rule and long incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world's attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994.
In his lifetime, he was a man of complexities. He went from a militant freedom fighter, to a prisoner, to a unifying figure, to an elder statesman.
Years after his 1999 retirement from the presidency, Mandela was considered the ideal head of state. He became a yardstick for African leaders, who consistently fell short when measured against him.
Warm, lanky and charismatic in his silk, earth-toned dashikis, he was quick to admit to his shortcomings, endearing him further in a culture in which leaders rarely do.
His steely gaze disarmed opponents. So did his flashy smile.
Former South African President F.W. de Klerk, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993 for transitioning the nation from a system of racial segregation, described their first meeting.
"I had read, of course, everything I could read about him beforehand. I was well-briefed," he said.
"I was impressed, however, by how tall he was. By the ramrod straightness of his stature, and realized that this is a very special man. He had an aura around him. He's truly a very dignified and a very admirable person."
For many South Africans, he was simply Madiba, his traditional clan name. Others affectionately called him Tata, the word for father in his Xhosa tribe.
A nation on edge
Mandela last appeared in public during the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa. His absences from the limelight and frequent hospitalizations left the nation on edge, prompting Zuma to reassure citizens every time he fell sick.
"Mandela is woven into the fabric of the country and the world," said Ayo Johnson, director of Viewpoint Africa, which sells content about the continent to media outlets.
When he was around, South Africans had faith that their leaders would live up to the nation's ideals, according to Johnson.
"He was a father figure, elder statesman and global ambassador," Johnson said. "He was the guarantee, almost like an insurance policy, that South Africa's young democracy and its leaders will pursue the nation's best interests."
There are telling nuggets of Mandela's character in the many autobiographies about him.
An unmovable stubbornness. A quick, easy smile. An even quicker frown when accosted with a discussion he wanted no part of.

Funerals V Memorial Service

Thursday, 7 November 2013

 Increasingly, the two terms are used interchangeably, especially with cremation growing in popularity making it easier to move the remains of the deceased. 

Traditionally, funerals take place with the body or the ashes of the deceased person present. Memorial services have been ceremonies without the presence of the body although an urn containing the ashes may be present. 

Funerals are usually held immediately following death whereas memorial services may take place weeks or months away. In the past, memorial services also have been less formal than funerals with greater participation by family and friends. 

This is changing, however, as funerals are becoming less centered on the leadership of one person. Memorial services do not necessarily take place in a funeral home or religious setting. 

They may be held in the home or other comfortable gathering place. Funerals are most often held in traditional settings (cemetery, chapel or church) and are often followed by a graveside service. In the future, “funerals” and “memorial” services will both be used to describe the service of celebrating death.

Mandela now being treated at home

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Former President Nelson Mandela has spent his first night back at his Houghton home after being discharged from hospital on Sunday.
The Presidency confirmed on Sunday morning that Madiba was finally going home after spending nearly three months at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria for a recurring lung infection.
A statement issued by the Presidency followed media speculation on Saturday that the former President was going home.
The presidency said the statesman will continue receiving treatment at his Houghton home.
But despite being discharged, the presidency said Madiba’s condition still remains serious and unstable at times and the possibility that he may be readmitted hasn't been ruled out.
The 95-year-old former president's home has been furnished with all the medical equipment needed to treat him.
The presidency also called on members of the public to allow Mandela and his family the necessary private space so that his continuing care can proceed with dignity and without unnecessary intrusion.

Well wishes
Mandela's eldest grandson Mandla said he's delighted his grandfather is back home.
Mandla said his grandfather's return home proves that claims by other family members that Madiba is in a vegetative state aren't true.
At the same time, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory says it is pleased that the statesman has been discharged from hospital and is home with his family.
The centre's Sello Hatang also encouraged the nation to continue Madiba's legacy.
"We should all be praying for Madiba until he fully recovers, but also continue to do our bit to bring change to our communities not just on Mandela Day, but everyday."
Political parties such as the ANC and United Democratic Movement (UDM) have extended well wishes for Madiba and also thanked the South African public for their continued support.
The ANC's Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said, "The ANC is grateful for the support that South Africans and the whole world have given Madiba and his family. We wish him all the best and hope he'll fully recover soon."
UDM Leader Bantu Holomisa welcomed the global icon's recovery.
Holomisa said the UDM wishes the former President a speedy recovery.
"The UDM along with the Mandela family, South Africans and the rest of the world in welcoming Madiba back home and we wish him well."

Quotes about Life and Death

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.  ~Author Unknown

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.  ~Mark Twain

I'm not afraid of death.  It's the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.  ~Jean Giraudoux, Amphitryon, 1929

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.  ~Maurice Maeterlinck

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.  ~Samuel Butler

Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.  ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
~René Francois Regnier

The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.  ~Mark Twain

We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.  We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.  ~David Sarnoff

Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.  ~Francis Bacon, Essays

If you spend all your time worrying about dying, living isn't going to be much fun.  ~From the television show Roseanne

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.  ~Henry Van Dyke

Nelson Mandela still in critical condition

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Members of Nelson Mandela's family have met tribal leaders in his home village to discuss his seriously ill health. The former South African leader remains in a critical condition in hospital in Pretoria after he took a turn for the worse over the weekend, the country's President Jacob Zuma said in his latest statement. Mr Zuma said: "We must support him and support his family. "We must demonstrate our love and appreciation for his leadership during the struggle for liberation and in our first few years of freedom and democracy by living out his legacy and promoting unity, non-racialism, non-sexism and prosperity in our country."

 Sky's Alex Crawford said elders in the village of Qunu had been briefed on Mr Mandela's condition, and that they had been told he was no longer breathing on his own. His family described the 94-year-old's condition as "at its worst", Crawford said. The anti-apartheid leader has been in intensive care since he was last admitted to hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. His wife, Graca Machel, has been by her husband's bedside since he was taken ill.

 Tough Times Funeral Transport

Funeral of last surviving South Africa to hold Victory Cross

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Funeral of Captain Quinton Smythe,Natal Carabineers...the last surviving South African to hold the medal.

The Earth Rise Memorial Space Flight Service from Celestis

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

From the stars we are born, to the stars we will return...

Leaving Earth to touch the cosmos is an experience few have ever known, but many have often dreamed of. Celestis makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface or into deep space. Missions into space that return the cremated remains to Earth are also available.

What is the meaning of Easter?

Friday, 22 March 2013

What is the meaning of Easter?Easter is the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Jesus is the Son of God and heroically gave His life to die for our sins. On the third day after He died -- the day we now celebrate as Easter Sunday -- His friends went to His grave, and found that He had risen from the dead. They saw an angel who told them, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said it would happen."

Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday; now He offers to you the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. This is the true story of Easter, and how it can change your life. Here are 4 principles that tell how you can receive the gift of God for your life.
1. God Loves You!
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"
The problem is that

2. All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

3. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

4. If you want to accept Christ as Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

"Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life.  I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always." 

Transporting of the Deceased

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Thanks to the endless supply of police procedurals on television these days, we've grown accustomed, maybe even inured, to the sight of a body covered by a sheet or being carted off in a bag. But how do they make their somber journey to the morgue or hospital for further examination?

Dead bodies are collected by authorized personnel and transported using a body bag or covered by a sterile evidence sheet -- staffers always use new bags or sheets for each corpse. The body bag must be fully sealed, because it contains and protects evidence during transport that may be critical in a forensic investigation. Bodies are transported in specially fitted, unmarked vans to the site where the autopsy will take place -- typically a hospital or morgue. Once it arrives, the body (still in the bag or sheet) is moved by a diener, or morgue attendant, to the examination room. The diener may sometimes use special equipment designed to transport the body. If the autopsy is not scheduled to be performed immediately, the corpse is stored in a refrigerated area until the examination takes place.

Once medical examiners do perform the autopsies, among the key things they'll look to establish is time of death. They will note certain physical changes in the deceased's body that occur at well known times, which can help them determine the time of death. For example, gravity causes the blood to settle in the body, and lividity, a purple discoloration, imbues the person's skin. The body also becomes rigid -- a condition known as rigor mortis. Following death, the fluid in the eyes causes the corneas to become cloudy -- another clue to the time of death. Medical examiners can also narrow down the time of death based on contents of the deceased's stomach and intestines and whether or not the person has a full bladder.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

What to wear to a funeral

This is a sensitive subject, but one that many people have questions about. The definition of appropriate funeral attire varies a lot across different cultures and religions. This is particularly true for color  For example, in western culture black is the color of bereavement, but in other cultures it is white.

But I think it is safe to say that a funeral is not about us and our outfit. It is about paying one’s last respects to the deceased and supporting their family. That’s why I suggest the safe “M-D-M” dressing rule. Wear a “muted”, “dressy” and “modest” outfit and you’ll look and feel appropriate.

Here’s the checklist in more detail as applied to a funeral:

Keep it muted: Dark colours like black, charcoal grey, navy and brown are no-brainers. Deep burgundy reds, greens and purples, or muted pastels and beige are also fine as long as you don’t wear anything too bright, flashy or bold. Generally, no lively pops of colour for this outfit and that includes make-up.
Keep it dressy: No jeans please. A funeral is a not a casual occasion so at the very least think dressy business casual, but business formal is best. Skirts and dresses are the traditional choice but dress slacks are just as acceptable. Closed toe shoes are not a must but covering up neon toe nail polish is a good idea.
Keep it modest: Tailored clothing is fab but anything too alluring is inappropriate. If an item of clothing is too short, too tight or too low-cut to wear to work, you probably shouldn’t be wearing it to a funeral. Hose is not essential especially if it’s hot, but it does add a polished touch to your skirt or dress ensemble.