This morning I attended the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Salome Angelina Vijayakumar in our local Methodist Church.
Salome lost her battle with leukaemia on New Year’s Eve at the age of 20, leaving her parents, Elizabeth and Vijay and brother Deepak devastated and our congregation feeling bereft.
After all, this was a beautiful, bubbly, intelligent and personable young woman full of life who only a few months ago, was singing in front of us in the church choir and was heavily involved in most church activities (the photo slideshow played during this morning’s service bears testimony to that) and yet 7 months later here she was, taken away in such heartbreaking fashion.
I may not have shared many moments with Salome apart from being her fellow Methodist congregant, but amidst all the grief and sadness, the excerpts read by Rev John, from the diary she kept in her final weeks, as tear-jerking as it all was, was quite inspiring and left a remarkable imprint to all who were present.
In one of most touching excerpts read from a diary – which was exclusively directed at her parents and brother – Salome assured them that she knew what was coming and was at peace with her impending death.
Having thanked them profusely for being the best parents she could have ever wished for and, Deepak for being a wonderful and amazing brother, Salome’s only deep regrets were the heartbreak her illness had caused them, the grief they would suffer when she was gone and that in some regards she felt that she had not been a worthy daughter (sorry to disagree with you on that one Salome, but I’m certain all who knew you would also disagree).
She was that kind of person.
In fact, such was Salome’s dignity and calmness in her last days, that according to one of our parish pastors who visited her in her last days, the psychiatrist who had been brought in to prepare her for what was coming, was somewhat unprepared for her fortitude and resoluteness even as life was ebbing away from her body.
She is an inspiration to those she has left behind.
Rest in eternal peace, Salome and may your family find great comfort in the life you lived.