‘May I write a blog on you” I asked Carole Viegas when she visited me a month ago. Her immediate response was, ” I’d rather you don’t ” More like, I enjoy being the person who I am, and do not want any publicity.
On Friday 19th July 2019, I had attended the Eucharist and was due to visit the housebound with Holy Communion. As I commenced on my rounds, I thought of a few questions I would ask Carole on my visit to her home. …mainly for the intended blog on her,
I reached the neighbourhood and realized something was amiss at the Viegas household. I went up to her home. The silent group of people assembled with her husband Gerry, was enough to signal that Carole had already departed to her heavenly home.
Carole was always more concerned about Gerry’s health, both being cancer survivors. However she displayed tremendous courage and joie de vivre. Her daughter Gayle mentioned “ Mum was quite upset when first diagnosed; but I encouraged her to be brave and battle it out. And she did heed that advice to be positive, and outgoing as before. In fact her peaceful departure while asleep, was certainly a victory for her. It was more heart related , rather than the cancer.”
Two days before her demise , I met her in the neighbourhood. She was returning from the Bombay Institute for the Deaf and Dumb , where she worked to get donors involved.Her initial involvement was with the Board of the Institute. It was also her 75th birthday the previous week and I was so happy to wish her well. She lived life to the fullest.
In our Village of Matharpacady, she was one of the most active residents. She was President of the Holy Cross Committee. We did not realise that The Holy Cross Feast on 1st May 2019 would be her last. We will miss the Meetings at her home before and after the feast. She also served as an animator of the Parish Zone 8 and earlier on the Parish Council of Rosary Church. But her notable contribution in the Church was her passion to sing in the choir. You could never miss seeing Carole for the mass choir, specially at the main feasts of Christmas and Easter. Most of all when people needed a choir for a funeral, it did not matter who it was..she would always pitch in to help in the matter.
Her special attribute was to be an ‘Encourager’. I say special, as she made it a point to find something good to say about any service done by people. Being a beneficiary of it myself, I know how she has impacted many. Carole was very loving and had no malice. She always strove for unity and went out of her way to overcome any differences. She could connect with people of all ages. At meetings she shared her opinion without ruffling feathers .
I remember the early family days, when Carole’s home was full of life. There were parties, and songs floated into the night. She and Gerry were good dancers. I think their jive was so relaxed that it looked as easy as ever. An important event earlier was the celebration of their Golden Wedding . It was a very joyous occassion and well attended. Yes indeed , she was richly blest.
I was amazed to see the church filled beyond capacity at her funeral mass. She had touched the lives of so many, who came specially to bid her farewell . Carole’s granddaughter Keira sang a beautiful hymn ‘Be Not Afraid’ , to reiterate that spirit of courage. Eulogies flowed from her children , grandchildren , and extended family. Her grandchildren Maya and Neel, recalled how she told them stories of the yesteryears and always encouraged them in their endeavours. Ignatius read out a message from her cousin Rosalind. Jordana her godchild, spoke lovingly about Carole. Even her former office colleague Marisa, shared some beautiful memories of her.
Her son Garth mentioned that this was a celebration of her life well lived. Yes , and the family did followup with this emotion at the end of the day. They bid her farewell that night the way she would have wanted , with joy and song.
Farewell dear Carole…… May you rest in eternal peace with our Heavenly Father.