In the midst of Carnival celebrations, many of us gathered together at St Philip and St James RC Church, Chaguanas on March 1 to celebrate the life of Elsa Knights-Christopher, who passed away on Friday, February 22.
Pope Francis tells us that thinking about death “illuminates life,” and that “Faith is the greatest inheritance we can leave”. Elsa was indeed a woman of faith and has left us a wonderful legacy. She and I attended Holy Faith Convent, Couva (HFC). Some of the students from our class were present to say farewell to her. We entered HFC in 1962. Ours was the first Common Entrance Class. The strong bond of friendship that developed then, strengthened further over the years.
HFC instilled in us values that have stood the test of time. It was there that Elsa was able to hone her musical talent. Our school song includes a line that states: “Kindness makes the world go around”. Elsa was the epitome of kindness—in her home, her workplace, and in her community.
She had a fulfilling career as an auditor and worked at the Treasury, as well as in a number of government ministries. She always presented herself meticulously and many never failed to comment on her perfect diction.
Although we feel a deep sense of loss at her passing, we thank God for her life and pay tribute to her as a loving, caring woman of deep personal faith; a faithful disciple of Christ; a woman of integrity who used her God-given gifts to the fullest, for example, as choir mistress of the senior choir in Chaguanas for over 20 years. Throughout her illness her faith gave her hope and strength.
Her life has touched people in many different ways. St Paul tells us that there are times in life when “we must walk by faith because we cannot walk by sight”. We cannot understand why Elsa was taken from us so suddenly, but, because of our faith, we trust in God and in His plan for her and for us. We know that her death is not the end.
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is “a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die …” (Ecc 3:1–2). Elsa’s time to die came.
As we commend her soul to her Heavenly Father, let us remember that although she will no longer be with us bodily, her good works, the love that she had for so many, and the warm memories we all have of her will last forever.
We lift up her children, Nicole and Richard, her six grandchildren: Seth, Caleb, Luke, Joshua, Gabriel, Raphael, and the rest of her family and friends in prayer. Be assured of our prayers and good wishes for you all in your time of grief.
We commend Elsa to the care of God. Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. We ask that she may sleep that sleep of peace in God’s presence. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. —Leela Ramdeen