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TREASURED DAUGHTER: Ana with husband Paul Hawea, who himself died last year.

Please don’t ask me not to cry.

Some people say to you, “Don’t cry” when something tragic happens and you want to cry, and scream, and blame, and even lie down and die.

It’s because a whole new chapter of your life hits you fair and square in your heart, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t even begin to comprehend what to do, or how to face a future without this child of your womb who is a mother herself. More than that, she was a daughter who befriended so many in her own life and gave her all to her children and those she loved.

We take so much for granted and not many take the time to stop and smell the roses, talk to and befriend strangers, help those less fortunate than themselves and make time to just be there for others.

I’m talking about my daughter, Anaherika (Ana) Angelique Waiwera Hawea, who left us on March 26.

She will not be happy I’m writing this. But I’m not trying to memorialise her in any way as more important than others.

Rather, it is to say to each of you that it’s OK to question all that’s going on in the world with Covid-19, because it’s scary and devastating, but it’s a situation we have to accept if we want to move on.

We are all in this together and the personal tragedies that we face are, for a lot of people, terrifying. So you might say, “What now?” And I say to you, “We must carry on. Everyone loses loved ones. Everyone at some time faces sorrow, loss and hurt.”

I have had the honour and privilege of serving at many tangi services for Māori, Pākehā, Chinese and German alike. I can say with honesty that it is one of the most rewarding things to be asked to do. I cry for those I am asked to do those services for, but now this is my daughter. Although she was in Australia, she was never closer.

I’m now left with my memories, and my tears.

I remember, for example, last Christmas when my daughter and my two mokopuna shouted me a flight to Melbourne on December 12 for her 21st birthday on December 17. I was able to spend precious time with them before flying back to New Zealand at 12.01am on New Year’s Day.

An earlier bishop of our diocese thought I was strange because I didn’t judge other religions. I say it’s all about one thing: love.

God loves us and if you want to cry, do it!

Georgia Hapeta is a deacon at Rangiātea Church in Ōtaki.

Please don’t ask me not to cry


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