Posted on: May 1, 2024 Posted by: diasporadigital Comments: 0

A Monthly Inspirational Viewpoint of Life’s Journeys with Sonia Wignall.

Episode Twenty-Three

A few weeks ago, I sat at the hospital bedside of a family member during the last few hours of her life. She was surrounded by her two adult sons, her beloved husband of over 40 years, and other family members.

It was a moment of sadness, but also a moment of deep reflection.

She came from a very large and close family. As her husband and other immediate family members were making funeral arrangements, I was home praying for the opportunity to speak at her funeral. I felt deeply that there was a word I should deliver. A day or so later, her husband, my first cousin, who is like a brother to me asked me to speak at the funeral on behalf of our family, his birth family. An answered prayer.

He mentioned that there would be about 400 people at the funeral. I was honored by his trust in me. In addition to speaking briefly at the “2024 Diaspora Global Week Conference”, this would be my next largest speaking opportunity.

I wrote, re-wrote and studied my notes. I also began to weep intermittently at the pain, his great loss and their love. I focused a lot on how he would move forward alone.

The funeral was indeed 400 or nearly 400 strong. I delivered a passionate message about following the legacy of obedience and service that everyone before me had spoken about and the importance of us collectively understanding the great value of her life and ours.

The greater understanding and responsibility of what her death had imposed on us all. Infact what all deaths imposes on us all.

The limitation of time, our inability to control or estimate the day, hour or moment of our own last breath, and the responsibility we have all been given through each breath we breathe.

The opportunity to surrender while still conscious and intentionally rededicate our lives back to God. Re-align and get back on track with his purpose for our lives.

We are all vessels of God, my cousin’s wife opened her arms wide in grace and allowed God to craft her life for his use. She was a beautiful daughter, sibling, family member, community servant and friend.

As a teacher she worked professionally and intentionally. She served her church and community where needed.

As a wife she understood her position, responsibility and calling. She was a magnificent caretaker. As a mother, she excelled, and with her husband, through God’s grace, blessings, and mercy, they created a unified unbreakable team. A model and legacy for her 5 grandchildren and the others to come.

At her final gathering family, friends, community members, former co-workers, etc came from many different directions to share parts of her story and express their love and gratitude. She was a treasure, a servant and an influencer in many lives.

I sat and listened as gratitude, grace and honor unfolded. All 400 plus of us, including those that were not able to attend were part of her story. She served in life, and ministered to our spirits in death. Through the humility of her spirit she left us understanding and instructions

Her gathering was the place, the time and moment we were all called to be.

I became acquainted with family members that I did not know we had, and may have otherwise never met. I connected with family and friends I had not spent time with in years.

The depth of her love, service and legacy deeply reminded me of the work I was sent to do, and most continue doing.

Her gathering was beautiful.

With love and honor, we collectively thank you Eileen Bailey for being a “Servant Leader”, unifier, and revealer of God’s truth.


“The greatest among you will be your servant.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,

and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Mathew 23: 11-12

Image(s) Attribution: Sonia Wignall

Sonia Wignall

Sonia Wignall is Co-Founder & Board Chair, Diaspora Global Foundation:

 She is also a Cultural and Lifestyle Writer. Her articles and monthly column “Perspective” can be found on Diaspora Digital News.