Patricia Riodin attended the Help-From-Above School in Pasbwadòm where I administrated for so many years. She attended with all her brothers and sisters. The Riodin family was always a key family in the local church. They are my neighbors. I walk by their house every day that I leave mine.
Only a few years ago, the ASAPH Brass Band played for Patricia’s wedding. She had often struggled with some health issues. In 2020 she was pregnant and prepared for her first child. She died after giving birth to a baby girl.
A few days later, the ASAPH Brass Band played for her funeral. It was a difficult thing to do for all of us. We felt that we have not been a band long enough to have played for both the wedding and funeral of any person.
Patricia’s brothers and sisters spoke so eloquently about her short life. They shared stories about her faith in Jesus Christ, and her commitment to Him. Her sisters stood and sang a song that Patricia sang often…Just As I Am. Her older sister spoke of a ‘strength’ that God gave her to be able to do such a difficult thing.
Patricia had learned and appreciated several songs that I wrote and taught to the church. I wrote a song for her wedding. Her brother began his speech with a worship song that I wrote, and that they had sung together in a singing group years ago. It was both a happy and sad moment for me. The song talks about loving God more than anything in this life…more than friends, more than wealth, more than fun, more than anything. It is a gutsy thing for a person to say out loud. Patricia had sung those words many times. Her brother sang them at her funeral, and I was happy to say the same words with him in my heart. I was sad that we wouldn’t hear Patricia sing again on this side of life.
Every funeral reminds us of how fragile life is down here. I hope you don’t love anything more than you love Jesus Christ. Life and death both make sense in Him, and in Him alone.
Missionary in Haiti.