Obituary for Noleen C.

Obituary for Noleen C.

Obituary for Noleen

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing on of Noleen Chandamare on the 6th of June, 2020 at 0210 hours at Norton Hospital after a short illness. Noleen was one of the students we have supported over the years. She passed on aged 21.

I remember the first time I met Noleen, she was full of life and was grateful for having finally met me in person. Noleen had a medical condition known as spina bifida, which confined her to a wheelchair. She had a hearty laugh and before we even talked much she was all over thanking Tariro for all she had done for her and begging me that I should come to see her compete in the wheelchair race and see how good she was.

As we all know, there were things that Noleen couldn’t do. She couldn’t walk. She couldn’t do many things other people take for granted every day. When some people looked at her, that’s what they saw – the things she couldn’t do. But that’s not what we saw, and that’s not who she was. I’m sure that when her mother, her father and her family looked at her, they seldom saw what she couldn’t do. No, they saw the many things she could do. She could smile. She could laugh. She could feel unbridled happiness. She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in special activities at St. Giles and Danhiko and had become a “pro” in wheelchair racing. She just had completed a vocational training course in hairdressing.

There are people who have so many blessings that Noleen never had, and yet don’t appreciate those blessings. They have good health but they take it for granted. They can walk but they don’t know which way to go. There were more things she could do. She inspired others to try harder. By seeing her work hard to overcome her own challenges, it reminded others to work harder as well. She helped teach us about our own strengths and gifts in this way. She also taught us how to be happy because she took joy in simple things – joy in seeing her family, joy in seeing us his extended family, joy in seeing her friends.

We could look to her for an example of perseverance and inner strength, as she continued to fight battles in health and limitations that would crush many of us. She showed us what it is to be strong because strength is not just found in being the biggest, the toughest or the fastest. Strength is found in one who keeps on going, keeps trying, day after day, and long after others give up. Strength is found in one who knows success isn’t always big and flashy but knows that sometimes the greatest success is found in the tiniest of victories.

Just think of all the gifts that Noleen gave us. Through her vulnerabilities, she gave us the gift of insight and showed us things we might otherwise have missed. Noleen gave us the gift of perspective. She reminded us that most of our problems are not really problems, and to be grateful for what we have. We must savour the sweet, beautiful moments we have every day because ultimately life is fragile and someday all too soon, we must say goodbye.

She taught us about kindness and patience because it took a lot of love, patience and dedication to care for her needs day after day. To nurture someone so completely, and to do it for so long, takes dedication and depth of love that is hard to comprehend for those who haven’t done it. It is truly loving without condition, and it is perhaps the most beautiful and pure example of love that exists. She made that kind of love exist. She made it possible.


And finally, Noleen gave us the gift of beauty. Her life wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t glamorous. There were a lot of hard times, for her and for her family, friends and us. But she taught us that we can see past the difficulties and find the beauty, for there is always beauty.

For instance, imagine there is a day when you have big plans, big expectations, but you get up in the morning and it’s raining. The sky is dark and it’s windy and miserable. Why it rained today, you ask. Of all the days, why today? Why did it mess up my plans? It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I planned for. It’s not what was supposed to happen.

But if you look hard you may still find the beauty in it all. When you look out at the rain, you may see puddles and storm clouds and mud. You may see grey skies and raindrops and dreariness. Or you might look deeper and see how the rain nourishes the earth, settles the seeds and gives them roots so they can grow. You may see how the water flows from the sky to the earth to the sea and back again to the sky in a great cycle that never ends. And you might also look up to the heavens and see the rainbow and remember that it is only because we have endured through the storm that we are lucky enough to see the rainbow.

Noleen was our rainbow. Through the tough times, through the adversity and the challenges and the pain, she shone through with a special light. It’s not fair that she shone brightly for only a short time and then left us. Yet we can be assured that like the rainbow, she was a blessing from above. We can both mourn the loss of her life and we can celebrate the life she led and the lessons she gave us. For the best gift, she gave us, was her very life. She was a gift. For all the ways she taught us about life and love, for all the ways she inspired us to be better, and for all the love she gave while she was here with us, she was a gift to each of us. May we never forget this beautiful gift.   May we give strength and support to her family as they find their way in this world without her. And may we honour her memory every time we look up to the sky, look past the clouds and see the rainbow.

Through generous donations from all our sponsors, Tariro was able to make a difference in Noleen’s life as through their donations she able to attend school at St. Giles and Danhiko where she also  got special care for her condition

***In Memory of Noleen Chandamare ***




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