Obituary

Tributes to Mrs. Annamma Abraham

(1928-2013)

It is with great sadness that we heard that Mrs. Annamma Abraham passed away on the early hours of Friday, 4th January in her sleep. This sudden and unexpected death came as a shock to everyone who knew her. For the last 26 years she had been a stabilising influence for the Mar Thoma Community in London and particularly as a founding member of the Sinai Mar Thoma Church North London.

She is survived by her three sons, John, Roy and Georgie, and grandchildren. Her funeral Service took place on 11th January in the presence of many relations and friends from many countries at St. Mary’s Church, Chesham.

She was the only child of Mr Varkey Varkey and Mrs. Sosamma Varkey of Malayilprampil family of Vennikulam. She was married to Mr M K Abraham of Kochupurakkal family of Kumbanad in April 1946 at the age of 18 and then moved to East Africa immediately and lived there until 1986. They came to England in 1986.

She was a gentle lady in every inch of her being, her dress code, her body language, greetings, smile and many other attributes, which had that quintessential old world charm and discipline we associate with a lady of class, culture, elegance, and distinction.

She had an amazing presence, which we noticed the moment she walked into a room; presence is a difficult word to describe, but it is an experience of grace, an aura of the presence of God in a person’s life that we notice, enjoy and respect. She was full of Grace because God was with her. Secondly, she had a God-given dignity, the dignity of being a child of God and thirdly she had a well disciplined life in Christ, which came from her discipleship.

She presided over a family where kindness of heart would be a matter of practical experience and where love would be at the heart of everything. I used to watch Kochamma walking gently into our church with her entire family for worship and Holy Communion. It was as we read in the book of Joshua: “As for my family and me, we will serve the Lord.” For her serving the Lord meant serving the people, which she instilled in her children. She was a most blessed person in seeing one of her sons, Roy, becoming the mayor of Chesham

She was not only a mother to her children and grandchildren and she was also a sought after Godmother, a second mother, for many children in many countries and she was fond of knitting clothes for many infants of her extended family.

She had an amazing life, she lived in three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe and experienced clash of many civilisations, cultures and religions. Out of these experiences she synthesized and preserved her own identity and a Christian lifestyle for herself and her family.

Her life was a true of expression that Indian mystical prayer: Lead us from ignorance to truth, from darkness to light, and from death to eternity. Yes, indeed she is passing from a transitory life through death to eternity. Death leading to resurrection is at the heart of our faith, an aspect of kerygma or wisdom.

From Africa we may borrow the word Obuntu to express her identity, which means: I am what I am because of you or I am what I am because of you and others are as you are. Here we see the quality of fellowship, a network of relationships and hospitality in her formation, an aspect of Koinonia.

From England we may borrow the expression ‘Motherhood and apple pie’ for her maternal instincts and comfort for expressing her love, helping others and perfecting her life, an aspect of Diakonia or service. Therefore, her life was indeed expressions of wisdom, a network of relationships, and service.

Her death has created a vacuum in many areas of our lives. An Irish proverb reflects the reality of her life: “It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” She gave shelter and hospitality to many people. The words, Maxim Gorky used for describing Leo Tolstoy is appropriate to express our appreciation for Kochamma: “I am not an orphan on the earth as long as this person lives on it.” Now we are orphans for her love. She truly made a difference to our community; Mrs Aannamma Abraham will be deeply missed. We offer our condolences to the family and freinds. May her soul rest in peace.