Saturday, October 1, 2011


Friends and Family,
Today we accompanied Tomas and his family in his final farewell. Rains were heavy at moments and we all were drenched as we were present in the wake, funeral mass, and burial of our beloved friend and work companion of the Clinica Maxena, Tomas Lopez. Tomas was a very special person and loved by all who had the privelege to know him; he worked 35 years in the Clinica Maxena and retired two years ago at 75 years of age as a night guard and janitor. He was a poor man; he had 8 children and 60 grandchildren and great grandchildren. They chose to build their humble homes together in a small plot of land. Their doors were always open to each other and to the homeless; he was the center and Heart of the family. Tomas died of Liver cancer three months after diagnosis. He died with great dignity and peace. He called his family together to talk and comfort each and give counsel. He asked that his humble home be repaired for his wife before his death. His children completed the request and he was moved back into his home one day prior to his death. The home is made of wood and a dirt floor. He asked that they welcome those who were coming to him now with coffee and bread as he would do so, if he was able.

Hundreds came to the wake. Here the custom is to bring a few pounds of sugar and a small donation is dropped into the basket on top of the casket. The wake included a band and many church leaders offering prayer and homage, including Sr ANNA of our Mission. Plastic chairs were rented to accomodate the crowd. The service ended about midnight. The workers of the clinic made beautiful flower arrangements for the occassion and all came to pay last respects. The family borrowed money to provide the final farewell to their Dad and grandfather.

Today was the Funeral Mass. The sky was overcast but the rain did not come during the service or walk to the cemetery. THANK YOU TOMAS!!

Following the mass, as is the custom here for many, the casket makes rounds to homes of the children, as a last good bye. We were honored that TOMAS was brought to the clinic as a final good bye. The workers carried the flower arrangements they had made and other workers carried his casket three blocks from the church to the clinic. Chico, a clinic personell, gave the last farewell to Tomas. The casket was carried to the door of the CLINIC and the carriers genuflected three times, in respect and as a last farewell. The casket of TOMAS was then carried to the cemetery by clinic workers and accompanied by hundreds with flowers and tears. ADIOS TOMAS! VAYA CON DIOS!

Thank YOU for accompanying us on our JOURNEY to serve our brothers and sisters in GUATEMALA. Donate on line to the Clinica Maxena at

Sheila McShane, RN
Director of Clinica Maxena
Visit us also on FACEBOOK.