“These simple words, printed in white against a red background and topped with a crown, have become ubiquitous seventy-five years after the British government put them on a motivational poster during the Second World War.”*
I am dedicating this blog post to Tina Möller, my friend of twenty plus years, who died in March, because she epitomized how someone can “carry on” with grace and dignity in the aftermath of a personal tragedy.
Tina became a widow nineteen years ago when her husband, a pastor and professor of theology, died suddenly after being struck by a truck while crossing a street in Bangkok, where he was on a sabbatical doing research on human rights. Her grief, from the unexpected and tragic loss, was enormous. She found herself thrust into an entirely new world as a single parent to raise her 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
Tina struggled emotionally but stoically kept on going for the sake of her children. I often shared with her just how inspiring I found her to be and what a wonderful job she was doing despite her grief. I’ll never forgot her telling me very calmly shortly after her husband’s death that she believed she had three options. The first two won’t be mentioned because of how drastic they were. But the third option, the one she ultimately accepted and followed to the end, was to “simply keep on going.” To take it one day at a time, deal with situations as they arose and, with the love and support of friends and family, to just “carry on”!
Now her legacy of “carrying on” is inspiring her children who are confronted with the same tremendous sense of loss as Tina did nineteen years ago. They can hold her up as a role model as they continue with their own lives.
May anyone struggling with a family crisis, medical setback or personal problem find the message “Keep calm and carry on” beneficial in providing the needed strength to deal with their own situation.
*Rebecca Rego Barry, Victoria, September 2014, p. 13.