Her short life touched many


UPNG Journalism Student
LOSING someone special in your family is very painful because they not only leave you physically but also mentally, in a sense where their memories are still fresh within you.
Remember the story about a little girl named Susanna Dage in the Nov 22 edition of Weekender.
Susanna Dege, who had recently graduated from Carr Memorial Adventist Primary School with flying colours, passed away at 11.20pm on Monday, Dec 2 in Port Moresby General Hospital due to her heart condition.
Susanna was described as humble, fighter, achiever and special and believes that everything was possible for her regardless of her health conditions.
Her only brother Jonathan Dage, said in a tribute during the funeral on Monday that Susanna was not only sister but also acted like a mother.
“I would say this is a celebration of a life of our dear sister, our friend, our classmate, our student but most importantly someone that we’ll miss, our baby sister Susanna Dage, who is now resting,” he said.
“Susanna was born to a family of five. She was the last born in our family of six children – one boy and five girls.
“She was born on April 29, 2001 at Yagaum Hospital out of Madang town.
“She was born a very healthy baby.”
When she was born the family moved to Tuvalu with their dad, who was a marine engineer, and lived there from 2002 to 2004.
“When we came back she was diagnosed with a disease. But when she was enrolled at Cheshire Homes’ school for children with disabilities she said, no I don’t want to be with this kind of kids, I want to be in a normal school.
“In 2012, mum and dad enrolled her at Hohola Demonstration School where she did her elementary grades. After that when mum came to Carr Memorial, she enrolled her in 2014 where she did her grades three to eight and on Nov 15, she graduated.

“ She was humble, a silent achiever, a fighter, faithful and cheerful. Susanna will be missed by all the Carr Memorial teachers and students. We will look for her when our Lord Jesus comes to take us home.

“She was more than a sister. I thank God for giving her to us.
“There is no death when people die and we forget about them, when we don’t forget people there is no death. Memories are engraved in your hearts forever,” Jonathan said.
Sister’s tribute
Elder sister Daisy said Susanna believed that anything was possible.
“She was strong and determine in everything she did. She has the strength of a lion and wings of an eagle. She believed in herself regardless of her condition.
“I can see her running, playing, climbing trees and going fishing back in New Ireland or fighting with our little cousins. She always go to the gardens with mum when we all go to school.
“She does all the activities kids her age can do. At a very young age, dad and mum saw that there was something special about her. She thought like a first born and talked like an elderly person.
“She was different than the rest of us. There was this time when dad passed away, Jonathan wasn’t taking his responsibility as a first born and she came up to mum and said, ‘mummy, Jonathan is not even taking his responsibility as a first born. If I was a first born, we won’t be like this.’
“There’s a lot we did together as sisters and all will be treasure. We thank God to be part of this family and to be your sisters and Jonathan to be your brother.
“As she grew older, she was determined to face the world and was thankful for everything and anything. She was independent at an early. In 2012, she sold stuff and bought herself her first phone which cost K300. We didn’t know how to use smart phones then that but she did.
“She had a positive mind, where she doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her just by judging by her appearance because she knew she could do anything just like everybody else.
“We’ll be sleeping but she’ll wake up early in the morning and wake us up for devotion. When we get the devotion, we are like climbing the mountain but when she preached, she preached like a pastor because she knew the Bible back to front.
“If anyone gave her money, tithes and offering were first. She always removed tithes and offerings. Even a K1 or K2 mattered to her.
“There was a penny box that Jonathan made for her. We always struggled to carry her back and forth from the house to the school or to the hospital. Then we asked her, what she wanted to do with the money in the penny box? She said “I will only drop in K50 and K100 notes, no K2 and coins.
“Then we asked again, ‘what will you do with the money?’
“She replied: ‘Buy myself a car when I finish grade eight. I’ll be going to grade nine and I don’t want you guys to struggle to carry me to school. I need to have my own car’.
“I know she has achieved what she has set out to do in this short period of time and anything is possible and she proved that to us all.
“She was a messenger sent from God because all of us got a message from her life story and a lesson in life from this special girl.

Elder brother Jonathan delivering his eulogy of Susanna at the funeral on Monday.

Teacher’s tribute
Susanna’s teacher Sharon Keller said she first taught her in grade seven and her first initial reaction when she first saw her in class was sadness.
“I couldn’t understand how she would cope with her studies through the year. But after some exercises and tests, it was clear that Susanna was truly a special child. She did extremely well and tried her best to score the highest marks in all tests and assignments,” Keller said.
“Another special thing about Susanna was that she could score high marks in tests or exams even when she had would missed a few days of school. She did extremely well compared to students who never missed classes.
“Susanna also followed rules and regulations by presenting her medical certificate if she had missed for a day because she had to go to the hospital.
“In fact, I still have her report cards that she said to hide it. She said if Jonathan, Aldah or any of her sisters and relatives came and ask for my report card, do not give it to them. The reason was because she didn’t want her siblings to boast about her marks.
“Now that she is sleeping, I have her report cards to present to her only brother Jonathan.
“She was humble, a silent achiever, a fighter, faithful and cheerful. Susanna will be missed by all the Carr Memorial teachers and students. We will look for her when our Lord Jesus comes to take us home.
“I believe she will be sitting at Jesus feet as she get the chance to learn more and more about Him. Goodnight Susanna see you in the morning. Rest well.”
Relatives, friends, neighbours, church members and others gathered t for her funeral service and viewed her body on Monday at her school.
She was taken over to Kavieng on Tuesday morning for burial.
May her beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.