Family Touched by Outpouring

by: Wendella Davidson

Courtesy of Guyana Chronicle -- Sunday, May 9.

Mrs. Janet Jagan and her two children yesterday said they are overwhelmed with the outpouring of sympathy coming from Guyanese of all walks of life on the death of President Cheddi Jagan.

Mrs. Jagan told reporters at the State House public viewing, at around noon yesterday, she was pleasantly overwhelmed, adding "he lived for the people."

Their son Dr. Cheddi Jagan Jnr. said he was overwhelmed. Although he expected a good response, what he saw yesterday was beyond his expectations, he said, adding he now knew "what a great man my father was."

His sister, Nadira Jagan-Brancier said the greatest tribute her father could have had is the tremendous last moment of respect bestowed on him by the Guyanese people.

"My father did not waste his years...he accomplished something - unity", she said.

Nadira, who flew form Canada where she is based to be at her father's bedside at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, could hardly restrain the tears as she briefly recounted some of those precious moments with a few media personnel.

She said her father had been fighting all his life and in Washington, "he defied all medical expectations...he kept going down and coming up when even they thought it was over.

"It was a live re-run of his whole life - when he was down he kept fighting to get back up, but after a while he couldn't deal with it."

She said the doctors at the center even commented on how remarkable a man he was. "They couldn't believe he was getting through, when medically he should not have done so."

Nadira said most heart patients on a ventilator to aid respiration have to be heavily sedated, but her father was not and he was able to scribble them notes. Some of these expressed his concern for the Guyanese people, and such they never gave up hope until the end, she said.

"We never for one moment left his bedside."

And Dr. Jagan Junior's son, Cheddi Bharrat Jagan, 13, said he hopes to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

He told reporters, touched by his courage: "I really miss him (grandfather)...I feel sad..."

His mother Nadia said her son kept watch for most of the night Friday over his grandfather's body, not wanting to leave him alone.

Obviously fighting back tears, he added: "I don't think it is time for him to die...I want him to come back...I love him badly...I don't want him to go."

He was very close to the late President and asked if he would like to continue in the path of his grandfather, in politics and having immense love for people, the teenager replied "Yes."

Immediately after speaking to the reporters the younger Cheddi returned to his position at the head of the casket.