Appreciation – Mrs. Lalani Abeyewardene
The death occurred recently of Lalani Wickramaratne (nee Abeyewardene) at the ripe old age of 96. She actually reached her 96th milestone only a few days prior to her passing away.
Due the prevailing COVID-19 crisis her children decided to lend a religious touch to her birthday and celebrate it on a low profile sans the customary thrills and spills associated with partying.
Six years ago her sons and daughters planned to surprise her with a grandiose and imposing do at a renowned hotel in town, attended by a vast gathering of relatives and friends to compliment her on attaining the rare nonagenarian status.
Lalani was the eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs Noel and Kamala Abeyewardene and wife of Dudley Wickramaratne and the granddaughter of Mudliyar Christopher Abeyewardene, the first Ceylonese Superintendent Mails.
Her husband pre-deceased her but the loss of her eldest son Chandrakumar at a comparatively young age, left her immeasurably heart-broken. With the passage of time however, she came to grips with her melancholy, by passing her time paying unbridled devotion to religious activities, listening to Bana, in meditation and giving alms to monks and the less affluent.
Lalani was the eldest of seven siblings to whom she voluntarily played the mother’s role attending to their various needs. She had her primary education at Girl’s High School, Mt. Lavinia and her secondary education at St. Joseph’s Convent, Kegalle.
As much as she was a beacon light to her children, guiding them inter alia, on ethical behaviour, she was also a tower of strength to her husband.
Lalani was widowed at a relatively young age with four sons and two daughters to care for. However, she ‘captained’ with indomitable courage and determination steered a ship of life to safe waters. She was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Their loving cries of ‘Achchi’ from as far as London, Oman, the Maldives and Sri Lanka have been silenced now.
A dutiful wife and an adorable mother, Lalani enjoyed a long innings at life’s wicket without the slightest whimper or protest. My sole surviving brother Upali joins me in wishing our dear sister a short journey in Samsara before she attains the supreme bliss of Nibbana.
Bandula M. Abeyewardene