Consuelo and Cristina live in two Mexican towns far from each other: Monterrey and Gomez Palacio. Their experience, their training in “Justice and Faith” seminars, the needs of their country, have led them to a commitment in which life and death come together on a daily basis: Cristina accompanies people at the end of their life and is a trainer in Thanatology. Consuelo, within the framework of Cadhac, fighting alongside the families of missing, kidnapped or killed people in the state of Nuevo Leon.
 Thanatology is the art of "dying well".
 Cadhac: Ciudadano en apoyo a los derechos humanos
Over the past ten years, the situation in Mexico has deteriorated considerably, affecting the vast majority of the population on all levels: personal, family, professional, social and community.
Official statistics show that Mexico is going through a humanitarian crisis: between 2007 and 2018, 37000 people were reported missing; many of them were victims of summary executions, torture and human trafficking.
We see that our political institutions are plagued by impunity and corruption and we are experiencing a crisis of credibility of government institutions.
This crisis where violence seems to be winning the game has filled many families with pain, tirelessly seeking their loved ones. The latter are continually stigmatized as criminals by society and the authorities who try to justify the abuses in this way.
The absence of justice and truth weighs terribly on the minds of citizens paralyzed by the terror of the disappearances and the tortures inflicted on the victims (mutilations, cremations, dismemberment of bodies and dispersal in different places making it more difficult to search and identify leftovers).
Despite great difficulties, family groups, self-organized or supported by civil human rights organizations, have opened up paths and allowed the adoption of a general law on enforced disappearances, which obliges the authority to assume its share of responsibility in the search for missing persons.
Recently we had presidential elections. After seventy years of bad government, the Mexicans elected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a man who was honest and offered an alternative. He will have to meet the challenge of corruption and impunity and improve the quality of life for Mexicans. Its slogan is: "For the good of all, and primarily the poorest". Huge challenge because the hope of a majority of citizens increases every day despite the presence of the military.
In this context, it is about trying to get out of the crisis in which we are. This is where the great love of parents for their children makes it possible to overcome obstacles and persevere until they are found again. Civil organizations support families in all areas of life, which strengthens them and makes new paths possible.
Testimony of Consuelo: alongside the families of the missing
Fighting for human rights is one way of responding to Jesus' call because it affects the essential of the human person: his dignity. This apostolate allowed me to try to live the coherence between faith and life. It is by considering people whatever their religion, their race, their culture ... simply as my brother or my sister that I realize the Gospel of the wedding feast of Cana: "do whatever He tells you".
Our apostolic work in Mexico participates in the effort of millions of Mexicans; it is humble work but truly committed to the quality of life and the dignity of our Mexican brothers and sisters. What has been achieved over the past ten years has led us to humbly recognize that everyone is "very small": On their own, families, organizations, authorities can do nothing for missing persons, torn families, society in general. . It is necessary to put all the efforts in common and that each actor gives the best of himself, his experience, his competence in the search for the missing. Civilian organizations are communication relays between everyone so that prejudices are reduced and families are at the heart of decision-making.
This is how we have accompanied families, opening small paths of hope and communion. After many years of action, we will start specialized work, aimed at improving the identification of remains and bodies. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will set up a program in Monterrey in partnership with the Attorney General of the State of Nuevo Leon, offering his expertise in scientific analyzes. Both families and organizations and Cadhac hope that the results will quickly bring justice and the truth to the disappearances.
Difficult times can arise but the audacity, the strength and the courage of the families push us to take again the path with renewed energies and with the assurance that “God writes straight with our curved lines”… and our weaknesses.
Interview with Cristina: thanatology
Cristina, you have been working in Thanatology for 30 years, can you tell us what it is?
Thanatology is the art of caring for patients, those who suffer the loss of a loved one and those who are terminally ill and preparing to die. It encompasses all the people who help to cope with grief: the family as well as the health personnel so that everyone has the means to live it in peace.
In your thanatology workshops, you ask the participants this question: "are you ready to die?" And you, how did you prepare for death?
Since my childhood, I have known people close to death; I learned that this is an essential time for any human being. Only man knows that he is going to die, but few people accept to see death as a friend who frees us from all suffering. Always convinced that I will meet the Merciful Father, I have been preparing everything for this moment for 30 years and, at the same time, I live every day the mission that God has given me to help all my brothers to live without fear. this great passage.
How did you come to choose this path?
When I was 8 years old, then three more times at different times in my life, I had a dream: I saw Jesus in a tomb; he stretched out his arms to me, asking me "Ayuda-me, ayuda-me, ayuda-me" ("Help me, help me, help me"). In my dream, many people in rags or sick surrounded the grave. After the third dream, I understood very clearly what God wanted me to do: not only to give them material assistance but above all to help them in their sufferings so that they could live happily.
Can you tell us describe how you run your thanatology workshops?
For example, here is a group dynamic that I practice a lot: people get into pairs; the first is the grieving person who cannot say goodbye to the loved one. She imagines that the second represents the deceased loved one. The two hold each other by the arms. The hands grip, detach, grip again and then gradually detach until they slowly separate.
This exercise allows you to come back to moments that have not been experienced; say goodbye and forgive each other what there is to reconcile. Often people cry and don't want to let the other “go” but when they manage to detach themselves they achieve physical and emotional release.
Cristina, do you want to send a message to all the sisters who will receive the Noticias?
Dear sisters, after what I have just shared with you, I encourage you to remember the painful moments and, thus, to be able to be free from suffering and guilt, in the assurance that everyone, when they die, forgives all ; only love and peace remain between us all.