And so, it begins.

Today is the first day of our lives without a father. I had 50 years, my sister 47. We were blessed and are deeply grateful.

For so many family members and close friends, this is an equally profound loss. Dad was generous with his time, his love and his care. He cast a shade over a great many people, quite a few of whom we may never know about.

As we say in Sierra Leone ‘Na big coton tre go so’... translated as ‘A large Cotton Tree has fallen...’

We are all heartbroken but at the same time thankful for many things:

We are thankful for a long and generous life well lived. He was happy with the life he had lived, the family bonds he knit and held strong, things he was able to accomplish for family and country, and the legacy he was leaving behind.

He was at his home in Sierra Leone as he had wished, surrounded by family and friends.

In recent years he saw and felt the deep family love and commitment to him and to each other. This ‘family’ bond he created extends beyond blood relatives. This meant a lot to him.

He wanted us to hold each other close as a family and stay united. We have seen that unity in force in the recent weeks. We are a large family. Let’s keep it front and center as we go through this difficult process.

We celebrate a great person and a great life. My love and prayers and deepest thanks to all of you who helped make his wishes real. It’s up to us now to carry this forward and be as he would have wished; with love.

Posted by Cleminatu Fields on January 10, 2020
I don't know how they did it - Saweda & Alex sharing their father the way that they did. I know it wasn't effortless as Uncle Alex was the being that everyone centered around. So now it's like a cosmic galaxy has a new star shining down on this family, continuing to orbit & look out over the full famble, friends, acquaintances. Everytime he came to check on us in the States, I would be beaming with joy that I had such a handsome, tall, lithe uncle that would throw us high in the air (I was always a little scared). I am proud to have had him in my life and I'll be checking for that new star.
Posted by Tina Seale on December 24, 2019
Praying for your healing, comfort, strength and peace during this painful time.
Posted by Ade Marville on December 16, 2019
Alex Kamara was a business partner, long time friend and brother to my brother , Tani Pratt. It’s through this relationship that I got to know , respect , and love him. I even had plans to introduce him to some of my girlfriends. Whether we met at home or in the US, I always experienced his caring nature , keen sincerity and quiet dignity mixed with a zest for life. He also demonstrated a genuine love for others especially family. To quote my sister- in-law, Daphne Pratt : “ da big kɔtintri we bin de fɔ wi dɔn go.” May he Rest In Peace.
Posted by Albert Momoh on December 15, 2019
Hmmmmmm, what a legacy he left behind, as I was reading through some of the tributes, I had goosebumps, indeed uncle Alex or ABK as he was fondly called imparted lots of lives. One thing I admired about him was his humility. I remembered in 1991 when I first visited the US, my late husband Milton Momoh asked uncle Alex to please call and check on me when he arrives, as uncle Alex was traveling to the USA, he made sure he drove to my sister's house to see me in person and called to gave feedback to Milton. I felt so proud and honored, and my husband was soooooooo impressed, that's the kind of person uncle Alex was. I pray that the good Lord will be merciful to him and grant him eternal rest. Uncle Alex, you lived a good life and it's time to take your heavenly rest. Adeline Momoh and children extend their condolences to the entire family. Bye bye and we'll meet again on that beautiful shore in Jesus's name

A tribute by Adeline Momoh posted on her behalf by her son Albert J. Momoh fondly called in Rutile days 'Dad Momoh'
Posted by Alex Kamara on December 14, 2019
A tribute to my father Alex B Kamara delivered 12 December 2019

My father. Daddy. Where do I begin?

Maya Angelo once said, “People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This quote epitomizes the essence of my father; he connected with everyone and made us all feel better. He did not care for differences. Age, nor ethnicity nor religion nor class. He saw you. He heard you. He cared about you.

He listened, empathized, inspired, supported, motivated, calmed, rescued, believed in, coached, encouraged, protected and uplifted, so many people. He was consistent.

He did this quietly and with grace and humility. It was not effortless though it may have appeared to be so. Dad was purposeful in everything he did and especially so when it came to his people. It was easy to become his person and once you were, it was for life.

Having listened to the numerous splendid tributes over the past 2 days, and reflecting on what I could add, I decided that the best I can do is to share some personal stories.

For us his children, we remember the simple things.

He could appear stern and intimidating but in truth, he was a fun-loving father who was quick to smile and liked to joke and tease. He was playful:
- He liked to pick us up and swing us around. We loved climbing into his arms or back – he was our climbing frame
- When we were very young, he would let us sit on his shoulders or back whilst he did push-ups
- He went around on his hands and knees so Saweda could ride on his back
- When we got a little heavier, we would fight to be carried on his shoulders as he walked around
- Then it was standing on his feet while he walked
- Eventually, we could tease him because he got a little rounder. I’d poke him in his belly and say, ‘what’s going on here dad’? and this was when he developed his ultimate retort: He would say in his deep voice, ‘bo lef me. if you look half as good as I do when you’re my age, then you can talk”. Of course, I had no answer. I’ll never cross that bar.
- He loved a party; music and dancing with friends and laughter. He would revel in these gatherings. I remember his 40th birthday party at SRL. I was 10 and my sister 7. The party started at around 7 on Saturday and we stayed up as late as we could trying to join in. We were amazed to wake up the next morning and find them still at it at 9 am. It turned out this was not unusual. He loved a good time with friends.
- Incidentally, I won’t name names but at least 1 person here was present at that party…

We had a caring father who worried about our health and well-being. He bore our challenges as if they were his. As we grew up and life became complex, he would use a few words to enquire the status and then make recommendations. Then he would follow up. Even over the phone with very few words, his concern was palpable.

We had the thorough demanding father who challenged us to do our best, to think things through and to do the right thing. He did not push us into any particular field but supported our decisions and encouraged us to keep it up. ‘Ok, that’s good. That’s really good, Keep it up!” How many here have heard that?

We had the reliable dutiful father who stood in for so many that were not there. Dad walked people down the aisle. Dad showed up at graduations and convocations. Dad attended weddings and important ceremonies for the extended web. Each time he added his special regal essence to the proceedings. And he made a son, daughter, nephew, niece and grandsons and friends, very, very proud. And of course, he too would burst with pride. He was the ultimate stand-in. He would look after everyone.

Yesterday I sat with Uncle Bob and after a moment of reflection, he thanked us (Saweda and I) for sharing our father with him and the family. He thanked us sincerely and then asked, ‘how unna bin do am? Unna nor bin jealous?’

The truth is that when we were small, we were jealous and protective. But dad was dad and we soon came to understand that what he gave to others did not in any way diminish what he had for us. He showed that the heart is limitless. You become bigger by being bigger. We realized then and realize truly now that we as his children and indeed his family are richer because there were so many of us in his embrace.

Dad took us along this journey and in the end, he was right. Look at the gem he created…

We had a father who loved little people. He just loved kids. He was so fond of children. He was his happiest when he was playing with and teasing the little ones. When I was taking my time to settle down, dad pulled me aside one day and let me know his position. He said ‘look, I am not too concerned about meeting this person and that person. You are wasting my time with my grand-kids. Hurry up and bring me, grandchildren.’

When his grandchildren finally arrived, he was over the moon. It was love at first sight. He would tell me straight. ‘Listen, I’m not interested in seeing you. I need to spend some time with the boys and with my daughter in law.’ He was besotted with his grandchildren and them with their tall grandpa. How are the boys? How is school? How are they adjusting? He was supremely proud of their achievements and he always let them know to ‘keep it up’.

We had a father who made us feel special. However, we came to accept that there was a rather large group of people who pretty much felt the same way; his sisters and brothers and cousins, his nieces and nephews, friends and friends of friends - who were able to call him ‘Uncle Alex’ - and by association claim a special piece of him too. And claim him they did with great pride.

He was everyone’s favourite and everyone was his favourite. He was everyone’s Uncle Alex and it was genuine. He had enough love and attention for everyone, and they felt it and gave back in equal measure. 

His presence was commanding.

You could see the awe when he entered a room. Who does he belong to? Who is going to claim him? Then one of us would say with great pride “this is my father, this is my dad, this is my Uncle, brother, friend…

Of course, he charmed them all off their feet; partners, co-workers, colleagues and friends. And for years afterwards random friends – usually female would ask – hey how is your dad?

I would always joke that they had to get in line…

Which brings us to super charming ladies-man. The man who said, “bo lef me. If you look half as good as I do when you’re my age…

Somehow dad managed to be everyone’s favourite without anyone feeling left out. Even within the family, all the girls were confident he was their favourite and would happily say so. En plaba nor dey. Not to speak of friends and friends of friends…

Dad and his daughter were a special thing. They adored each other. Baby Saweda would cling to dad like a leach. He doted on her. As we grew older their relationship evolved. School meant many years apart and when eventually his health challenges pushed them back together it was initially challenging. I would get calls from each about the other; heartfelt renditions of the latest grievance. But as I listened and comforted, I understood what this was all about, and I think they did too. They were both fiercely independent people adjusting to being in each, others sphere after so long apart. Saweda for me had the best gift any child could get. She got to care for a parent for years. From a start where she was offered the most simple of tasks to his final days when Saweda – with the support of the DC family - was running all of his affairs, arranging all his needs and comfort, organizing and planning matters of the estate, all the heavy lifting that required love and attention and trust and caring, she handled. He gave her all the keys. I know she grew immensely in his eyes over that period. And I know this time which was so difficult, will be one of the biggest sources of comfort as she grows older. She looked after her father in every detail for almost 5 years. In heart go cole.

I left home for school abroad in 1984. That was the last time Dad and I lived in the same country. From then forwards, our time together was limited to holidays and visits. I would guess that in the intervening 35 years, we did not average more than 3 weeks a year in each others company. Typically, the first week would involve a fight of some kind which would be resolved by the weeks end leaving us 2 weeks to enjoy each other. With all our independent changes, it was difficult to progress a relationship within these constraints.

But something happened in the early 2000s leading to a significant realization for me. I decided 2 things as a result. First, I resolved to give what I expected to receive from dad. Not to focus on what he did not say or do. But rather to communicate what I was looking for in our relationship. I decided to be responsible for what I wanted our relationship to be. I was going to consciously build.

The second thing I resolved to do was to be fully present. Spend time attentively. Listen, connect, reach out. Be present. Create and appreciate the special moments now. Tomorrow is not assured. Do it now.
It’s difficult to apply this to everything. But I had a singular focus – mum and Dad. Time was limited and distances long. So, I resolved to be present and create the best version of our conversation. We got much closer as a result and I developed a really open, honest, uncomplicated relationship with my father. I am forever grateful for that.

Dad had been unwell for a while but he gave us our first real fright in 2017. He jolted the entire family. We sat up and those of us he felt we had all the time in the world had a serious rethink. He was mortal. He was ill. It was critical. We got through that but stopped procrastinating. We had a huge Fambul reunion in 2018 for everyone across all generations. Everyone together in the same place and at the same time possibly for the first and only time. It was immense and in no small part because of Dad. For his 80th we did the same. Everyone who could, travelled to the DC area to celebrate with Dad. We were present. His loss is buttressed by the joy of those memories and the smiles we saw on his face during those periods. They made him very, very happy.

On the 28th of October, I was at a friend’s house observing Halloween when I got a call from Saweda. Dad was critical and in the hospital. I had to come. I got the basic details and went back to a party. Pizza and drinks and light conversation passed in a fog. Everyone had a great time. Why spoil it. After some sharp arrangements, I travelled out on the 6th. I did not fully expect what I found. Dad looked well but the prognosis was critical and time-bound. And he wanted to be at home. We were all concerned but he was clear about what would make him most happy and he wanted to pursue that no matter the risks. So we all aligned on making his wish a reality with the minimum of inconvenience.

I travelled back with him on the 7th and spent a further week looking after him. It was intense. He was very happy to be home, on his balcony with the breeze and the view, in his own bed, telling off Junior and Osman.

He was ready for what came next. We weren’t. There were moments of joy and levity and then dips with serious challenges and distress. But I got a chance to look after my father and to care for his well being in the most intimate and personal ways.

I placed my hands on him with care and showed him I loved him. We all did. Cousins and family travelled in in waves. We rallied around and I know we made him very happy and he was satisfied. We embraced him to the end. Those moments will be with me for the rest of my life.

One last relevant story:

Sometime in the early ’80s, Christopher started living with us in Freetown. He was about 10yrs old and was quite a troublesome fellow. We became close and when the time came for the summer holidays at Rutile with Dad, Saweda and I could not imagine leaving him behind by himself and being without him for 2 months. How to approach Dad to ask if Chris could come to Rutile for summer? I was very worried and eventually summoned up the courage to ask ‘can he come please?’. Dad said yes, and just like that, our unit of 2 became 3. Chris is my brother now because Dad let him into our lives. And he is the glue between the two sides of the family because Dad welcomed him into his embrace.

When Chris got married, dad represented the family. When his son arrived prematurely, dad provided support during the stressful months. He was a source of counsel, advice and support; essentially, he got a second Dad.

This morning we needed someone to ride with Dad to the church, and Chris said he would be honoured to do it. This is the result of what dad helped build.

So we are heartbroken but also celebrating. We are thankful for many things:

for a long and generous life
that he was happy with a life lived with purpose and had no regrets
that he knew the bonds he built between family and friends were genuine and strong,
that he saw and felt the deep family love and commitment to him and each other
that he was deeply proud of all he was able to accomplish for family and country, and of the legacy, he was leaving behind

Indeed, we celebrate a great person and a great life.

Farewell Dad. We wanted more, but you had given your best; you deserve your rest.

You were a giant in our lives and our hearts. We cannot comprehend a future without you.

We will try to fill the void with the fond memories of experiences shared and loving stories from so many whose lives you uplifted.

We will carry on the journey for you; each of us in our way emulating a piece of who you were.

Thanks for being our brightest example.

Thanks for everything you gave.

You had given your best; you deserve your rest.

Farewell Dad
Posted by Hadji Dabo on December 13, 2019
The humanity in the late ABK was enormous, almost incomparable to any I have witnessed in my life. He was clearly very generous with his time, funds and affection for literally each and every person that he met along the way. A self-effacing man, a subtle teaser, a tennis enthusiast, and one who had great respect for everyone, including the cleaners and servants, he always brought his huge status down to that of the lowest of people when he was among them. The late ABK was a desirable self-appointed mentor to a great number of us the young engineering professionals at Sierra Rutile, in my case for 24 years!
On Monday morning , Nov. 18, I visited his Juba residence and met him lying on his bed being surrounded by relatives and friends with LJTP holding his right hand and his brother, Clifford’s son, holding the left hand trying to comfort him. As I entered the room and greeted him, even in seemingly great distress, he made effort to ask about my wife Jorfui and the children. I was touched again by this affection as I had been on countless other occasions previously. Two days later following that visit, on Wed morning, Nov. 20, 2019, ABK would talk to no one any more. A great man, a dear friend, a sincere workmate, a man of extremely high personal integrity and an icon has passed on. May your good soul rest in perfect peace, ABK! Amen!
Posted by Ishmael Jal-koroma on December 12, 2019
I remember when I started my job at CEMMATS in February 2010 and Mr. Alex Bai Kamara was the second person to welcome me. Over the years, our relationship developed from boss and employee to mentor and mentee. I'm going to miss having him around to ask questions and get guidance. My prayers are with you.
Posted by Reggie Smart on December 11, 2019
Uncle Alex, you have touched so many lives by your selfless and countless acts of kindness, always giving and never expecting any favors in return. You were indeed the center of our “Fambul” universe and won’t be the same without you around.

My cherished memory of you was running to greet you as a child at the gate of 4i so that I can catch you on time getting out of your 2-door Renault Sport Coupe. For some reason, I always taught it was magical (long story) 

Though the Lord has now taken you away from us, your spirit will live on in our hearts forever. We thank the Lord for your life and bid you farewell. Rest in peace Uncle Alex, we will surely miss you.

Your Cousin,
Reginald Smart, Dada Koureissi and the rest of the Smart Family

Posted by Reggie Smart on December 11, 2019
Uncle Alex, your death has shaken us all. Your body might be gone from this world, but our memory of you will live on in our hearts forever. I still wake up every morning hoping this is a dream, but it is so reassuring that this is not so as the Bible promises a new life to come. I cherish my childhood memories with you growing up at 4i and the good times we spent together there at Kingtom. You have touched us all in different ways. Rest in peace Uncle Alex. Love from Baby Zain and Andrew Walker.
Posted by Agnes Barrie on December 11, 2019
Uncle Alex was my special uncle. I still remember when he visited Aunty Agnes in Kingtom and how happy he was. We would always look forward to him visiting. I saw him in April 2018 when I visited him in his office with my daughter Zainab. I said Uncle Alex you still look the same as always.
We will never forget you. This is a big loss. Our sincere condolence to everyone. May your soul rest in perfect peace.
Agnes Barrie and Family
Posted by Lans Kumalah on December 10, 2019
Alex’s passing is a sad loss to us all. The human aspect of him was what made him special. I am sure everyone who knew him will give stories about how generous he was with his time for family and friends alike. Indeed, Fausta and I are grateful that he crossed our lives. To the family, we genuinely share your loss as he was dear to all of us. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Fausta & Lans

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Cleminatu Fields on January 10, 2020
I don't know how they did it - Saweda & Alex sharing their father the way that they did. I know it wasn't effortless as Uncle Alex was the being that everyone centered around. So now it's like a cosmic galaxy has a new star shining down on this family, continuing to orbit & look out over the full famble, friends, acquaintances. Everytime he came to check on us in the States, I would be beaming with joy that I had such a handsome, tall, lithe uncle that would throw us high in the air (I was always a little scared). I am proud to have had him in my life and I'll be checking for that new star.
Posted by Tina Seale on December 24, 2019
Praying for your healing, comfort, strength and peace during this painful time.
Posted by Ade Marville on December 16, 2019
Alex Kamara was a business partner, long time friend and brother to my brother , Tani Pratt. It’s through this relationship that I got to know , respect , and love him. I even had plans to introduce him to some of my girlfriends. Whether we met at home or in the US, I always experienced his caring nature , keen sincerity and quiet dignity mixed with a zest for life. He also demonstrated a genuine love for others especially family. To quote my sister- in-law, Daphne Pratt : “ da big kɔtintri we bin de fɔ wi dɔn go.” May he Rest In Peace.
Recent stories

From Tiresias McCall

Shared by Alex Kamara on January 10, 2020

Dear family we come together in this moment of great pain.  In this time of great emotional questioning as hard as it may be let us find joy in this time.  Joy that we were all given this opportunity to experience the spirit of the man we call Uncle, Brother, Cousin, Grandfather, Father, Daddy Alex.  Let us each hold on to the joyous moments that we were each able to spend together laughing, dancing, singing, praising and learning. We thank you for all the memories made while celebrating weddings, birthdays, graduations, holidays and family.  We are thankful and joyful of the countless conversations we've had over the years, may his words of wisdom carry us over the rest of our lives until we meet with him again. 

Although we all are currently experiencing this temporary pain, may the memories of this Angel named Alex that you provided us with for 81 years warm our mind, body and soul. Our Uncle Alex is no longer suffering from pain, taking medication, doctors’ appointments, needles, etc. any more.  We are grateful that the Lord has now accepted one of his angels back home into heaven. As you fit Uncle Alex for his wings, please deliver a message from us to him, "Mr. Alex Kamara, we love you, we miss you, we are thankful for the time we had with you and we will eventually join you. Until then, please never stop smiling! "

Family, may our temporary pain not prevent us from enjoying the best of what Our Alex has provided the family.  Let his love, wisdom and honour carry us and inspire us to live a life worthy of a tear when you are no longer here, but more importantly a life that inspires others to live a life worthy of God's celebration.  Let's not mourn his death but celebrate his life, Our Alex has now returned to our ancestors and has returned to his creator to rest and celebrate a new life. 

May these words provide comfort in this time of rebirth and reassignment for Our Alex, GOD'S faithful servant!


From Kobi Hunter (RIP)

Shared by Alex Kamara on January 10, 2020

You are now THERE and we are HERE.

SO tell me, what do you see from THERE?

And I still hear you say "'Kobi, Hang in THERE".

Surely THEY ALL rallied round to WELCOME you

Through Heaven's open door.

Rest in Peace ABK.

Kobi Hunter - November 30 2019


Shared by Alex Kamara on January 10, 2020

If all the falls were one fall what a great fall it could be! You will all agree with me that this single fall is certainly a great fall.

My wife and l were driving home last evening in the Northern Hemisphere, when l heard so many messages popping into my phone and l said to her, that's the why don't like joining social media groups as they are so annoying.

As the messages rapidly continued bulleting in, l had no option but to check ready to delete so that the life span of my armset would be prolonged. Upon having a glance at it there was an indication of over 100 messages on the Sieromco-Rutile Forum within seconds, announcing the death of Uncle Alex or ABK as he was fondly called.

I turned to my wife with teared eyes and asked why all these worldly hassles and hustles of life, telling her that the cold and cruel hands of the inevitable Uncle Death have snatched my secret mentor, Alex Bai Kamara. A man whom l had admired most, from the very day I set eyes on him at Sierra Rutile and l had always wanted to be like him in many ways.

His devotion to the mines and dedication to work, left me for a very long time with the perception that this gigantic and charismatic elderly man was the owner of the company little did l know he was also an employee.

I could still figure him in my mind's eyes in the early 90s swiftly moving at the Plant Site in his blue jeans with his brown Toetector. His coloured Rutile Lacoste neatly tucked in with a handful of Parker pens outwardly fixed on his t-shirt’s chest. He was all around to see that everything was running on oily wheels, ensuring effective productivity to exceed target in production. He could drive to dredge and back within a twinkle of an eye. He would check at the dry mill, the power house, geology, the drawing office all at a goal to see that supervisors were on top of situations.

On his way to his Mobimbi resident during lunch time or after work Alex Kamara would suddenly re-route to the plant site to put things in order.

Even when socialising at the Mobimbi Bar Uncle Alex would abruptly abandoned his drink, jump into his Hillux and head for the plant site or the dredge to fix things up at any time of the night.

His driver said that Alex spent more time in his office than his house noting that he was a workaholic.

He was feared by lazy and deceitful workers especially drivers who used company vehicles for their personal gains and worker who syphoned company properties.

Thought very disciplined and no non-sense personality he was liked and highly respected by majority, from plant staff to senior staff.

He was away at one time when some groups of disgruntled plant staff went on strike and work came to a standstill for a couple of days.  All efforts to calm them down was fruitless. On his arrival and intervention with other colleagues- kamoh keili and Sahr Wonday  the workers saw reasons and went back to work.

ABK wasn't a man of too much words but when he talked people listened and he was a man of his words. Alex combined work with play and fun. His best sport was Tennis which he played during his leisure. It was also fascinating to see this colossus, well-built magnificent man rocking to his favourite music of yester-years during senior staff parties and dinners at the Mobimbi Community Center.

In order to keep the Sierra Rutile family working team together after the invasion of the company ABK and his family friends and partners, AKK and Tani established CEMMATs which again brought many of his Rutile colleagues under one umbrella. According to him, it was not much of a profit-making organisation but rather to elevate people from their trauma. This is another confirmation of his humanity and concern for all as mentioned in most of the tributes that continue to shower in about my mentor. Indeed, Alex had put smiles on the faces of so many.

During my first year in university, I didn't get the Rutile Grant in Aid neither vacation job. When l told Uncle Alex about it the following day Maada Kangbai and his personnel staff were busy looking for me to start my vacation job and my name was included on the Rutile   Scholarship list.

He had always said to me whenever we met, "Paco my Barman, I am following your journey keep it up."

If news of his death came to me yesterday like the hammering of a five inches nail in ears l wonder how Junior, Bull and Saweda are feeling. Then my mind went to Tani and Kamoh Keili with whom he had been together for over four decades, the Sieromco and Rutile family!  All l can say is the usual, take heart and do not mourn much. Your father, your friend and my mentor had lived his life to the fullest, every second of his 80 years on mother earth were healthily utilised to serve his country and humanity as he had said to Alusine Jalloh that he has lived a good life. Uncle Alex died well fulfilled. He left his foot print on the sands of time. His life was gentle and the elements so mixed him that Rutile -Sieromco family, CEMMATs group, friends, relatives and Mama Salone would always remember him.

Sleep my great mentor, sleep well and take your rest. Because of your virtue l'll ever continue to emulate you and l have no doubts that you are in the precious hands of Father Ibrahim in heaven, where you have met other Rutile fallen heroes -Kamara Bundor, Albert Manley, Ben Joe Amara, Joe Senessi, your senior driver- Daniel Musa, Uncle Tunde, Sheku Kawa, Mike Johnson, my own real brother from a different mother and father - Mohamed kamoh Bockarie fondly known as MAN KAMOH, the list goes on. May all your souls and those of the faithful departed rest in perfect peace.