On the morning of Tuesday, January 12th, Redeemer Student Bethany Sider was involved in a very serious car accident near Cayuga. Bethany had had a brain aneurysm while driving, resulting in the collision.
She had extensive emergency surgery that afternoon at the hospital, then entered a medically induced coma as doctors monitored her condition.
On Friday, January 15th, the Redeemer community was notified that doctors had done all they could to better Bethany’s condition, and she died later that evening.
Bethany’s parents have expressed deep gratitude for every prayer, card, and blessing given so freely to their family, affirming that this campus has been another home to her.
Dr. Christina Belcher and her Education 306 class gathered this past Monday to remember Bethany’s sweet spirit and compile their memories into a humble tribute for her. The Crown is incredibly grateful to share this special keepsake with you.
Dr. Christina Belcher
This week we lost a shining light in our classroom community. Like a pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples produced were representative of the many, many ways in which Bethany was a blessing to us all. Our class, Education 306, spent some time on Monday sharing our wonderful memories of Bethany. In doing so, our voices speak of the beautiful person she will always be in our memories and our hearts.
One of our community, Stephanie, put this on Bethany’s Facebook page this past week, just after learning of Bethany’s accident. It represented Bethany so well:
“On Monday I watched as you spoke in Ed class. The words you spoke with such care and concern, but yet with so much open mindedness. I was astounded. Then I was distracted by your beautiful ponytail, but my mind quickly wandered to how beautiful your soul is and how blessed those students are going to be to have you as their teacher. A teacher who will pray fervently on their behalf and care so deeply for their hearts. I am sure Dr. Belcher will forgive my wandering thoughts...because my next thought was about the amazing journey each of those students will have because you encouraged them to dream, to think and to love, to pray. Praying for you and your family!”
Today in class, Jasmine and Brooke spoke of Bethany’s constant smile and her kindness to everyone. Jasmine said, "I loved how Christ's love shone through everything that she did and it was all for His glory." Jessica noted that Bethany always put people at ease with her transparency, authenticity, and welcoming manner.
As one of her close friends Elizabeth said, “Anyone who knew Beth can just easily imagine her spilling over with joy and literally prancing her way to her Saviour and Father… She didn't just touch all our lives, she dove head first into them with so much abandon and love and compassion, such a reflection of Christ.”
Catherine saw the love of Jesus in her life, and in her hospitable way of engaging conversation with everyone. Bethany saw everyone as a friend. Adrianna reflected upon her passion for the French language, and her ability to go to France and live her dreams. She was passionate and all heart. There was nothing superficial about her. As Stephanie noted in her post above, Bethany challenged us all to dream big. As Curtiss put it, she saw the good in everyone and was hospitable to all.
Josh de Schiffert summed her up as being a refreshing presence, while Josh Elgeti appreciated the fact that she was always happy. Patrick reminded us that she was always personable, but even more, she always said your name, and greeted you with an authentic word of interest, not just a hello. As Emily put it — Bethany really cared. Tracey, who had been on a recent placement in the same school, described her as a natural teacher who was passionate about her students and her teaching. Michelle found her to be a compassionate traveller who understood loss, and offered comfort with an invitation to listen and to be available.
This was our Bethany.
I remember her spontaneous hug one day when she was thrilled with what she had learned in class. She was always encouraging, always a person of deep faith, and always an inspiration to us all. She made us think. She made us laugh. And now she made us cry. But she will never be lost.
Galatians 5:6 says “So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord.”
You can only be lost if no one knows where you are, and we know where Bethany is. She will live on with her Lord and Saviour, and forever dwell in our memories.
Thank you for being a pebble in our pond, Bethany. You have left us with more ripples than you could ever know, and we will live our lives in a richer way for knowing you.
Bethany Sider’s Funeral and Visitation Information
Friends will be received for Visitation at Jubilee Community Church, 7869 Highway 3 (corner of Jarden Road and Hwy 3 – a.k.a. Dunnville Road on GPS), Dunnville on Thursday, January 21st from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
The funeral service will be held at Wainfleet Brethren In Christ Church, (corner of Perry Road and Hwy 3) on Friday, January 22nd at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow.
Donations in Bethany's memory to Jubilee Community Church would be gratefully received.
A Book of Memories for Bethany is at the front reception desk for anyone wanting to include a favourite memory.
If you are willing to drive others or are looking for rides to the visitation or funeral, please make a note on the Ride Board on Dash.
“Look to the Lord and His strength; Seek His face always.”