Today, Monday, 20 August 2012, I am at work to make corrections on my supplement and to cut a disc for the printers for the next issue of the magazine to be published. I am then off to a funeral which will start at 10:00.
Last week, we had news that one of our family friends passed away. My Mom grew up with him, and I grew up in front of him. I am exactly one month older than his youngest son. Growing up he and his wife always lived a few houses down from us. We always saw him and his family at church. Our lives were intertwined.
When I heard the news on Tuesday, I was transported back to the day when my own Father passed away. I was only 24 when I got the fateful call and had to tell my Mom that he was gone. I was young, and in those few seconds, my life had changed forever. So, when I heard the news my thoughts went to his son who is now 28, yes he is married and has a child, but we are still ‘children’ ourselves. It still feels like we are too young to be losing our parents.
I have been to many funerals to say goodbye. It has been a part of my life since I was young. I told my co-worker this and he told me that he had never been to a funeral in his whole life, and he is almost 30.
After that conversation, I sat thinking about all the people I have had to say goodbye too. Some young, some old, some family, some friends.
I never met my Mom’s father (Oupa L). He died in 1979 and I was only born in ’83. I was approximately four years old when my Grandfather, Oupa K (my Dad’s dad) passed away.
I was about five when my nursery school friend’s whole family was wiped out in a car crash and he was the only survivor. He went to live with his aunt and I remember going to see him in hospital. I took him one of my puzzles to make him feel better.
I was eight when my Gran, Ouma K (my Dad’s mother) passed away. I was 17 when my cousin and uncle died within three months of one another. My school holidays started and ended with a funeral.
My biggest loss came in 2008, when my Dad passed away in April and my Grandmother, Ouma L (my Mom’s mother) passed away in early July the same year. Two major role player in my life. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t remember them.
Since then, I have lost aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers. Yes, they might be gone, but they aren’t forgotten and now, I am off to say goodbye to another friend. Someone who will always be a special memory.
May your soul rest in peace and until we meet again:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.