Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saying goodbye

The world is reeling from the deaths of the handsome Paul Walker and, of course, the anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela.

People die all the time but some deaths affect us more than others. 

If we knew the person, then we share the grief with all the other loved ones. 

If we knew of the person, then we share the loss of that life.

Some have an untimely death while others die in their old age. Some who are seemingly healthy also slip away unexpectedly.

My Aunt Lucy passed away recently.  She was unwell for a long time and her death was not really a shock as she was in and out of the hospital.  Yet hearing about her death was like a blunt force trauma to my heart.  I had not expected to be so sad when I heard the news.

It is never easy to think of a life that is over.  It's even harder looking back at the numerous chances not taken to show that I loved and cared for her.  She was a pillar of strength for me during a very difficult phase in my life.  It is obvious that she will be one of those who did something for me that I cannot ever repay.

Many times I think that eulogies are prepared with selective memories.  People choose to remember the good things because it's the right thing to do.  Often I would be shocked by my own thoughts when they clash with what I hear.  I know, I know.  It's the way it should be and we celebrate the goodness and all that. However I believe that keeping it real would be a far better legacy to the deceased.

In the case of Aunt Lucy, I sat listening  to everything her daughter said and I was conscious that I didn't have any secret thoughts of disagreement at all.  No exaggeration and no embellishment made it the best eulogy I have ever heard.

Looking back at all that travelling to and fro, of more than 1200 km, over four days, I have no regret.  It was a trip worth making.

I didn't really say goodbye to Aunt Lucy.  For me, she lives on in her five children.  They are blessed to have had such a wonderful mom.


  1. Blessings & Love to your beloved Aunt Lucy. I have no doubt she was a totally delightful human being.

    1. Thank you. She was, indeed, totally delightful. <3