Just over a year ago, I had gone to the farm with my aunt and uncle for the weekend. My cousin had had his last day of school that day. I remember him jumping in the car as we picked him up at the Spar on the way home to the farm. It was hot and there was a slight breeze.
That evening he was off to go celebrate and I was supposed to go with him but plans changed and I chose to stay home. We warned him to be careful as he was leaving to a party with one of our mutual friends. That evening our friend changed his plans to go to a different party, my cousin didn’t change his because his girlfriend would be at this particular one. The next morning I was relieved that he hadn’t changed his plans and got home safe the next morning because tragedy had struck that evening. Although relieved for his sake, I was shocked and filled with sadness as our friend whom had changed his plans was rushed into hospital after an accident caused by some guys. He was brain-dead and later didn’t make it. He was the first of many close friends and relatives I would lose in weeks and months to follow from then on ‘til now.
From then on I can remember each of the 19 people I lost around me after that. All very close friends and people I had gotten to know..some were close relatives too. People close to my heart.
A month ago, tomorrow, Uncle Johann Faasen passed away; the last of these 20. It was a Sunday afternoon when he passed away… I can remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news, the smells, the thoughts, the feelings and so much more.
20 people…how could someone lose so many within a year..? You rarely hear of this, I know. Could they all be people I have spent time with and gotten to know personally? They have been, I can give you details of each of their lives, worries and thoughts they had, things we had discussed the last time I had seen them. So many detailed moments that I can remember, so many moments that are now just fond memories.
So, today, on this golden afternoon….while insects hum, the wind whispers a sweet song and the grass sways, dancing to the melody of the early evening beats… With a fragrance of rain in the air, as the clouds prepare to break and wash the earth clean, I just want to take a moment to honour the lives lost, those we know and those we don’t know.
May these people continue to be a part of our lives and may we honour them by truly living. Taking each moment and making the best of it, adding value to this world and cherishing what we have as well as the people we have in our lives. May we make them proud by living confidently and diving into life with all we have, not regretting anything but being grateful for each new morning and the grace that has been bestowed upon us. That we may treat others with kindness, love and respect as we ourselves would like to be treated. May we be reminded we were given another day and use it to the best of our ability. Be thankful and remember and honour them in loving ways, using the days you still have, that they haven’t got anymore.
So to the lives of these beautiful people, which we mourn, may we find joy in their memories and joy in living each day to the fullest.