Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Paul

It's been just over 2 weeks since i had to say goodbye, just over 2 weeks since i saw your deathly pale face, just over 2 weeks since i had to cut myself off from emotions in order to focus on the important's been just over 2 weeks and i still have to wipe away a tear when i think of you.

Too soon you left us. Too soon the dark abyss of reality had taken you away from us. Sometimes i forget, and i get excited at the prospect of seeing your smiling face when i get home, only to be greeted by mournful reality....I'll never have the pleasure of seeing that big smile again, ever. To hear you laugh that carefree laugh you sometimes had. It's over, a chapter of my life is done.

I'll never forget the shocked expression on your mom's face when she stormed towards us pleading with us to help her. She found you, hanging there like that. I'll never forget the sight, and yet, it's almost as if the picture i conjure up of that moment is emotionless. You were there no longer....your spirit gone, and therefore you were gone too.

I think a lot of people had trouble understanding why you did what you did. But after much thought and tears and reading, I've come to the conclusion that you didn't kill yourself, you died of a disease called Bipolar disorder. You didn't choose to have that deepest of darkness inside of you, and you could no more ignore it than i could stop breathing just because i wanted to.

That Tuesday night was one of the darkest nights I've ever had. Sitting in my little cottage, knowing that you were no longer alive and well, knowing that you died not 30m away from my home, haunted by the image of you hanging there...your feet only 10cm from the ground. I think the fact that it had happened at my safe 'den', was more disturbing to me than the fact that you had died. I didn't want to be at home, i didn't want to think, and at some point in the night, i just didn't want to be.

You'll be happy to know that I have an amazing bunch of friends. Their love and support and hugs(both in real life and cyber space) kept me going. There were people who stayed awake with me through most of Tuesday night, chatting to me, just so that i wouldn't be alone with the grief and the trauma. There were a few of them that totally went the extra mile, and for that I am eternally grateful. It's not often that I'm at a low point in life, but that night, the night you died, i was.

You always said that i was like bubbles, always needing to go up...i just can't help it. And once again you were proven right. Be Wednesday afternoon i couldn't help but have little bouts of happiness and smiles intermingled with the sadness and loss. And i know that you would have wanted it that way. You never wanted us to be sad.

On Saturday it would be 2 weeks since your funeral. And strange as it may would have loved your funeral. As funerals go it was pretty awesome. The Pastor never once avoided the fact that you committed suicide, instead he used that as his focus point. We sang happy songs and celebrated your life, rather than mourning your death. There were few tears and lots of happy stories told by all who held you dear. Your brother from the US made it just in time, and you were proven right again...we do get along like a house on fire. And as i went home afterwards, you'd never guess what i saw. One of the bunnies, that you had spent hours chasing around the garden and trying to feed and tame was sitting outside your front door in the sun, trying to dry off from the rain. It didn't bolt when i went just sat there, in the very spot where you so patiently sat trying to catch it. It made me smile.

I miss you my dear dear friend, but i know that you are now in a much happier place, where the darkness of a disease you couldn't control can't find you. I pray that your soul has found rest and that you are resting in the arms of our Father. Until we meet again one day, rest in peace.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Dear readers

My word! What a week this has been. So much sadness and drama and tears. I think I can easily say that most of this week would fall into the "top 5 worst weeks ever" category. I am working on a letter about the happenings this week, but it's not done yet. A lot of tears and brokenness comes pouring it's taking a bit long. But writing is good for me. It's helping me to make sense of it all, and to process what happened.

So in the meantime I'd like to tell you about a song i recently heard that really touched my heart. On Monday night i was chatting to a friend of mine, and he was telling me about the death of an ex-colleague, and how sad this made him. (That funeral is today btw....I'm thinking of you love) And then he sent me a song and asked me to listen to it and share my thoughts. I was so touched by it that i ended up finding the lyrics.

Terry's song
Well they built the Titanic to be one of a kind, but many ships have ruled the seas
They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone, but they could build another if they please
Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt, are unique I suppose
But when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

Now the world is filled with many wonders under the passing sun
And sometimes something comes along and you know it's for sure the only one
The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel, Jesus, Mary, and Joe
And when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

When they built you, brother, they turned dust into gold
When they built you, brother, they broke the mold

They say you can't take it with you, but I think that they're wrong
'Cause all i Know is I woke up this morning, and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether where you're still young and hard and cold
Just like when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

Now your death is upon us and we'll return your ashes to the earth
And i know you'll take comfort in knowing you've been roundly blessed and cursed
But love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told
and when she built you, brother, she broke the mold

That attitude's a power stronger than death, alive and burning her stone cold
When they built you, brother

How incredibly powerful is that???? We ended up having this whole discussion about leaving your mark and being so unique in who you are that there is truly no one like you. It was kind of ironic, having this discussion on Monday and then having my own drama with death on Tuesday.

Anyway, i just thought I'd give you guys some food for thought. I hope one day when I'm no longer around, I would have lived my life in such a way that people will remember me and say that i was one of a kind, the mold was broken after I was made.....a limited edition.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear big bro

Happy birthday!!!!! I hope you have the most amazing of days, filled with love and joy and happiness and blessings and that there will be much spoiling going on! *looks pointedly at yankee sis in law*.

I can't believe you're turning 30 already! Just the other day we were little snot nosed kids running around our tiny little town, causing havoc and hearts to melt all at the same time. Wow...seems like i might actually have to start thinking of you as a grown up at some point.

Today i miss you more than normal and i wish you were here so i could give you a hug and a kiss and just hold you close. It always amazes me to think that we could be shouting and fighting one minute but the moment one of us are in trouble we stand together, defiant, ready to take on the whole world armed with only our fingernails for each other. You are my big brother, the protector of my honor, my mentor, my roll model, my friend, part of my happy place, my partner in crime and a very important part of who I am today.

I pray that you will always be safe in the land far away, and that the years ahead will be filled blessings, adventures, love, happiness, stories and things we can't even begin to imagine.....oh, and hopefully some nieces and nephews for me *grin*. I can't help but shed a tear...I miss you more than i thought i ever would and i hope to see you soon. Happy birthday boetie!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear people of Zim

I was recently fortunate enough to undertake a short trip to the most popular tourist attraction in your country, the Victoria falls. I find it difficult to put my impressions thereof into words, so I'll stick to: 'OH MY WORD!!!!!!'

We were super excited when we boarded the little One Time airplane at OR Thambo early on the morning of the 1st....destination: Livingstone, Zambia. The flight was uneventful right until the pilot announced that Victoria Falls will soon be visible through the window. It was a breathtaking and heart stopping moment that i will never forget. So beautiful!!!

We were met at Livingstone airport by Victor, a man that impressed immensely. Well educated, witty and with a love of his country that is clearly visible in everything he does. We were taken by bus through the Zambian and Zimbabwean borders and finally to our beautiful hotel, The Victoria Falls Hotel. One of the top hotels on the Zimbabwe side of the falls...old school, colonial, breathtaking and with amazing service. I can honestly say that we were treated like royalty throughout our stay. Never in my life had i met such amazing hotel staff.

We went on the sunset cruise. WOW WOW WOW!!!! it's like a 3 hour cruise on the Zambezi as the sun is setting. What incredible views. We were treated to free drink (as much as we wanted....score) and hippos and crocodiles and just all the breathtaking things that completes the Zambezi experience.

The next day I went on a 2hour hike along the falls. The mist created by the falls is so heavy in some places that it literally felt like we were caught in a hectic rain storm without any clouds. At the end of the 2 hours i was absolutely soaking wet....but we got the most awesome pictures and just got to stand there and take in the awesomeness that is the Falls:)

Shortly after that we were treated to a helicopter ride over the falls. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in front next to the pilot, which meant that i had the best view! I have no words to describe what i saw and how it made me feel. The pictures seem so inadequate when i look at them now.

Then in the afternoon we had a real treat! We went on an Elephant in we actually rode the elephant's through the game park in search of other wild animals. I got to bond with this majestic animal in a way i never thought I'd experience:)

I received numerous wedding proposals and my father was offered everything from diamonds to cattle to some weird muti business in Zim for my hand in marriage..but my general impression of the people of northern Zim was one of pride, of integrity, hope, happiness and an appreciation for other people. I was honestly impressed and warmed:)

thank you so much for an amazing couple of days:) Attached please find a couple of snap shots from the trip. I took over 700 pics, so it was really hard to choose, but i can't send all 700+ :)

I hope to visit you again soon


p.s. I've never seen so many rainbows in one place in my entire life!

P.P.S. I really wish i could post more was tough choosing only a couple!