Family

A Letter to My Aunty Joce

Aunty Joce,

I’m sitting here thinking that I cannot believe it’s been a whole year since you passed.  It’s been a whole year since I felt the shock of those six words, uttered from my mum’s mouth.  It’s been a whole year since you were cruelly taken away from us, without warning.  It’s been a whole year without you and it sucks.

The time has flown by and I guess that doesn’t make dealing with the pain any better.  It feels like you should still be here among us, making me laugh with your dry humour and many brilliant stories.  You should still be in the kitchen, whipping up food like it’s a sport.  You should still be out shopping for your bargains, leaving your reading glasses here and there, watching Judge Judy on TV.

You should also still be here to bring light to our family.  Seriously Aunty Joce, family gatherings and special occasions have not felt the same without you.  It’s like there is a big, gaping hole that will never, ever be filled.  I remember thinking how much you would have loved Uncle Selo and Aunty Doriel’s masquerade party.  There were numerous times when I thought about how you would have had me overflowing with laughter at grandma’s last birthday celebration – there were some wise cracks that only would have come from your mouth and I genuinely missed that.

Twelve months have passed, but that hasn’t stopped the pain I feel and I don’t think that pain will ever fully go away.  That pain feels especially raw now, as I mourn an uncle who was snatched away suddenly – not only am I reminded of the cruel way we lost you, but I don’t have your kind and supportive words to comfort me at this time.  I know that you would have sent me a message, because you were so wonderful like that.

August felt really raw as well, because you know, that’s our birthday month.  I didn’t get a lovely message from you and I wasn’t able to send a message to you either, which felt horrible.  I hate that a month that was so full of birthdays is now emptier without you in it.  However, knowing that we shared that bond will always make it extra special.

I still miss you so much Aunty Joce, but the many memories of you still remain and I hope they will never fade.  They bring a smile to my face as I remember you at your best, rather than the tears that spring to my eyes when I recall that you’ve passed.  I just live in hope that I’ll see you again on that great day when my Jesus returns.

I love you with all my heart, always and forever.

Shan x

I’ll Miss You Uncle Dale

I never imagined I’d be faced with death again so soon; like, this life is mad.  Actually mad.  How can you see someone one night and then the next day they’ve dropped dead – with no warning at all?

When I learned that my Uncle Dale had died yesterday, shock hit me like a slap in the face and I didn’t know how to feel.  Why was this happening to me again?  Why was I being faced with another shock death in just under a year?  Why, why, why?  I mean, I could not understand it, as I’d just seen him last night at another one of my uncles’ houses.

My Uncle Dale was full of laughter, jokes and conversation, with eyes that twinkled like my beloved grandad, whose own death last year continues to feel surreal to me.  Like my grandad, he also told the famous “Burton jokes” and had a kind heart.

Each year, he was one of my uncles who regularly remembered my birthday and gave me a card, or just some money, because he wanted to give me something.  Unfortunately, I think I took that for granted, but I appreciate it so much now that he’s gone.

My uncle also had a special place in my life because he was my mum’s “twin”.  Although there were three years between them, they happened to be born on the same day.  Imagine, ten children and two of them just happen to be born on the same day – how weird and amazing is that?  I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at our house this year when he and my mum celebrated their birthdays together, which was something we had done for the first time.  That is going to be a memory I’ll now cherish forever.

I’ll miss my Uncle Dale greeting me with, “Hello Shani” and a kiss on the cheek, asking how I am and engaging in conversation at times.  I’ll miss his generosity and I’ll miss his presence at family gatherings – he truly was unique.

Although I don’t understand and struggle to comprehend why he was taken so suddenly and so soon, God knows what He’s doing and I’ve just got to trust in that.  Now my Uncle Dale is soundly asleep, resting away from this cruel world, but I hope to see him on that great day when my Jesus comes again and I can embrace him and my grandad together.

I don’t think I told you this Uncle Dale when you were alive, but I love you and always will.  May you rest in peace.

A Much Needed Release

I really want to write something today.  In fact, I feel like I need to write something today.  I guess that there are a lot of pent-up feelings inside that need to be released and my beloved writing is my best outlet for that.

There are a number of things going on in my mind these days – more than I even want or would care to mention.  Sometimes they keep me from sleeping, sometimes they make me feel sad, and sometimes they simply remind me of a worse time.  That is one of the last things I want.

In all honesty, it is mostly my crowdfunding campaign that is occupying my thoughts and draining my energy little by little.  I desperately want it to succeed and reach as many individuals as possible, but man is it hard work.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I could never have imagined just how difficult this task would be.  I’m putting it in God’s hands though and I know that with Him I will succeed – I mean, with God for me who can be against me.

I’m finding myself thinking about my late grandad and aunty a lot recently as well and I’m not sure why.  All I know is that I keep thinking about when I lost them or their funerals or how much I miss them, and it hurts my heart.  Tears spring to my eyes and emotion builds up inside of me, knowing that I have to live the rest of my life without them.  I don’t think I’ll ever fully get past that.

Then there is a situation with a certain friend of mine, which has been causing me a lot of frustration and sometimes upset.  Certain things need to be raised with him, but I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want to cause any unnecessary unrest in his life.  I keep putting it off, even though I know the conversation needs to be had and the whole situation has been bothering me without his knowledge.  I hate rocking the boat, but I don’t like unresolved issues in my relationships with those I am close to, especially when it makes me start feeling like a fake.  I also can’t have situations negatively effecting my emotional wellbeing and not doing anything about it, because that’s not healthy.  I just need to somehow have this conversation.

And then there is a certain someone who has made a surprise reappearance in my life and wants to pick up where they left off, but cannot be relied upon or trusted.  I’ve been here before with them and they’ve completely left my life, without warning or explanation.  I know this could easily happen again, which is why I don’t want any attachment to form, but this person unfortunately always finds a way of getting into my head and I hate it.  I am planning to keep my distance though and let them talk to me when they want, because I refuse to repeat the mistakes of my past and feel hurt, rejection and confusion.  I’m done with all of that.

There are many more things on my mind, but like I said, I don’t want or care to mention them all.  I’ve expressed what I’ve wanted to express, which feels like a burden lifted, although my head is still throbbing a little.  I think I just need a holiday.