My liefste boykie,
It’s been 28 days, and approx 3 hours since you died. I hate all these other phrases. Passed on. Passed away. Left us. I wish people would stop using it around me. And if I have to hear that old ‘God loved him so much, he wanted him in heaven next to him’ once more, I swear, I won’t be held accountable for my actions.
We have a start date and an end date. And that is all there is to it. I wanted to give you my car that Sunday night. I needed gas, and thought you could use my car to bring me refills, but then I remembered that I needed to drop off parcels at PostNet on the Monday, so I left it. I don’t think it would’ve made much of a difference. Your end date was on 28 January at approx 18:30. (That drives me nuts too… not knowing the exact moment your spirit left your body.)
While I accept that we all have end dates, I can’t accept that yours came so soon. You were a good, decent human being. You had so much to give, you had such a bright future. Why do gangsters and murderers and rapists live so long? Or dictators? Why do they get to have long lives when they give nothing to society except misery? Why are old people with debilitating mental issues still alive when they can hardly function, but you have to die? Why?
When Teri messaged me at 19:43 that she can’t get hold of you, I immediately thought that you forgot to charge your phone and got distracted at work. But by 20:28 she could still not get hold of you, and I knew, I just knew, that something was wrong. I was wrecking my brain trying to think where to start looking for you. I was editing a pattern at the time but my hand was shaking so much on the mouse, I gave up.
I then did the next logical thing. Phoning police stations. Worcestor. Rawsonville. Paarl. Sigh of relief. No motorbike accidents reported. It didn’t even occur to me to phone Wellington. You said you’d never drive the Bain’s Kloof pass. Another unanswered question.
By 21:15, I was ready to take my car and go look for you. I reckoned that your phone was dead and that something broke with your bike. I was so sure I’d find you next to the N1 relieved to see me. Then I spoke to your Pops and he sounded off. Weird.
Next moment the doorbell rings. And I knew that it would be terrible, horrific news. Boykie, in all my life I never knew that something could hurt so much. It’s a primal insane pain that you can’t describe to anybody. It something that rips through your body, takes away your breath and leaves you crumbling. I kept thinking that someone was playing a prank on me. How can you be dead, when I had hugged you only the previous night? It can’t possibly be true.
On the Tuesday I had to go identify your body. Your Pops managed an early morning flight out of Jhb, so at least he was there with me. I hate that I had to look at you through a window. I think these mortuary rules are cruel and unnecessary. I wanted to hug you and kiss your eina’s better. But I couldn’t even touch you. Signing the papers, giving my fingerprint all went in a haze. I’ve been crying so much, I couldn’t even see through my contacted lenses, so I still don’t have any idea what I signed for exactly.
We waited until Lize and Dawid landed back in SA on Wednesday to plan your service. I wanted your entire blended family to have a say. The people you loved the most, the people that loved you the most.
Oom Leslie found a beautiful venue. We told everyone to come as they are. No dressing up in uncomfortable clothes, no stuffy church, nothing. Your dedication service was beautiful. People, including me and pops, and your brother and sisters, said the most beautiful words about you. Oom Leslie and Ouma both read something from the Bible. We said a few thank you prayers. We didn’t ask for anything. We wore our religion like you always did. Quietly, privately. We didn’t ask God for strength, but we thanked him for giving us 25 and three quarter years of beautiful memories.
People walked away with smiles and peace in their hearts. You would’ve been so impressed and I think you would’ve been proud of all of us.