Found & Lost

“Hey Dave, how are you? Is tomorrow still open for you šŸ˜€?” This message came through from Rokela at 4:44PM, Monday 15 December. Eight hours later, almost to the minute, Rokela is dead.
Rokela and I dated in ’94. She was always smiling, laughing, friendly. Our relationship couldn’t last; I was battling with my sexuality.

We drifted apart in ’94 until Facebook connected us recently. I sent an invitation and Rokela accepted. We had not exchanged a word in 20 years, until last week, when she mailed to say she was in Cape Town, with her daughter Katija.

We made plans to meet up. Tuesday 16 December – the Day of Reconciliation – seemed so perfect to catch up after 20 years, to start our friendship afresh.

At 4:44PM on Monday, Rokela sent me a message and an address to collect her on Tuesday at 3PM.
“Hi. Rokela’s in Groote Schuur. Was in a car accident this evening. Katija is ok.” – a message exactly seven hours later, at 11:44PM…and fifty-nine minutes after that, the news Rokela had died from her injuries: “I’m so sorry. Rokela passed away.”

I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know what to do for Katija, and Charisse who sent the messages. What about the family? Who is comforting them? What must I do? What must I say? What must I feel? HOW do I feel? How do I open up my heart and let the pain of Rokela’s death flood into me, like humans should? God! I’m making this all about me!

Rokela! Please tell me this is a cruel joke! Tell me you’re ok! How can you be dead – I spoke to you just a few hours ago – how can you possibly be dead??? I don’t understand!

Please! Make this not be the reality we have to endure! How do we undo all this? PLEASE! TELL ME!!! Tell me how there is the passage of TWENTY YEARS OF SILENCE until we get a few precious hours to catch up and then just like that, you’re gone forever??! How is that OK? In which circle of Hell was this cruelty dreamt up???


Ā© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.


  1. There just are no words right now. Nothing wants to come out, except arms to hold you tight and ensure you that everything will be ok. Ensure you any and all emotion or lack thereof is ok too.

    May she rest in peace now, may all the friends and family allow her to rest – regardless of the state of ascend she is at complete and ultimate peace now.
    To those behind, look at the legacy of the person who left, look at their spirits and their meaning of life. I have always believed that thing for a reason, what that is will reveal itself in time and death no matter when it comes is never easy or welcomed.

    May her memory always keep those company who seek it, may her life have meant more than her death. May your hearts find comfort where currently there is none.

    Love you always Dave, you will be ok. You are allowed to feel it out, allow yourself to ache and let us comfort you and help you along this difficult road.

  2. Dave. We don’t know each other, and I actually knew Katya better than Rokela through my daughter; they go to the same school. I am devastated as well; as Rokela had a presence about her that brought peace and happiness always with her. I was at her funeral today and only knew Katya who still waved at me in the church. Rokela lives in Katya, and it was Rokela waving to me not to worry about her or Katya. Be strong in this time of healing for us all.

  3. What a very sad story. I have no words of comfort. So very sorry you lost a friend. Most of all, I am sorry that you lost your father. Kindest regards from Norway.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and compassion – I really appreciate the comments. Life gives us gems, and I am finding out fairly late in life that emotion, and feeling and appreciating the people we have in our lives are all good things.

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