Now you’re finally home with your sisters and Johan, we know there is peace for you, and stillness from the fragility of body and the pain of heartbreak.
I lose myself in memories of old, of your house – warm and light – filled with laughing children and the aromas of lekker boere kos, and if we were lucky – the best scones in the world for afternoon tea.
I hear the joyful, playful shouting out by the pool. Cousins playing in the sunshine while you old fogeys hung around the braai, talking, smiling, sharing love and comfort.
I feel your hugs, like a giant warm bubble of love. A safe space. A space that told me I mattered, I was loved, was part of your extended family not so much because mom was your sister but because you opened your heart, your home and your spirit to us.
I am grateful – you were there for mom when she needed you, when she couldn’t be the strong one and needed someone to catch her, and shield her from the pain of divorce and again when she grew old and ill. You always made space for her.
I age and see that growing up meant we grew apart, I weep for this chasm.
I ache because I knew that day walking out the hospital I was saying goodbye forever. It was the hardest goodbye I’ve ever said, because I knew you were watching me walk away, and you were still smiling, still loving, still here.
I am relieved that you have let go, and claimed the peace you deserve.
I will find you again, in the smiles, laughter and love of Anemari, Chris and your loving grandkids.
Goodbye, Aunty Zanne.