1 July 2024

Life Goes On… As It Should

Categories: Life
life goes on featured

I have life before me still
And thy purpose to fulfil
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gosh, I really struggled the first week after my cousin had died! I couldn’t tell from moment to moment what I would be feeling. I would be fine, and then be sobbing. I lost my temper all the time. I couldn’t make sense of what had happened, of what I was supposed to do or feel! But I kept going back to how Joey was in life, how she had coped, how she had been as a person in the last decades of her life. It felt like my hysteria shamed her. And I was lucky, we had some time previously planned to spend a week with our daughter and grandson. So, for those days there was no social media, no news. I could take a break from the horror of Gaza (how oh how I wish the people of Gaza could!!). I read a lot, did codebreaker crosswords with my grandson. We played gin rummy, and my husband introduced the grandson to vingt-et-un, oh my word, he loves that!!


We were cooking over open fires. It was wonderful to see how caring this eleven-year-old was, how much effort he put into making our stay happy and easy. To see my daughter’s joy at the big bag of books I had brought for her to read. Book chocolates she called it. Without even trying I was being in the moment, in the day. Experiencing time in the only way that is real.

Of course I am still sad, of course I have moments in every single day when tears well up. It will take time before I am able to be aware of joey’s quiet presence in my life. Now I am still too raw, much too aware of “loss”. But when I am knitting, I remember how joey sat on my couch and held this piece of knitting in her hands, and we spoke of how I am using two balls double knit wool to create a chunky effect. She is knitted into the fabric of my life. She can’t ever not be part of it.


But my life is joyful. My life is filled with people I love and respect, some here in this life where I can visit and talk to them on the phone and some a bit of a ways down the road.

I love the stuff of my life, the gardening and the cooking and even the cleaning and of course the swimming. This time of the year we have psychedelic sunrises, we wake up to pinks and purples that seem unreal. We are in an exciting, scary, wobbly era of our democracy…. how lucky I am to experience this. To see how my people react. To see how we talk and debate and shout about exactly what the constitution says. To see how we joke. One of the journalists said: “If there was ever a world cup for constantly using humour to deal with everything, South Africa would win every time!”

And so life goes on as it should…


a bird shouting its joy as it floats
through the gift you have given us: another day
Mary Oliver

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