5 Years Gone

How did I mark the 5th anniversary of my mother’s death? With tears, of course. And music, as I naturally do. With memories, and smiles, and more tears. With an amazingly productive day of Strategic Planning at the organisation where she once worked, and where she brought as much passion as I now bring, in her own … More 5 Years Gone

All I Ask Of You

One of my mother’s sisters gave me some unexpected gifts this evening: a beautiful jacket, and two songs, one of which touched deep layers of sorrow and gratitude that needed tears tonight. She also gifted me loving arms to hold me. Expressing the sense of relief these moments of falling softly, lightly, gently into the … More All I Ask Of You

Reflecting on a life

My mother’s best friend recently emailed the draft introduction to a book which will be the completion of the work my mother had been busy with when she died: a book reflecting on nearly 15 years of coordinating a project aimed at understanding the relationship the millions of ordinary South African’s have to land, property … More Reflecting on a life

In Memoriam

It was inevitable that – working now at an organisation where my mother worked, even though it was many years ago – I would occasionally stumble across her name. It still made me catch my breath when I came across this message from a previous Director on our old website, while I am in the … More In Memoriam

Morning Tears

I pulled over into a driveway, the usual busy morning traffic continuing to flow steadily past me; tears streaming, body shaken with sobs. As I heard the opening lines of Judy Collin’s “Who Knows Where the Time Goes”, all my senses were flooded with vivid flashbacks to Scotland, 2011: the texture of the grey skies … More Morning Tears

Musical Memories

When I saw there was a Baroque 2000 ensemble performance at a local Monastery on the 31st May, I knew instantly that it would be a wonderful way to spend some time communing with memories of my mother on this fourth anniversary of her death. I have such a powerful recollections of sitting with her, … More Musical Memories

Missing

There are times I miss my mother so intensely I feel destabilised. I close my eyes just to see again her familiar gestures and expressions. I am amazed how simply the fact of her existence in the world used to be such a great comfort, even when we hadn’t spoken in weeks, living continents apart. Mostly, these … More Missing

In Memoriam

(I wrote this on Thursday 13th November, scribbled on the programme for my mother-in-law’s cousin Jenny’s memorial service, while we waited for the official proceedings to begin) Each funeral, memorial or cremation now evokes for me vivid memories of previous such occasions, as well as recollections of those now dead whose formal commemorative events I … More In Memoriam

Shattered

Broken shards of glass spread across the kitchen floor – jagged edges glistening, and tiny slivers hiding in shadows, evading my later attempts to make the tiles safe once more for tender feet (how quickly we imbue our human qualities of spite and craftiness into objects inanimate). The sound crashes into my consciousness before I … More Shattered