Dear Mom

Today you’ve been gone 6 months. You died the day after Mother’s Day, May 9th. Our last day with you was spent in quiet celebration with snacks in the shade of your garden, you complaining of chest pain. We had no idea you’d be ripped away from us so brutally some hours later. And we miss you so terribly.

Grief is rough terrain for the heart. I always had a notion I was a strong person, but your passing broke me in ways I did not see coming. I’ve run the full scale of emotional intensity these months and had to deal with all the strain of administrative details around your estate, much like you had to do with Dad’s when he died – and I understand your rage now, I do. So much of all of this still feels surreal and unfair. Callous and unjust.

There are lovelier moments too – bittersweet. Finding a funny passport photo of you amongst papers where you do a good impression of Ma Baker. Wearing socks you’d embroidered with delicate flowers. Remembering our outings to special places and your childlike enthusiasm for things around you. Ice cream at the beach. Burgers at the Wimpy. Shopping during covid – with you, always a hysterical adventure. You were the dizzy limit. Truly.

You were not a simple human being. In the wake of your death, I am puzzled by many things surrounding you. You were no saint. You were energetic and loud and funny. You possessed an iron will and you were fierce. Your heart melted for children and animals, though. I still had plans, things for us to do together. I still had questions to ask. And now there is silence instead of your vibrant chatter.

Rest sweetly, dear Mommy. I was your first baby, and when the nurse handed me to you when I was born, you told me you couldn’t believe you’d been entrusted with such a beautiful baby. God thought you worthy of being a mother, even if you did not always think that. I honour you and your memory for being my mom.

All my love,

Your daughter Anzelle

Merlyne Booysen

9 April 1952 – 9 May 2022