Yme’s sister died last week – gosh I can’t even bear to type those words, to see them like that in black and white. How can they possibly be true? How is it that one year after I met vibrant alive gorgeous redhead that we were saying goodbye?
The first time I met Natasha was when I came down to Cape Town with the pinklets to do our ART roadtrip, it was exactly a year ago . Yme had offered that we stay at his bachelor flat, he moved to his mom’s house for that week so the Pinklets and I would have somehwere to stay in CT. Natasha, knowing what boys are like had offered to help him clean and tidy up before we arrived. I liked her instantly and the bond between them was so clear right from the start.
I had the great privileged of getting to know her on our trip as she drove most of the way with me and the kids. We talked about love, life, dreams, South Africa, her family, kids, well basically everything. She always supported The Geek and I. Lets face it when your brother suddenly has a girlfriend with pink hair and 2 kids one could expect a sister to be critical or protective, but Natasha embrased us all and was so keen to be an aunty to the Pinklets.
When we moved to CT, she made such an effort with them, she would baby sit and buy them things, she would come shopping with me, do my hair and organise my makeup when I had to go out, help clothes shopping. My sisters are both in the UK and it was so nice to have a sister around again. Her and Arthur would come and braai with us and play with the kids and spoil them. She was so very excited about the new baby. She teased Yme about him being Koos forever.
Then she got sick, watching a vibrant 27 year old with her whole life ahead of her being ravaged by a disease that the Drs knew so little about was hard. Natasha got a rare auto immune disease. She was in hospital a long time at the end of last year and there were many times when things were touch and go, but she fought like mad and we were so glad to have her home for Christmas. We had a big family Chtistmas at our house and I am so grateful that she was with us. Those memories will always be very specail. Soon after new year she got sick again her very weak immune system was over run but some very nasty treatment resistant bugs. But again she fought, she fought on a ventilator against the odds for over 60 days until it was just too much. She could not anymore.
She never got to see Titus, never got to hold him, or ooh and aah and laugh and say how perfect he is. I know she would have been instantly in love and would have enjoyed him so much. She only even got to see a picture. I am determined that he might never have met her but he WILL know her, she will be part of his life as she lives on in our memories and we share things from her life.
My pain and loss is by a drop in the ocean of what her mother and brothers are going through, I can not even begin to imagine. I can only hope in a tiny way to offer the support they need. Something like this never goes away, the hole that someone as vibrant as Natasha leaves is huge. Annatjie lost not only her daughter but her friend, her companion and confidant. I marvel at her strength in all of this. Yme and the other brothers are quiet men, they do not wear their pain out in the open for all to see. But if you look, the eye are always windows to the soul and you see the pain etched there. Wouter, only 19 astonounded me with his bravery and calmness at Natasha’s funeral where he chose to say a few words about his sister, he spoke clearly and without falter making a moving tribute to her.
Time is a healer or so they say… I do not think that grief is something we deal with and get over. I think it is just something that we learn somehow to assimilate into our daily lives and we learn to live alongside it.