Monday, April 20, 2009

Trudy passes

Our recent weekend trip to Cape Town was interrupted by the devastating news that my mother (Trudy) passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 59. Needless to say, this has been a shock of such gigantic proportions that I am still experiencing waves of disbelief two weeks later. It feels as though my previously volatile life has become completely unhinged.

We had to make a quick departure from Cape Town to Pretoria in order to settle her affairs, pack up and vacate the little cottage she was renting and organise a memorial service (all done in less than a week and wearing only the clothes we packed for the Cape Town weekend). Thankfully our friends and family rallied around and provided immeasurable amounts of love and support for which I am eternally grateful. We then flew back to Cape Town (to fetch our car) and then drove back home to Knysna after spending a few days in the mother city. Having visited 3 cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town & Pretoria) and returning home to Knysna and the farm, I can honestly say that no place feels like home anymore. This is quite an alarming realisation for a Cancerian – but I find that watering my plants keeps me sane and grounded.

I have had the occasional “inter-dimensional” communication with my mom, interspersed by times of extreme loneliness, turmoil and chaos – I suppose all normal parts of the grieving process. Kevin has been an absolute rock and my kids have given me a reason to get out of bed. I even had what I thought was either a nervous breakdown or a stroke: a 24 hour period during which I could not open my eyes or communicate except for nodding my head. I could hear everyone around me but was completely incapacitated – apparently an attempt of my soul to find equilibrium. I did feel rather rested after that.

After a week of adjusting on the farm, I am back at work. Taking it one step at a time. We are planning to build a basic structure on the farm so that we can get onto the land – we are aiming for end of June. Even if we decide to return to the city after that, we would have at least lived on our own land for a while. Our budget is down to the bone (at around R150,000) and we have finally decided on the dry toilet (using the basic but effective bucket system!). This means bucket changing duty for Kevin once a week or so…if anything will drive him back to the city, this may do the trick!

We await Trudy’s ashes which will be buried on the farm & a family tree planted in her honour. She will finally find a resting place with us and her grandchildren whom she adored so much. Her wisdom will hopefully be transferred to the tree in years to come and will provide something to hug once again.

Here's a picture of her with the kids on her last visit in December, followed by some recent ones us and the office complex on the farm.

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