Solo Survivor


There seems to be a lot of death around me at the moment. A friend’s mum, a good family friend, another friend’s sister. It got me thinking about death and how it affects us and those we love.

The first time I remember being touched by death was when my grandfather died. I was nine and I remember how devastated my mum was. It changed our family forever – her youngest brother was only 15 and now an orphan and so he came to live with us. It was like I inherited a big brother overnight. I grew to love him and was devastated by his death when he was 29.

The next meaningful loss was my best friend when I was 18. My friend Wendy, died in a plane crash and I was so crushed by her death I cried myself to sleep every night for 6 weeks. Then I vowed never to cry or hurt that badly again and sadly achieved that goal for a good many years. How we handle our grief matters!

Over the years I have experienced the loss of many family and friends. An uncle, who was like a second dad to me; a brother brutally murdered in Zimbabwe; my dad; friends like my friend Sharon to name a few. Each has had different impact on my life – some hardly made a ripple and others more devastating. I have learned though that when you or someone you love experiences a loss, there aren’t always words, but of this I am sure, ignoring the person’s loss or avoiding mentioning their loved one is not the answer. The fact that someone takes the time to let you know they are thinking of you during this time means a lot. I treasured every text, Facebook message, card I received at the recent death of my dad. I have often felt inadequate in my response to those around me experiencing loss, but came to understand in a new way that even the simplest acknowledgement was enough to let me know people cared about my pain.

Sometimes it is enough just to be there – offering silent support or a pair of hands if that’s what is needed. I am not sure I would have survived my brother’s death or my dad’s without the love and support I received from those around me. One friend let me talk and talk about my brother even if i repeated myself. Hearing stories about my dad from people outside of the family reminded me what an amazing and interesting person he was. These were such gift for me and an important part of the grieving process.

I don’t see every death now as devastating – for some it is just a temporary separation because I believe I will see them again. I am thankful for the hope my faith gives me. I have learned to move through my grief and not get stuck in it. We all grieve in different ways, but it is a process we must go through.


  1. game

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, but I
    wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do
    so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

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    1. fordisky (Post author)

      Thank you for your encouragement – I really appreciate it.

  3. Angie Van Greuning

    Shew! That was so beautifully put Su! I also love the two very good comments just above mine.

    You so right how death can cause us to feel differently. Your post got me thinking of my dad who died in the same year as your dad died. In fact just a month or three later.

    I see how lovingly you speak of your dad, and it makes my heart happy you experienced that kind of love. A fathers love.
    That’s an area that I daily trust my Daddy God to fulfil.
    I remember how tender u our heart was when your dad died and I know how you miss him.

    The strange thing is, that my youngest brother asked me the other day, “Do you think much of daddy?”
    I had to be honest and say no! I was his adopted daughter and although I was only told at age 16, it was always made abundantly clear who my dad loved. When he left to Joburg when mom and dad got divorced, unfortunately I have many more terrible memories. But I have learnt that “hurt people, hurt people!”
    And I know my adopted dad was one of those hurt people who hurt people.

    My real dad I found after many years, oh out 12 years ago. I went to meet him once. We kept in contact at least a few calls per month. Then a year before my adopted dad died, my biological dad died. Strange, I miss his calls and hearing his voice, but have no other memories to miss him from.
    And my step dad is over 80 and not easy to get on with. A very broken man whose own children want nothing to do with him. But he tries. He is also someone that falls into the category that hurt people, hurt people.

    So honor those memories Su my friend! Revel in them, talk adopted bout then, write about them, even sing about them! For those of us who don’t have that!

    I am so grateful that I have a Heavenly Daddy. And that’s why I keep my head so close to His heartbeat, so I can hear what He says about me.
    And my memories of a dad, belong to Him! And u thank Him daily!

    Love you Su!

  4. eebest8 Mitch

    Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Thanks Again. Cool.


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