By: Donsy Kunene
The death of a loved one is an event that all of us is likely to experience during our lifetimes, often on numerous occasions. Whilst lives are often transformed by such loss, it does not necessarily need to be for the worst in the long term. Dealing effectively and positively with grief caused by such a loss is central to your recovery process and your ability to continue with and fulfil your own life for the better.
The process of recovery may sound easy, but to those who were intimately related to the deceased, they find it the hardest thing to achieve.
Seven months after her death, UniQ Mag SA decided to visit those who were close to the highly favoured Woman of God, Nombulelo Zungu; affectionately kno
wn as Magesh to find out how they are coping with the loss. Nombulelo acquired the name Magesh from her maiden surname “MaGatsheni”. Among the many acquaintances that still feel the stinging loss of her death, we spoke to her spouse, Pastor, Dr Zenzi Zungu; her closest friend Vuyisile Shabalala. Her Son expressed his feelings through a poem titled “Thank you Mom” found on a poet session.
Here is what they had to say:
Dr Zenzi Zungu poured her heart about the passing of her life partner and her pillar of strength. “I am weary, I can’t say much, not because I have nothing to say but because I still do not believe that she is really gone. It is still hard to accept that God has taken my left hand away from me. She was not just a wife, not just a beauty, not just an ordinary woman, not just a virtuous person but a highly favoured Woman of the Most High who feared God.”
“She has been gone for over half a year now, but it still feels as if she left just yesterday. Her passing was a great loss not just to me but it also greatly affected the Church, the community and the entire family. Without her, my world is so empty and meaningless as much as I know that my God is there for me. I hate death!”
“She was a loving and caring person in a very special way, an ever smiling lady (a lady and half). She has been everything to me, everything that a man desired, she has been a sister, friend, mother to me and a lover of my heart. She made me a real man, her contributions in our marriage qualified her to be the best wife ever, My Queen!”
Her best friend Vuyisile Shabalala also found it difficult to express her grief. “The passing of my most dear friend has saddened me in a way which I cannot explain in words. However, the strength she displayed whilst she was alive, has given me a new lease in life. Her teachings will always remain close to my heart, and even on her death bed she had one last lesson to bestow upon me. Her last lesson was simple, she did not speak it nor did she write it, her last lesson was a simple smile, the lesson to love, enjoy life, be happy for others, be happy for yourself and most of all be happy for what lies ahead”.
“When I saw her on her death bed, she held my hand and offered the sweetest smile. Her touch was warm and loving, and almost as though she knew she was going to a better place, a place of endless beauty, love and tranquillity. I have been looking for a word to describe my friend, couldn’t find any that can capture the nurturing spirit, her heartfelt kindness. The closest I could find was the word MOTHER. She loved unconditionally; she felt my pain – even more than I did at times. She was a teacher who would gently walk me through life’s harsh lessons. Most of all she was a comforter”.
“During all the time we spent together I struggled to understand how she could remain calm, how she could smile in the face of adversity, how she could see the proverbial “silver lining” in the darkest cloud”.
“The death of my friend was a redefining moment in my life. People often define themselves in terms of their relationships: A woman may think of herself as a daughter, wife, mother, sister, or part of a close friendship. A man might define himself as a brother, husband, father, or friend. When someone close dies, the very definition of self-changes. How can you be a husband without a wife? A daughter without parents? A friend if your closest friend is gone?”
Immediately after a death, you may be plunged into funeral preparations and logistics before you even have time to register the loss and what it means to you. Next, you may need to take up the demands of daily life all too quickly, or you may find yourself unable to resume the responsibilities.
The passing of someone close to you begins a process that, while painful, is normal and expected. It’s an experience through which you gradually come to terms with the loss of your loved one and begin to regroup and see yourself in a new way. It’s common to feel overwhelmed at first by the depth and intensity of your loss.