Life And Death

Saturday morning was another emotionally charged occasion for Paula as she went to support Anna's family at her funeral in CNP. It was a beautiful, fitting and simple service. Her little house was crammed full with friends and family leaving just enough room for the coffin. We sang our hearts out and the preacher spoke brilliantly about making sure your name is in the Book of Life (or at least that's what Paula gleaned from her limited Afrikaans!). Funnily enough, that is exactly what she has prepared to speak about on Tuesday at Anna's memorial service!

The difficult part though was to see and experience the raw grief of Aunty Blaby (Anna's mum) and that of Claude, her 13 year old son. The culture doesn't allow for any 'buoying one another up' with words or esteeming the living, as perhaps we would in a funeral service, so they had to sit almost alone in their grief. When it came to walking around the coffin for the final goodbye, both were completely overcome with the trauma. We have said before that death is handled very starkly. We're sure that it must be a good thing, but it is nonetheless very hard on people - particularly children.

As usual, such a sad and upsetting occasion was lightened in true Cape Coloured style as various dogs were kicked out of the house from time to time; cell phones had to be answered in the middle of the talk and someone even got up and went to the loo (all in the same room)!!! Just 'not cricket'by our standards, but wonderfully balancing in many ways!

Today, (Sunday) has been Dean's birthday and we have just enjoyed a lovely afternoon and early evening braai'ing (having a BBQ to all you Brits!) with friends. There were 12 of us, including 5 children and everyone had a ball. As usual we cooked far too much and were all stuffed, but it was so relaxing and all the children had a great time. Joel was so pleased to have the opportunity to 'help' Dad to blow out his candles, and was especially pleased to stay up late for once in his life!


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