Seven Years

October 10, 2017 | 32 Comments

Today was busy. Aren’t all days though? I didn’t actually realise what the date was until late in the afternoon when I went on to my calendar to look at the details of a meeting. And then I realised: The 10th. Of the 10th. It has been seven years since the day when we lost you.

Many emotions came along with that realisation. Firstly guilt, that I’d taken so long in the day to remember. Then flashbacks of the days before you died: your call out of pain, your collapse on to the floor, me lying next to you in your bed, holding your hand, looking into your eyes, lying and telling you it would all be okay, while we waited for the ambulance to come.

The rush to the hospital, hoping a place could save us, could save you. But hospitals cannot do anything to stop the rapid march of such a disease. They could only alleviate your pain. So I sat down on that chair next your bed, and the nurse asked if I wanted some tea, and you said ‘yes please’, while your eyes closed and those were the last words I ever heard you say.

Dying doesn’t happen like it should. It’s not gentle, or even peaceful, it is mostly ragged and savage. Or at least it was for you. Listening to each sharp intake of your breath, waiting for the shaky exhale, it was a kind of torture that nothing prepares you for. You only want it to be over. The people left behind sit suffering, torn between wanting you to stay, because how can we be in this world without you, but knowing there is no use, and so wanting you to go. To release this precious life.

I remember holding tiny Rachel, cradling her, clutching her to me like a gift and hanging on to her. I feel like she kept me sane, kept me grounded, kept me here. We sat for three days next to your bed, but your spirit had already left. We were just waiting for a body to die. And when you finally did – what we felt was utter relief. There are so many things no one tells you about dying. These are only some.

The next few months and years were some of the hardest of my life. The darkness would settle over me every morning when I woke, like a mist. Always there, seemingly impossible to shake. There would be long bouts of tears, anger, rage, and jealousy when I saw other women your age, and older, going about their merry lives without a care in the world. Why us, why you, why me?

It takes a long time to get perspective when grief like this hits. It takes a long while for gratitude to resurface. Gratitude for all the years we had together, when some people get so few. For the relationship we had. For the childhood you gave me. For the woman you made me.

I’m a different person to the girl you left behind. Death does that. I’m happy though, so happy. And I know that’s all you ever wanted for us. In a world filled with so much hatred, destruction, pain – making yourself happy is no mean feat. So I think you’d be proud.

Tonight while typing this post, the tears were flowing and Ben came over and said “Mommy why your eyes look like dat?”.  Then he hurriedly ran and called his big sister and she came over to witness the event and I got the best hugs from both of them and they ran off to tell Daddy that Mommy was sad and what must they do? They’re good kids. The best. I just wish you could know them.

But you can’t. So tonight we will drink a glass of wine in your honour. We will eat jelly babies, your favourite. You always liked the black ones the best because you said they were juicier. And you know what the funny thing is? Ben always picks the black ones out if we offer him a bag, as he says they’re his favourite too. I didn’t say a thing, he just must have some magic flowing through him that connects him to you.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that although we don’t cry for you everyday, you are in every single little thing we do. You left a bigger legacy than you’ll ever know.

We love you and we miss you, always.



  • Reply Tamra Sykes October 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Thinking of you. Such a beautiful post. ❤️

  • Reply Simone Blanckenberg October 10, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    What an incredibly beautiful and real post, thank you for baring your soul to us and share your words. As I sit here reading it I weep too, for your loss of your mom whose elegance and quiet grace I remember well. May you feel her presence around you today especially xx

  • Reply Barbara October 10, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post -thinking of you – your Mom is with you always!

  • Reply Lizel Fincham October 10, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Wow Bee! Beautifully written and so honest. Your mom was an incredible women and she would be in awe and so proud of the women and mother u have become. I will have a big glass of wine and some jelly babies in her honor! Lots of luv

  • Reply Sue October 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Lovely words Bee for your very special Mom and our soooo special sister. No words can explain it but it jus reinforced the old adage that the good die young. And in her case far too young. Sending kits of love xxx

  • Reply Jonelle October 10, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Such a beautiful post Belinda. I’ll drink a glass of wine in honour of your mother today. Sending love x

  • Reply Silvia Barber Luna October 10, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes B… I can’t imagine what you must have gone through .. she was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. Lots of love ❤️

  • Reply Jo October 10, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    What a beautifully written post – thanks for sharing your emotions so openly. Your mum sounds like a special lady.

  • Reply Debbie October 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    So sad and so true. I was 8 months pregnant when my Mom died. It felt like torture to be carrying a baby she would never meet. I am sure, in time, the weight does lift. But as you have done, for now we remember her and see her in every day.

  • Reply Nicky October 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Lump on throat and tears in eyes!! Such a lovely post B. Sending lots of love xx

    • Reply Nicky October 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      *lump in throat!!

  • Reply Donna October 10, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing. My mom passed away 1,5 years ago and you have put into words so much of what I have been feeling for a while now. Thank you.

  • Reply Carey McElhone October 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Such a beautiful picture Belinda. Such great memories to you have and can express it so well. Gone too young. I dread the day I lose my mom.

  • Reply Cath October 10, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Beautiful x

  • Reply Theresa October 10, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    You write so honestly and lyrically about something so cruel and awful to endure – it’s uplifting to read, as well as gut-wrenchingly sad. Thank you.

  • Reply Tracey Robertson October 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    So beautifully written Belinda. Sending you a big hug

  • Reply Bailey Bezuidenhout October 10, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Really moving, brought tears to my eyes.

  • Reply Leigh-Ann Fowle October 11, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Beautiful post Belinda.

  • Reply Karen Archer October 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Powerful Bee. Beautifully written. Xx

  • Reply Louise Jackson October 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Each year I read the tributes to your mum and each year your words bring tears to my eyes. Beautiful post. Lots of love x

  • Reply Yolandi North October 11, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Big big hug. xxx

  • Reply Elana October 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Beautiful, thank you.

  • Reply stephanie videira October 11, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Coulld barely see while i was reading this crying so much for u with ur loss, whats the saying it never get easier, you just learn how to manage the pain or something like that, xxxx hugs so many hugs

  • Reply stephanie videira October 11, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Wanted to say tell ur kids about her what she was like and what she liked, show them photo’s of her life, keep the memories alive xxcx

  • Reply Alet October 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Tears as I read your raw memories. Thank you for sharing your story, your mom sounds like she was an amazing person and it is evident in the person you are. xx

  • Reply Cath October 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Your mum had the best taste in jelly babies, and so does Ben.

    As the years swirl around you, I promise, she’s there. No matter what.

    A friend once told me that life can take many things from us, but the two things it cannot take from us are: our education and our memories. Life can affect and infect every other aspect of our lives, warp it somehow, or shrivel it away. But your mom, as a memory, is so strong that she can never be erased or gone.

    10/10. I think your mum was a perfectionist with purpose. Maybe I’m assuming things of her, but if I look at you, knowing that you are of her, I see all that heart, courage, and determination. It shines from you. I’m so glad she was the light.


  • Reply Jane Bladen October 12, 2017 at 10:19 am

    There is a plaque on the Ladies tee of the 8th hole at the Port Alfred Golf Club in memory of your mother and I look at it each time I play. We played on Tuesday and it was a beautiful day – such a lovely reminder of a wonderful woman that I was lucky enough to have as a friend. xxx

    • Reply Belinda Mountain October 12, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Ah Jane, and now you’ve made me cry. Thanks for your kind words xx

  • Reply Meg H October 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    My Dad’s final shaky exhale was released 4 days after your Mom’s, under eerily similar circumstances. Every year I have read your tribute posts and nodded, and shed a tear and smiled. I held my baby daughter as close as you did Rachel, clinging to the sanity that her needs enforced. I too am so different to the girl he left behind, and am so, so happy. I too wish he could know his grandchildren, delight in their humour which echoes his and teach them his wisdom.
    Each year, the weight of the loss stays the same, but I believe we get stronger, fitter and thereby more able to move with it. It is always there, but we can carry it just a little bit easier.
    Thank-you for capturing and sharing your experience. Your words are emotive, honest and considered – and very much appreciated.

    • Reply Belinda Mountain October 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      You put it so well Meg – maybe the loss stays the same but we just get stronger. I’ve never thought about it like that and now I feel better about my feelings, and less guilty. Thank you!

  • Reply Claire van der Linden October 14, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    So beautifully written. It’s reminded me that on 26 Dec it’s 7 years since I lost my dad. So much has changed and I see so much of him in my son, who is actually his name sake, Andrew (Drew). It’s hard and I feel like we belong to a special club us lot,but those connections/clubs help us. Some years are hard and some are easier but they got by too quickly and yet for me, it still feels like it happened just the other day sometimes!was y It’s crazy. That feeling of missinsg soneone never goes away, the heart gets smaller and life movVes on And what came out of it was that I’ve leant to live and that was ok. with it that is yesterday good place but so is today and tomorrow and fthe future. Our children make it bearable t doesn’t matter where you are; what you went thru. You are a totally different person. For me for the better. I’m stronger because of you dad and for handpicking my 2 little angels up there for me #deadparentsclub

  • Reply Bobs October 23, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I am reading this a bit late. A sad, beautiful and happy read all at once. I never knew the details leading up to her passing. Those details make it more imaginable to me and gives me an insight into what is could be like sharing the same space as a dying loved one. x

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