Death is imminent and grieving can take many forms

My daughter and I spent some time earlier writing condolence tributes to children of an awesome woman who was my angel when I was new and pregnant as an expat in UAE with absolutely no clue about motherhood. It has been a shocking time for us this weekend and a wake up call that death indeed is imminent and can happen at any time and how sometimes we take people for granted in our lives knowing they are always there and not appreciating them enough.

Nicola (RIP) was the most dynamic woman we have come across amongst parents in Tasha’s school. Before Tash was born, she organised all our mother to mother events, she helped me draw up the letter to the hospital that I wanted a natural birth with no epidural (I didn’t even know what an epidural was), She introduced me to other mothers who later became my information hub for raising Tash and where I needed to go for good doctors, clothes etc.

What is tragic is that this healthy, slim, on the go committed mum and art educator took a tablet that she didn’t realise she was allergic to and this caused a cardiac arrest and she died in the hospital on the way to the hospital. How much difference can an hour make to a person’s life is unbelievable. But I was always told when my mum passed away that God almost always takes amazing people like Nicola first because they are so good and so loved by him.

Lots of memories come flooding now with talk about how the big church was overflowing because Nicola had touched so many hearts. I remember walking down the Coral Coast streets a week after my mum’s funeral and someone who knew I didn’t make it to the funeral came and hugged me and said, ‘Never in this town the police had to monitor traffic because of a funeral but for your mum, they had to. Always remember that – so many people came from so many places because she was an amazing woman who always did things for everyone and was the first one to help people.” That was a beautiful thing to hear and I always think of that when i miss her.

I don’t know why I didn’t see so much of my mum in Nicola before. Afterall, in my mum’s absence, she stepped in to be my guide when I knew no one in the UAE. This incident has also made me realise that often in the rat race, I end up focussing on things that in the end don’t really matter – it’s the real things like people around us that matter.

When I saw a message this morning from Nicola’s daughter to Tash, seeing how strong she and her brother who is Tasha’s age are, I feel proud of them. I was not half as strong as them and its so heartening to see them write notes to their mum, their feelings and how they celebrate the amazing life she led in terms of bringing them up and giving them the best…these are times when we as adults have a lot to learn from the younger generation. Today I feel blessed for everything my mum did for me and the fact that I am the person I am today because of her…Nicola’s death has been very untimely but it has helped us appreciate people around us so much more. RIP Nicola… we will always remember you as the first person who came through the hospital door to see how i was doing after NJD was born.



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