The Saddest Goodbye

Do not stand

It is a universally accepted truth that no parent should ever bury their child.

I’m not about to disagree with that because it is true – it is the way life is supposed to go

But what is really never discussed is how painful it is for a child to bury their parent.

My father Jan Hendrik Stander passed away on the 19th of September 2015.

He had a short battle with liver cancer.

He was first hospitalized in May 2015.

He died four months later.

Cancer is not kind. It is not romantic and it isn’t what they make in the movies.

There is nothing beautiful about it.

I saw a strong, funny, hyper intelligent man turn into a deathly pale invalid that could not move himself.

Cancer reveals what love is. 

But it isn’t this pretty thing that people think.

It’s a painful, maddening love that makes you weep hysterically.

It makes you shake your fist angrily at whatever deity might be listening.

Cancer makes you question religion. I think it is impossible to blindly trust God at times like this.

But cancer makes you also realize what is important – family and a handful of friends.

Earthly possessions holds no value.

My father was a wonderful man – he had a sarcastic sense of humor, and he could be so negative that I could sometimes only laugh. He was incredibly well read and intelligent, he was kind to car guards and to waiters, he had faith that he based on facts and not because he was told to believe.

It is unreal that he is gone – how can life just be wiped away so completely?

I will miss him forever. He was one of the best men I will ever know, and the void in my life feels huge. I know the sadness will fade and that life will move on, but he will always be my father and I will love him to the end of days.

Ek en pappa

38 thoughts on “The Saddest Goodbye

  1. I’m devasted to read this post Natasha. This is a true test of life and it will pass. I’m going through it myself, my mom has stage 4 breast cancer and I think it’s f**king bullshit she has it. But I love reading pieces like this because it calms me, calms me right before a wave of impossible contempt for just the basic facts of life (we get sick, we all eventually pass on) basically consumes me. I get really mad when unfair stuff happens, and I need to be better about that and just grow up ,but it’s really difficult.

    I know you’ll pull through. The cliche is horrible, but time does heal all.

  2. Oh man!! I can’t believe he’s gone!! I will always remember how friendly your dad was! And he was so funny! RIP Oom Jan! Gaan oom mis

  3. Great post Nat!

    unfortunately there are lots of things in the world that we can’t even begin to understand why they happen… 😦

    sorry for your loss and condolences to you and your family on this tragic loss.

    May you never feel more sorrow

  4. ;( This post absolutely broke my heart my friend, it’s beautiful and so heartbreaking. Senseless and stupid things happen to good people, and I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this 😦

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss Natasha. Just this September my dog (who was my splendid best friend) of twelve years passed away from cancer. The loss is enormous. What I’m learning through grief is taking day by day and honoring our loved ones through our memories and our own lives. My thoughts and support are with you.

    • Thank you Katy. You are right – we honor those who passed away by fully living our own lives to the best of our abilities.

      I am so sorry to hear about your dog – I lost a dachshund puppy last year and I thought my heart would never recover from it, but time makes the loss better.

  6. Pingback: Life Lately – November 2015 | Life of this city girl

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