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.