It’s really difficult coming from a funeral and not re-evaluating your life. Let’s be honest every eulogy consists of the praises and things that person was best at even if they were the most miserable sod ever. But when you actually know the person personally and everything said in that eulogy is a true reflection of the kind, strong, selfless, giving human being they were, that’s when you really need to take note.

Youth is a gift but it is also a curse, there is no urgency in anything we do. We always and maybe arrogantly so, believe that there will always be a tomorrow. A chance to fix something, ask for forgiveness, live your dream etc. When in actual fact nothing is promised…to anyone. I swear I’m going somewhere with this it’s not all gloom and doom.

My gran or affectionately known to me as ‘ouma’ Afrikaans for grandmother, ¬†is someone who always supported everything I did, no matter how outlandish it was (because I’ve always been slightly ‘out there’). Before this I thought she accepted me because we were blood keeping in mind her ¬†generation was far more conservative than I am. But as I listened to everyone speak to her character I realized it was a strength of hers, to accept me as I am, to love me no matter how bad or good I was. No matter how different, outgoing or stubborn that may be.

I’ve always thought her greatest achievement was her 6 boys aka my dad and uncles, originally 12 children (yes I said 12). But what I’ve learnt is that she’s made an impact in people’s lives, uplifted them, helped them not just our family but the community. When she didn’t have much money or resources she would still have compassion and make sure every person she came into contact with was fed. She didn’t need a title, she didn’t need a degree, she didn’t need a lot of money. She was a lioness within her own right.

So as I carve out my career in a somewhat unconventional way and in an industry unforgiving of my looks and not prestigious in many an eye, I will strive to be that lioness, I will strive to leave a legacy, unapologetic, spirited, real, boisterous. I will be completely and utterly myself because that’s who she accepted and loved and that’s who is going to make me stand out in this world.

In loving memory of you Ouma,
Stella Henrietta Abrahams
Champion/Matriarch/Peacemaker

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