This weekend past, I went to Johannesburg for a family funeral, along with my sister and mother. My mother’s uncle had passed away and it felt like the right thing to do, to go and honour him by attending his funeral. He was such a light in our lives, my grandmothers brother and the only real connection I had to her, the only person who could really tell me about her. She had passed away when my mother was still quite young so I never had the chance to know her but thankfully through him I got the chance of knowing all about her.
Thomas Durrell was the best. The absolute best. The love, joy, happiness, humour just flowed out of him, anyone who came into contact with him could not help but be in a better mood afterwards. His light was not something you could hide from, his personality was infectious. Whenever he would come to Cape Town, he would tell me that I need to come visit him in Joburg and that I need to spend time with my cousins, he always said I would love it. Life was happening though, I was always too busy, there was always a reason that I could not go. Until this weekend past…
We arrived in Johannesburg for the first time in 17 years, and from the minute we got there, our amazing family made us feel like we had never spent a day apart. My cousins. Our family. Blow my mind. They fill my heart to overflowing. Uncle Thomas knew it, he knew that as soon as I got there, I would be filled with joy, he knew that this was exactly what we needed, in essence its what everyone needs….good ‘ol family time. All weekend I just wished he was still here to see it, to see the family together again and how much pure joy consumed us just by being together.
Funerals are devastating. Loss is terrible. But the reunion that death bring is something truly blessed. Family makes everything better, family makes the hard times bearable and the good times exceptional. I don’t think my cousins even realise just how much their love filled me up. It made me stronger, braver and happier.
We spent 3 days in each others faces….and it was the best 3 days I’ve had in a LONG time! Family. Cousin’s. Well the kind I have….they don’t judge….they love. They don’t laugh at you for looking like an idiot while doing an Xbox dance off, no, instead they cheer you on and encourage you afterwards with words like “Good Job!” or “See, you’re not bad at it. The more you play, the easier it gets.” They make sure you have food first before they eat, they make sure you’re comfortable before they worry about themselves, they ask you if you’re ohkay at the funeral of your Uncle…who is closer to them since he’s their Grandfather. They include you in all conversations, they invite to play games and take the time to explain it to you, they cry with you and laugh with you…sometimes all at the same time haha They ask you about your life, and they really listen to your answer. They support you in every sense of the word. They are genuine. I gotta say that part again….they are genuine!
The love of family….puts your life back in order, it gets your head right and your priorities in order. My cousins are amazing. Truly amazing. Each with their own unique awesomeness. Not to mention that they each chose partners who are equally amazing and who I am just crazy about! I look forward to seeing them again and sharing many more laughs, tears and memories together.
Mason, Nicki, Vivian, Conrad, Abby, Roslynn, Justine and Charlene I love you all more than life! Durrell Family Love ❤
R.I.P Thomas Durrell. Thank you for our family and for teaching us the value of it 🙂