Nomsa Nkwanca

by Nomsa Nkwanca
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

My brother Thapelo was born on 30 July 1975. I was 10 years old when he was born,my only sibling, my only brother. Forever smiling. I look at all his pictures today there is this permanent smile in those pictures.

In December 2011 he was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct. What a rough ride?? We did everything to find help for him - he was forever hopeful and had a positive attitude to life until the end. I respect him so much for that. On May 24, 2012 we lost him. I will never forget this day. I will never forget you my brother. We miss your loud laugh, loud car radio, loud screams when watching soccer - ooh we miss everything about you my brother. I still can't believe you are gone papa. I cry everyday because I can't call you - I can't talk to you - I can't take a walk with you - I can't scream at you when you driving fast. Yho Mfo I miss you!!! The pain is so deep and I don't know how to handle it. I am told with time it will be better - I so wish I can be told with time I will talk to you. I sometimes beg you to remove the pain from me.

You thanked me every opportunity you had for taking care of you my brother. I used to get very upset when you thanked me "for everything" - whatever that meant - but I sometimes feel I did not do enough becuase you are not here with us. God knows best my brother.

What I know for sure is that you are at peace and in a better place. You deserve that - pity you had to leave us to be there. We miss you mfo Kakhulu. The void you left in the family is so so huge. We cry often and each one goes into her bedroom to cry. It is tough.

I sometimes feel that I should not have been present when you passed on because the memory the picture keeps coming back. But I guess it was ok. I hope you felt our teary presence. I hope you felt loved when the sister helped me close your eyes and mouth. You were at peace. You looked peace. I hope you are at peace my brother.

We gave out your clothes this past Saturday. It was a very sad day to all of us. We gave to people who loved you and whom you loved. I kept the green tshirt for myself and other memory stuff for Nkuthi and Wethu.

I just want to tell you one more time that I love you I love you I love you and I miss you so so so dearly Papa.

Comments for Nomsa Nkwanca

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Oct 13, 2012
by: thamy mtyeku

Oh baby sasa,I amy not be able to take away the pain of your brother,however I have a simillar situation where I lost my younger sister who was also sick from her birth,she had what was called bronchiactisis,this condition made her to cough all the time,she used to make a joke out of her illnes and would normally deal with those that weould attempt to embarass her,so confident was she, and when she died she had one lung which one was removed when she was six,amazingly she lived a very healthy and joyous life,she was the happiest person I an think of it was fun to be around her witha lot of sense of humour. I still miss her to this day but at least I was able to heal with time ,it was not easy though as I was at varsity at the time>OH>may her soul rest in peace umamkhuma,so with you time will heal Sasa.I miss you am on facebook tried to check on you pls do communicate,much love.

Oct 10, 2012
Doreen, UK
by: Nomsa

Thanks so so much Doreen for your words of comfort. Despite your own pain you were able to reach out to me to provide comfort - very few people can see beyond their own pain and try assist someone else. I thank God for you. When I wrote my message about my Brother I had this deep pain like I could rip my heart open and take it out - just for a break - no matter how short - but a break because the pain was so excrutiating.

Doreen I am sure inspite of your pain you are proud of yourself that you stood by your loving husband (you did not tell me his name) until the end. He was really blessed to have someone like you. I know he felt your love everyday. Our rough ride was shorter (Dec 2011 - May 2012) but seeing him go through all of that chemo, the pain, the loss of weight, the collapses in the house. It was hell. We took a decision never to take him to Hospice - the Sisters did home visits twice a week to check if all was in order. So I know what you mean when you say it is very difficult to care for your loved one going through cancer - 3years must have been tough on you my dear hence you can't remember pre-cancer life. I am not an expert but I guess as healing and acceptance (as your own pace Doreen) comes good memories will automatically come back. I go through albums when I am desperate for good memories - hence the picture I posted. It was taken in October 2010 and we had travelled together to bury our uncle in the Eastern Cape. I will forever treasure that journey.

Yes Doreen my mother was the one who decided to distribute his clothes, a very brave effort on her path to recovery. I did not want to be part of it or even be at home when the stuff was pulled from bags and wardrobe. But she insisted that I be there and take what I treasure and let everyone else take. Yho it was tough and Doreen don't push yourself to do it - it will happen when the time is right my dear. It may be tomorrow - it may be years from now but do it at your own pace.

I dreamt my brother once telling me not "cry" - that he is fine - that he is relieved and ok because the "pains were killing" him.

Oct 10, 2012
Nomsa Nkwanca
by: Doreen U.K.

Nomsa I am sorry for your loss of your brother Thalepo. My birthday is the same day as his was July 30. My husband died of cancer 5 months ago May 5th 2012, and he suffered for over 3yrs. I nursed him to the end. It is a painfull journey with cancer. Caring for the one we love and watching them die.
I saw my husband take his last breath. I know you say that you wished you hadn't been present. For me I have mixed feelings. I have those painful memories left of that day he died and also of the last 3yrs. But I could not leave my husbands side even for a minute. Every moment was precious. It is so hard thinking about all those memories that have stopped now for good. It is hard for me trying to capture those conversations and life together. I still have the last 3yrs. in my head. My memory tape is unwinding very slowly and I can't rembember the days before cancer. One day in Eternity we will have FOREVER. We won't have to worry about DEATH and losing people from our lives. This is the only reason for HOPE to keep going on in life. To realise this is not the end. You have been able to distribute your brother's shirts and other clothing. I haven't been able to do this. They are still sitting in black bags in a spare room. My husband used to dress well and all those shirts are still special. I have to let go but this is very difficult. Some cultures have a certain philosophy in coping with grief that seems to get them through this. I wish I could adopt a way of coping better with loss. I hope that you will have better days ahead in life and that the sun will always be above you and the wind at your back.

Oct 10, 2012
by: Louisa Okoro

I feel you my sister, I feel you very much. Hmm the loss of an only brother, hmmmmmm. So many things for us to understand when the saviour comes, for now all we have is memories. The bottom line is that we should live a good life with our family, friends and loved ones because at the end that is all we have to hold on to.Good memories ease the pains and even put a smile on her face when we are in tears. Love those he loved, it helps,I am a withness.

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