She meant the world to me. She was my best friend. She was my light my air. She was my grandmother. Sylvia Albertoe Jano, better known as Mamai. Mamai always asked me when I was coming to live with her and I always told her, when I’m finished with my Havo. She was brave she was loving, she was fierce. One thing she was good at was hiding her pain
One day Mamai told me she was coming to my island to visit me because she might not have much longer. She said it so calm, that I really taught she was joking. She loved making jokes and to be honest she was quit good at it. I taught that this was just one of her none funny jokes. But she was serious, more serious than she’s ever been.
Tuesday 15th September 2009. The day my life changed forever. 2:30 AM a call came in from Curacao. I was sound asleep so my dad picked up the phone. ‘Hello, Lopes residents’ said my dad with a groggy voice. ‘Hey it’s me, Chinta’ said my mom, who left a week before to see my grandmother. ‘What’s wrong’ asked my dad. ‘It’s my mom, the hospital called and told us she didn’t make it. They said that after the operation she was just to week keep up.’ Said my mom. My dad tried to cheer my mom up and remind her that he’ll always be there for her. After my dad hanged-up he walked straight to my room and woke me. ‘Roshe, Roshe wake up’ said my dad. ‘Just five more minutes dad, just five’ I said. ‘It’s Mamai, she didn’t make. She gone Roshe.’ I looked at my dad, hoping he was joking. I looked around hoping I was still dreaming. But I wasn’t. My worst nightmare just came to life and I didn’t know what to do.
Saturday 19th September 2009. The date that haunts me every day of my life. This was the day was the last time I saw my grandmother, the day we laid her to rest and the day my life changed forever. I never taught that I would ever overcome the pain of losing one of the most important person in my life. But 2 days after my grandmother’s funeral I found this poem that made me feel so much better. This poems says everything that I felt when I lost my grandmother.
You never said I’m leaving
You never said I’m leaving, you never said goodbye,
you were gone before I knew it, and only god knew why.
A million times I needed you, A million times I cried,
if love alone could save you, you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still,
in my heart you hold a place, which no one could ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you, but you didn’t go alone,
for a part of me went with you, the day god took you home.
Reading these beautiful words made me feel alive, it made me feel worthy and it made me feel at rest that even though my grandmother isn’t a phone call away anymore, she will always live within me. Once I’m alive, her spirit will always be by my side.
Losing a loved one is a desolation that isn’t easy to overcome, but it’s possible. Its not the end of the world. There is light at the end of your tunnel, you just have to keep pushing forward.
-Mamai, a heart beat away.