so long and thank you for all the fish

So long and thank you for all the living years: Farewell

Hi everyone.

I recently lost my mother beginning of the year.. My mother’s death, like any death, was a shock to me. An accident at home weakened my mother’s ability to be independent. The incident caused trauma and pain, eventually leading to her passing.

Thanks mum for the living years. You were a pillar of strength, a backbone of the family. Widowed 20 years after marriage, you didn’t remarry, but chose to be the sole bread winner. Left with three teenage daughters and 3 youngsters, you carried on without complaining. You were not an academia, but you had your own deep rooted wisdom and knowledge based on your upbringing. You taught us to be good human beings. You were a pillar of the community, offered help and support to others. A big aunt in your family and likewise in the community. Couples seeking marriage came to you for advice. Family and the community sought your wisdom during bereavement.

You also offered life’s lessons to those eager to learn and listen. Speaking about your journey and experience.

Thank you for enriching my life. Teaching me to be a hard worker, positive person, and inspiring me in every sense of the word.

You were not dismissive. A good listener, encourager and never rubbished my thoughts or ideas. You always believed in me. I remember telling you my dreams, you were quick to point out what a good dream it is. ‘Don’t worry,’ you said. ‘Something good is coming your way’, you’ll say. I’ll wait and wait but you taught me to be patient.

You died without seeing some of my desires accomplished. But I believe I’m gonna get there. So long and thank you for all the years!


In my time of grief, family and friends have kept me sane. Lots of cups of tea, chats, hugs and weeping in between. As far as family is concerned, we’ve been there for each other. Giving and receiving support. Some relatives were busy arranging the finer details about the funeral. Place of burial, date, waiting for family members scattered around the globe, adjusting timetables, notifications and so on. Most of the running around and organisation was taken care of by cousins, uncles, nephews, church and others.

The burden of dealing with death, has been shared amongst family members and close friends.

I may not be rich but at least we’ve each other.


Family has many definitions. According to lumenlearning, ‘family is a socially recognized group (usually joined by blood, marriage, cohabitation, or adoption’.

My family stretches further than the above definition, it includes friends, church, neighbours, workmates, and anybody who loves and wishes me well.

If you have a family you’re one of the lucky ones.

Relationships too, enrich us with:

Moral Support

Emotional support

Spiritual support

All kind of support in cash and kind.

Grief /lessons from my mum

During her lifetime, my mother had to deal with the loss of loved ones. She lost a husband and two decades later some of her children. A distant aunt who had lost a son used to visit my mum a lot. My aunt was always surprised at how my mum had sort of started living again following the death of her children. My aunt will be weeping about her late son each time she visited my mum, and would quiry my mother about her coping mechanism.

I remember my mother very clearly saying the dead will take care of the dead. ” I’m here for my surviving children , grandchildren and all the people who need me’ , mother would emphasis. That was that. But I know deep down like any other person she had moments when she really missed her children and husband, but she didn’t dwell a lot on her grief.

Going forward,, I’m heeding to the above advice as I seek to navigate life and what’s in store for me. I really wish my mother was still here. As her surviving children, we built everything around her. But I remind myself that there are others who still need me, for instance my mother’s grandchildren. Some of whom have lost parents and are depending on me for moral and spiritual support. Yes life is for the living. We remember the departed with longing and fondness, but life is for the living.

Reminders about a deceased loved one will always be there. For a moment we dwell on that, remember, smile, even shed tears, wish they were here with us right now, but we should also consider the living. The living need us much more now and always.

People who have lost parents, more so a mother have been advising me, ‘its going to hurt, cry if you feel like crying. You may not even want to return to your mother’s home because there’s no one there,’ . I’ve had Lots of advice. That may be true, but at the end of the day I chose to grieve and live. Not just grieve.

Moving forward

Life is about remembering the people who love you.

People who pick you up when you’re down.

Family and friends that bring happiness, stand and mourn with you.

People who are there for you in good and bad times.

I choose life and dwelling with the living.

To family and friends, thanks for all the support during the passing on of my mum.

To my mother, so long and thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart