This will be the second Christmas without my Ouma Sannie. I have been thinking of her quite a bit these last few weeks. I was named after her and now I am the last Susann(a) Deysel in my family.

My Ouma passed away last year June/July. (You have to excuse me because the last 3 years my life have been a blur and I can’t remember dates.) She was healthy-ish – other than the diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and kidney issues. She died because she was old, brooumake her hip/leg connection and it was just so painful that she couldn’t stay longer.

I still remember the call from my parents to tell me she had a fall and they will let me know what the doctors had to say. That second call took ages to come through, but when it did I was devastated.

Sannie, the strong Ouma that fed 30 children and grandchildren at one sitting without breaking a sweat; the Ouma that took the grandchildren hunting; the Ouma that made lappoppe and had a private library full of Susanna M Lingua (?) books; Sannie, my ginger Ouma, got old and simply wanted to take a bath, took a tumble and broke bones that would never grow back.

Ouma was bedridden for just over 2 weeks. The whole family went to say their goodbyes. We drove through twice so I could see her. She faded quite quickly with my mom and one of her daughters by her side. The message came through at 7:02 on a Tuesday – that, I can remember.

That Saturday she was laid to rest next to my Oupa Louis in the warm earth in the town where they sold their produce, had friends, send their children to school and went to church. Her funeral wasn’t from the church they used to attend, there was a wedding.

The world went on with life that Saturday, but there was one family with 1 sister, 2 sons, 4 daughters, 6 spouse, 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren that said goodbye to my Ouma.

Today I felt like I needed time with Ouma. The closest I could get was to order her favourite junk food, hot wings from KFC. 


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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