Farewell Beloved Son (on the passing of Mandela)

Dear Citizens,

We gather with heavy hearts and a real sense of loss and bereavement. For a great soul has now passed from our shores. And like children losing a beloved father, so we feel that the rock in our lives has been rolled away into the ocean of the other side and it is no longer possible to feel that comforting presence.

We feel unsure of our future, for his light can no longer guide us. We fear that we will forget his legacy, and dishonor him by engineering protocols which directly conflict with the ideals that he and his compatriots gave their lives for. We fear that we will erode the great forward strides he propagated in the political arena for the benefit of every South African regardless of race, color or creed. We fear that we will lose our way and never find a leader of such ilk again. And now who can propel us forward with the momentum of his life into the generations that await ahead?

A great soul always knows his place, his time, his destiny. He does not leave without ensuring that the seeds of his toil will be tended and nurtured. A great soul does not come like a thief in the night, take his spoils and leave covering his tracks. As his life is given freely and unstintingly to those he loves, so also he makes provision for those he loves on his departure.

Therefore, although we feel so keenly this sense of loss, we should not despair and give ourselves to hopeless thoughts. Our inheritance is written in the soil of this earth. Our future has been set in the ploughing of the fields, in the tilling of the earth and in the planting of the crops. Now as the rain of our tears brings the germination of the seeds, so will the turning of the seasons bring the bountiful harvest for which we all long.

There are no short cuts. We will all have to do our share of the labour. But with many hands and courageous hearts the heavy toil will seem light and the time will pass with much joy and singing.And when the work of the day is done we will all be able to join at the dinner table and share the stories of the past days and relate our hopes for the future.

So dry your eyes my children. Be brave and say farewell and remember that we have been blessed. And to be blessed inherently tells us we are cherished.

Let us take heart and smile on this dawning of a new day.

Yours, as always,

South Africa.