Benoni Give Back Primary School What Loss Looks Like: South Africans Post is Something We All Need to Read!
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Be strong and know that even in the deepest abyss of loss, there is love. Love fetches you there and lifts you up from beneath its countless fathoms of despair. Love lifts you up so that when you finally break the surface, you too get to inhale this big, beautifully messed up world again.


Johannesburg, South Africa (03 March 2022) – Raymond Fritz, an avid reader of Good Things Guy, shared a heartbreaking piece of writing about loss after his father tragically passed away last week Friday.

Fritz’s father was 72 and passed away from a prolonged battle with bladder cancer.

“I would love Good Things Guy to please be a conduit for expressing what loss looks like for a son. I love your page and what you stand for. You are deeply connected to the common thread of our humanity. Many may need to read this right now.”

Read the heartbreaking piece below.

What loss looks like

Dad died at 1:16 this morning. It is a Friday today.

As I pen these words, a thunderstorm has arrived over our suburb, which served up fat droplets of bountiful rain. It made the air cold.

I was seated at dad’s bedside when he passed.

I held his hand the entire time last night. I wanted to be there when he took his final breath.

Mom was on the bed beside him holding his other hand. We kept a vigil over him over the last two days. I witnessed all of it.

I thought dad would exhale his last breath, but he didn’t. He left the world upon an inhale as if to take in this big, messed up beautiful world one last time. It completely surprised me.

His ribcage was a skeletal protrusion of skin and bones that would unsettle the strongest people I know.

As I write this, I feel as if I’m in a dream…

He suffered immensely over these last 14 months. But these last 10 days or so have been absolutely brutal.

Last night when the spasms were at their worst, I took a sleeping pill and crushed it between two spoons, after which I doused the pulverised powder with three drops of water.

When the solution was properly dissolved on the spoon, I tipped it into his mouth – praying under my breath for him not to choke on it.

Somehow, mercifully, he still had the ability to swallow it down. It took about 30 minutes after that for his twitching to finally subside.

I kept telling him not to be afraid. I told him how much we loved him and that we would always love him. At times I placed my hand upon his head and gently stroked his hair.

At one point, I heard mom tell him that if he wanted to go, then she would be fine with it. I don’t know if he heard her. But it resulted in my mom being overwhelmed with anguished tears because she knew what it was that she was giving him permission to do.

She was absolutely exhausted. Much more than I was. When he left, she was holding his hand too, but she was drifting in and out of a light sleep. I had already recorded the time when he passed. It felt important to me. It was 1:16 am.

When mom came too, I looked deep into her eyes and uttered the dreaded sentence that I knew would come from either her or myself;

“He is gone.”

Mom’s eyes filled with tears, and we both wept as we allowed the reality of it to wash over us.

A while later, I placed his hand over his stomach and got up to go to my wife, who was in our bedroom next door. I needed her more in that moment than ever before.

My dad and her were incredibly close. He loved her as if she were his own daughter. She had a hard day at work the previous day, and she needed to rest for just a little while. In the days and hours before, she would be up and back in the room with us constantly. I love that woman more than I could ever express.

We decided as a family to rather not call the emergency services right away. We heeded the good advice of this group to take the time to fully be present in our loss. Mom needed it too. She used the rest of the night to talk to dad and to, say her goodbyes and grieve in her own way.

I want to thank all of you for your advice, for your empathy and for your kindness.

May those of you who have gone through or who are going through this bitter ordeal find comfort in the knowledge that it’s true; you will feel blessed for having had the courage to walk this path beside your loved one.

Be strong and know that even in the deepest abyss, there is love. That is my only religion. Love fetches you there and lifts you up from beneath its countless fathoms of despair. Love lifts you up so that when you finally break the surface, you too get to inhale this big, beautifully messed up world again.

In loving memory of my father:

Raymond Walter Fritz.
Born March 22nd 1950,
died February 25th 2022.

Sources: Raymond Fritz | What loss looks like
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing such a special moment in your lives. May your Dad Rest In Peace, Pain free and full of your family’s love.

    A close friend I was at school with left us last week. I am overseas so cannot go to help and grieve with them. I will try get there before too long.
    May you take your time in your grief. We are all very different.
    With love ❤️ and Prayers from Canada.
    Diana. 🌻🙏🙏

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