I once met a young girl called Simphiwe, ambitious, full of life and had a lot of potential. Her whole life she was always holding on to her inner person. Every decision she had to make she consulted her inner-self. No one understood her more than her inner-self. She even named her inner-self Miriam. Miriam was Simphiwe’s arms and legs. Nothing would be what it is today if Miriam was not around; that’s how much Miriam mattered to her.

One Sunday morning, the sunshine woke her up but for some reason Miriam seemed so vague. She was there but was not her usual self. As the day proceeded Miriam slowly faded. The space that usually occupied her started filling with emptiness. She slept, hoping she would wake up to normality, but she woke up to nothing. Miriam was gone.

The emptiness was the only thing that was left. Simphiwe wept, screamed yet Miriam never came back. Days went by and Miriam never returned. Reality was not real. Simphiwe was too young to lose her Miriam. Then the emptiness also left and anger filled in. “Cry,” they said. How could she when everything happened so fast?

What could she possibly cry for?

God never saw the importance of Miriam since he took her away. Simphiwe was sure that Miriam didn’t understand the pain she caused by leaving. How is it possible to just decide to leave something you love so dearly? However “leaving” seemed so temporal, as if she would one day return. What was the right word? Gone? That also seemed so temporal as if they were going to say she went to the mall or to work. Reality was that she was no more. Where does she start living without her Miriam? “Move,” they said. “Go far away.”

They didn’t tell her that being in a completely new world would make things worse.

She found herself fitting. No one knew her. No one knew what she was going through or what she had lost; most importantly, who she was. Being someone else was so easy because no one could say she was a lie. She was anyone she wanted to be but when alone, her emptiness came to life. Thoughts of following Miriam would also occur in the midst of nowhere.

Would anyone notice if she became vague and slightly started to fade away until she didn’t exist anymore? There were too many people involved in her life that needed Simphiwe. How was it easy for Miriam to do this? Then one day it hit her. Miriam was more than just her inner-self. Running away from reality was not going to bring her back.

One day she was walking home. The moment she stepped on home ground, all the old wounds opened up. It was exactly like the day Miriam left but sharper. Everything changed for the worse then she resented living. It would have never got to this point if she stayed and faced reality. How could a home become a house in a short space of time?

There was no other way. She had to find Miriam. However, finding Miriam meant finding Simphiwe first. Who was Simphiwe without Miriam? Where would she look? What would she say to both of them? Maybe she could never find Miriam but she had a chance to find Simphiwe and her purpose in life. Maybe it wasn’t too late?

How do I know this person so Much you may ask? Well Simphiwe is anyone who has lost a parent. How do you get past that?

I met a woman who lost her mom forty years ago, yet she still hurts like it was yesterday. I am Simphiwe and Miriam was my mother. Her sudden death tore me apart. I’m still finding Simphiwe but I’ve made peace with finding Miriam. I’ve finally realised that Miriam served her purpose and the rest is up to me. It’s been twenty months and twenty days, but every day is getting better. I cry one drop less than the day before.

Miriam, I know you’re looking at me right now. I know I haven’t made the best decisions in life but I know; you’re with me every step of the way. I know you can’t be here with me but I know you’re within me.

I miss you.

Love Simphiwe


Tell us what you think: Would you say that you have “found” yourself and that you are confident in who you are?