It still feels like yesterday; everything went so fast. 25 December, 2008; we went out with my friends, and as usual we left my sick mother behind laying outside with her younger sister. When we came home she was hurt all over her face; they told us that she was trying to hit a snake and that she fell down.

What I know about my mom is that she was never scared of snakes; every time she saw one she made sure that she left it dead. But when I saw her face like that, it really hurt so bad. It drove us to sing a Lundi Song every night while we cooked. It went like this: “Ndise ngumntwana ndidi uthando lwakho mama undishiyelani kulomhlaba [I am still a child, I still need your love, mamma, why did you leave me in this world]?” This drove my aunty crazy. She told us to stop singing that nonsense while her sister was still alive.

“Do you want to kill my sister with that rubbish you are singing?” she hissed.

Which was true; I am sure our stupid singing made her lose faith in life.

Sometimes I just feel like we made her give up, but then again, she managed to stay strong until we had to go back to Durban. That was the last time I saw her; she still looked weak but promising, not knowing that in a few months she would be gone just like my dad and younger sister.

Life is really unfair, the only person I had hope in was taken away from me, just like that. Even today I still can’t believe it; I remember when my uncles got a phone call from home telling them about my mom; they told us to go to another house. When they called us back, I told my sisters that our mom was gone, but they just brushed that away. I knew it because I had had a bad feeling that day since the morning. My uncle’s didn’t know where to start, but before they even finished we were all crying.

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Tell us: how do you think she will cope without her mother?