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There is a strange silence in the air this morning – our leader has gone.
It was with a very sad and heavy heart that I learned of the death of Nelson Mandela – the father of our country and inspiration to so many.
The silence reminds me of a poem by WH Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

It is a heartbreaking poem and I know that many people will feel this way today.
As have many in the past when they have lost loved ones.
It is easy to say, let us not be sad, rather let us have good memories of what was.  But sadness, and anger, is a part of mourning.
Give yourself time to mourn – to express it in the way that you want to express it but know that there will always be happy memories, things that you will laugh about, positive inspirations.

May we all learn lessons from the humility, gentleness, compassion and ability to forgive that Nelson Mandela taught us.
We are all better people for having lived in his time.
Rest in Peace Tata Madiba
Lala ngoxolo Tata Wethu uMadiba