Over the weekend a friend asked me why I have "Burger Days" every Saturday. It is almost a religion to me. To explain I must tell you, I am a very reluctant participant on Facebook. It is not my favorite place. I have enough friends in real life. I don't need nor want anyone who I don't really know as a "Facebook friend" and have in fact blocked more antagonists than those listed as friends. It is a rather nice function I discovered and I use it a lot. My page is also set to as private as it gets.
Call me old fashioned but I am not fascinated by whose cat has kittens or who went to buy cigarettes. Nor in people who have not said to me they are sorry to hear about my wife's departing to heaven a while ago. Of course, I do not mean family - we know what to expect from them - zilch. If I never hear of them in my life in would be too early. No, I mean people who knew me and had no problem asking for free legal advice now and then but kept silent when I needed them most. As expected, some are crawling back but you know what? It is too late. I am severely tempted to give them legal advice which will sink them even deeper into the muddy swamp of debt they created by living above their means. Rather don't ask me for I wish to think good of all people including myself.
It is known fact that because of my books, we have more than one hundred thousand downloads this year, thank you; I get letters from total strangers saying how much the enjoyed reading about Melissa who is in every book I ever wrote. And how sorry they are that I am left behind and they know how it feels. That is the point I suppose, all of them have read my bereavement book and all of them have lost their own soul mates. Some of you reading here have not gone through that and I pray you are spared this for many years to come. It is one of those things in life which you need to experience before you can possibly understand what it feels like and the older you are the easier it is. I do not wish it on my worst enemies though I have to admit, when it happens to them, I will be chuckling from the side. I am sorry, that is how I feel at this stage.
If I sound bitter to you, yes I was at one stage. I am not anymore. Life goes on and as long as there is life, there is hope. Even in the ICU, there is hope. With death, there is only faith...the absolute belief that you will be one again at some stage. That brings me to the topic of my "hamburger days."
We all react differently when we lose our soul mate. I am no different and hence I claimed Saturdays as "Hamburger Days" on which how I honor my wife. Why, because I consider, rightly or wrongly, a hamburger as "American food" which means I eat one on every Saturday to remember and honor her. Turkey would have been better but it is virtually unknown in this part of the world except over Christmas. So hamburgers it is. I would not know how to prepare turkey anyway.
It is but one of many ways I honor her.
I pray in English and not Afrikaans so she can understand what I am saying when I beg the Lord to take care of her until I arrive to do so. As an American citizen she could only say a few words in Afrikaans, the basics, "I love you" and "yes please." Hence I translate all her fan mail for her into English and when I see something posted about her on Facebook, I show her and say to her "Look Honey, So-and-So said this or gave our picture a thumbs up." And I speak to her every day. Sometimes, I dream of her and we are as happy then as we were in life. Her birthday is coming soon. Yeah, that wil not be easy but I do have a plan to cope. May or may not tell you about it later.
She is in my heart and there she will stay, safe from this cruel world which only foolish people call home. For me, it is not home and I hope it ends as soon as I have done what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do here. I am not willing to stay one second longer than what is absolutely needed. I say again, this place is not my home. I don't have a desire to stay here forever when my wife is on the other side waiting. Whilst I am here, I will do good, I hate no-one.
On Sundays I am mostly morose and silent because she left on a Sunday to go back to her home in Florida, USA. I would have followed her if things did not turn out the way they did and about that I have no questions but acceptance. It happened and so it is. No more emails, no more phone calls and no plans for us in the future. Not on earth anyway, in eternity, well that is another matter entirely. I have that one figured out.
I have developed a sincere but totally illogical fear for hospitals. I know now that not everyone comes head first out of that place. Some come out feet first which is a sign of a doctor's failures. This is a terrible thing when you take care of your elderly mother who is in hospital now and then. It affects your sleeping pattern until you find solace in your faith and realize the worst is not the end. Again, without faith, you have no hope. You have nothing to fall back on.
The point of all the above? Not much what I have not said before. Get a funeral policy to cover such events, know where the "last will" is and ensure your life policies are up to date and available. That includes that they pay out, not to the late estate, but to the beneficiary so that the money is available within days of the death. Remember you cannot inherit debts; the money must be used to pay all debts before there is any inheritance. Hence you need to transfer the risk to insurance companies. You die, they pay, and your beneficiaries inherit. Play the game as they play it with you.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in hostage survival training and reducing legal risk in Sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters. Koos is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.