Nothing prepares you for the brutal grip of reality when you lose someone special.
A knock on my res room door at about 23:15 on 5 June 2011. That is what separated the calmest of evenings from a plunge into the swirling depths of grief and pain.
I was informed of the passing of one of the shining stars of my life. Ajaya “AJ” Jooste. A friend, a sister and one of the most loving individuals you could ever encounter.
Her passing brought everything around me crumbling. I had seen her just the day before. We cracked jokes and laughed so much, so often.
Her smile. Outrageously beautiful. Beyond that was so much more. Words cannot do justice to the immensely amazing character she had.
As we slowly come to terms with our monumental loss, we gain strength and comfort from having known such an incredible person. The way in which her radiating warmth touched people is evidenced by the reactions to the news of her passing.
Our thoughts and prayers extend to her family at this time as well as moving forward. Strength and courage can be gained from the Lord as expressed in Isaiah 41:10 “I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
AJ didn’t hesitate to tell people she loved them. I now hold the memories we made closer than ever and hope that all of her friends can continue staying together through this unimaginably difficult period.
We are many who loved her. I miss her. I celebrate her. Ayaya the incredible – forever in my heart.
I can, in all certainty, say that I knew a glittering star in Ajaya Jooste.
And I am eternally grateful.