'This isn’t who you were' – Sunita’s friend pens heartrending letter after Wellington tragedy

By YOU
10 July 2017

“Let’s you and I just be honest with each other,” Sunita's longtime friend writes.

A longtime friend of Sunita and Jacques van Dyk, the couple who burnt to death in their farmhouse in May, has taken to her blog to write a touching heartfelt letter to her friend, whom she calls “Soens”.

Elana Hugo bares her soul to and about Sunita, whose body was found in the early hours of 10 May next to that of her husband, Jacques, in the ruins of the farmhouse they rented near Wellington in the Western Cape.

“Let’s you and I just be honest with each other,” she writes.

“This isn’t who you were. The past few months of your life your sparkle had faded. I wish I’d been more present. I wish I’d taken better notice. Child, I miss laughing with you,” Elana writes.

In her blog Elana writes how she’d gone to KwaZulu-Natal to get away from all the stories around Sunita, and to remember who her friend truly had been.

“Soens, your faults don’t define you. Not to any of us who were close to you. We knew your heart so well because you never hid your feelings. We’re not blind to the fact that you messed up, but none of these sensational stories fazes us.”

Elana writes the media is painting a pitch-black picture of Sunita but she wants the world to know her friend was made of colour and light.

Next to a picture of Sunita and Jacques that Elana shared on Facebook another friend, Lehandie Hanekom Kapp, comments: “That’s how I’ll remember Sunita – forever with a smile on her face!”

Elana continues in her open letter: “How do we deal with this trauma? Did our friends die in a freak accident? Did our friend murder his wife? Or were they both murdered? Who do we forgive? Who do we pardon?”

She adds that she’d wanted to honour Sunita’s privacy but that it’s impossible.

Elana’s letter mentions she’s known Jacques since they were both 14 years old. She describes him as a lovely, patient person with a good heart – who only ever got frustrated when the Boks were playing badly.

“And you, my dear. You were a lekker person. Full of fun. With a laugh that could banish sadness. Nobody laughs as much and as easily and as constantly as you used to laugh. At ferns in our teeth. At aching tummies. At ladders in stocking. At ostrich chick hairs.

“You could laugh at the silliest things, ‘Oh my hat.’ Remember how we were told to leave a church service because we were laughing so much? Or that evening you wet your pants because you were laughing so much on the back of the bakkie on the way to Malmesbury?”

The letter recounts how Elana was the one who taught Sunita how to hold a tennis racket, and how Sunita would dance along when Elana played the piano and sang to here. “You always danced.”

Elana also thanks Sunita and Jacques for the fact that her own story is better thanks to them.

She ends by expressing a wish that the truth will come out.

Read Elana Hugo’s blog entry here

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