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EXTRACT | Mary Watson: 'My father had died. He was neither here nor there'

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'Our Ghosts Were Once: People Stories on death and dying’ cover. (Supplied,  Jonathan Ball Publishers)
'Our Ghosts Were Once: People Stories on death and dying’ cover. (Supplied, Jonathan Ball Publishers)

A new anthology on death and dying - Our Ghosts Were Once People - edited by Bongani Kona, gives portraits of grief by a variety of authors. In the extract below, award-winning author Mary Watson writes about losing her beloved father during the Covid-19 pandemic and not being able to travel home to South Africa to be by his sickbed or say her final goodbyes in person. 

I am beginning to realise that Dad is dead. On a Friday afternoon at the end of May, from my bright, summery kitchen, I sent this message to my sister. It came to me with an awful clarity, a knowledge in my bones.

The understanding that the dreamlike events of the past two weeks were real. That the thing I'd been dreading, the thing that couldn't be undone, had happened.

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