The morning I found out, there was technological chaos in the studio.  I literally had to grab the news 20 seconds before 09:00 and read the bulletin completely unprepared.  I vaguely remember hearing about a journalist dying before her time on Monitor earlier that morning, but didn’t catch the name.

Halfway through the bulletin I read the story about Mandy Rossouw’s death.  A Gimnasium High School alma mater for which I had the greatest respect. Shocked and with four stories left in the bulletin and the dance song coming up after the news I start wondering how I’m supposed to react. What is the right thing to do under these circumstances?

In my mind’s eye I remember our time at school and the birthday party she attended when we were teens.  She was a wonderful and extremely intelligent person.

After the bulletin I decide to send my condolences to her family on-air, play an ad as buffer and ask Johan to announce the dance song for that morning.  It simply didn’t feel right.

It reminded me of the time my father passed away and I had to present a programme a couple of days later.  It was a December holiday and no one else was available to compile Reis Sonder Grense.  Just like the previous time you have to continue on-air as if everything is perfectly normal.  Peoples’ lives continue.  A mother is listening to the programme waiting for the presenters’ promised recipe.  A student is looking forward to the fitness advice and a “siel op wiele” is driving his truck waiting to find out what can be won in the general knowledge competition that week.

I started writing this blog with the intention of talking about the impact we have on the world after we die, but I now realise I just want to say there are a lot of people that leave us before their time, but still left an immense impression on our lives.  Thank you.

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