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Zoleka Mandela recalls last days with Ma Winnie

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's granddaughter Zoleka is opening up about her death four months after her passing. "I'm crying because you didn't have to keep your dying a secret from any of us," she says. 

Zoleka Mandela and Winnie Mandela
Zoleka and Winnie Mandela Instagram/@zolekamandela https://www.instagram.com/p/BmF_M0TgzvD/

Zoleka Mandela marked the end of her family's mourning for Winnie Mandela with a heartbreaking post about her final days with her grandmother.

Ma Winnie died in April after a long illness. News of the 81-year-old's death left many in shock, as just a few days before her passing she was pictured attending a Good Friday service with Zoleka. 

Zoleka took to Instagram this past weekend to speak about the struggle stalwart's death for the first time.

"Saturday, 4th August 2018 marks the end of our mourning as a family ... I don't even know what that means exactly, how can anyone say how long you get over grief? I don't think I ever will. I always knew that this loss would completely destroy me, I feel like I don't even recognize myself anymore," she wrote.

ALSO READ: Final farewell for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

The two-time breast cancer survivor says nothing will ever be the same without Winnie, adding that she now questions her entire existence. 

Zoleka revealed that Ma Winnie did not tell anyone she was dying.

"How can love be so painful? Most of the time, I don't even think I can go another day without you. I know I can't bring myself to pray but with each day that passes, I wish I struggle less with why you left without saying goodbye and with staying up all night so scared and angry about having to live the rest of my life not knowing why you chose not to tell any of us that you were dying."

Zoleka added in a separate post that she has the memories of her last few days with Winnie "constantly streaming" through her mind. 

She recalled how she asked Ma Winnie during the Good Friday service if she was feeling okay. 

"You've said more to me in your visits, their dreams but I wish you had said something to me on Friday when we attended your last Good Friday service together, do you remember how pensive you were during the church service and how I kept checking if you were okay, you weren't sleeping through the entire service as you had started doing? You were always so tired and in pain."

Zoleka accompanied Winnie to the hospital the Sunday before she died. 

"I don't know if you knew that I was waiting outside for you the entire time, you would have hated the thought of me sitting on some chair outside your ward and crying my eyes out and not on the blue lazy boy right next to your hospital bed like I always did? Why did you wait until I left the hospital to go home and change, for you to take your last dying breath without me?" she wrote.

Read the rest of her heartbreaking message in the post below.

I have the memories of the last few days constantly streaming through my mind. You've said more to me in your visits, their dreams but I wish you had said something to me on Friday when we attended your last Good Friday service together, do you remember how pensive you were during the church service and how I kept checking if you were okay, you weren't sleeping through the entire service as you had started doing? You were always so tired and in pain.

I have the memories of the last few days constantly streaming through my mind. You've said more to me in your visits, their dreams but I wish you had said something to me on Friday when we attended your last Good Friday service together, do you remember how pensive you were during the church service and how I kept checking if you were okay, you were't sleeping through the entire service as you had started doing? You were always so tired and in pain. I wish I spent the night again when you asked me to that Saturday because you would have woken me up in the early hours of the morning when you felt the tightness in your chest. Ma, I only left because you always want us to talk until the early hours of the morning when we have our sleepovers in your bed and I needed you to rest because you had started feeling sick. I wish you had said something to me when we were alone in your bedroom on Sunday, those moments when I helped you get ready for hospital or when I packed your bag just before we left? I held your hand the entire time we drove to hospital, all you did each time I squeezed your hand was look up and smile but no words. I don't know if you knew that I was waiting outside for you the entire time, you would have hated the thought of me sitting on some chair outside your ward and crying my eyes out and not on the blue lazy boy right next to your hospital bed like I always did? Why did you wait until I left the hospital to go home and change, for you to take your last dying breath without me? Is it because I always fell apart when you got sick or when you were in pain that I never gave you the chance to be weak so I could be strong for you for a change? I'm sorry, Ma. I'm falling apart at just the thought that you must have felt so alone at that time if you did, I'm crying because you didn't have to keep your dying a secret from any of us. If you needed me to be stronger for you to tell me that you only had a few more days, I know I wasn't and I'm truly sorry. I have so much guilt. Please know that when these words I write you and those I say to you are not enough because you don't always respond to me, I want and have always wanted to be everything for you.

A post shared by Zoleka Mandela (@zolekamandela) on

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