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I just learned of the passing of a Man who  had reached the Angel status, in my eyes, while alive.

I have ceased all activities,  turned all the lights off, am now laying on my bed, in the darkness, and decided to write this letter to you. The tears are heavy, the heart is heavy, but my love for you and the hope you left behind is pure as fresh water.

I am not sure where to start. Everything is so blurry before my eyes. With your passing, one of my greatest dreams died: to meet you and bask in your grace, at least once in my lifetime. And tell you face to face how much I love you, and thank you for all you have done for all of us, my Great African Hero.

I am not alone, we are hundreds of millions, children of Africa and the World, who would have loved to meet you. We are hundreds of  millions, children of Africa and the world, who see you like our father, grandfather. You have  done so much and meant so much to so many of us. For me, my Beloved Madiba, you are my constant and comforting proof that Good wins over Evil. That Love wins over Hate. That Togetherness wins over Division.

I  can’t help but be so angry at the 27 years of your life stolen the way it was. I will never forget the first time I sat foot on Robben Island, and then stood inside what was your cell. I remember being very scared of my feelings on my way to the island, I was afraid I would suffocate with anger and hate. I started feeling such anger and hate and revolt at what Evil had put you through. But then I entered in your cell, and there something happened. There was something so peaceful about your cell. I am not sure how to describe the feeling. But there was something so graceful and celestial in that room, something that was clearly above it all. I never understood what happened in there, I just felt. Perhaps what I felt there was the resolve of a clear mind, and pure heart and unshakable commitment to Justice, Truth and the Good.

Later that evening, and as we went back to land, to Cape Town, I could not help but look around me, at the rainbow of people around me, going about their lives in a peaceful manner and think that all of that was owed to you. On the boat ride back, I had been wondering how you managed to go from that cell and the journey there to calling for Reconciliation, Peace and Love. But then, at the sight of different color babies and children, all innocent, and standing a chance to live in harmony, it hit me. The meaning of your journey hit me. And I just stood there, struck by a new reality, with a new door in my heart now open. A door in my heart I always wanted to have access to, but never was quite capable of accessing: the door in my heart to unconditional forgiveness.

In the end, Beloved Madiba, I am just so grateful that you were granted a long life. And I hope you felt the absolute love, appreciation and respect we all have for you. Too often we fail to express how much we love them to those we love while they are still alive. But I want to believe that in your case, Beloved Madiba, we have not made that mistake. I want to believe that you have known our love for you. Thank you for inspiring me every day to live a full and meaningful life, no matter the price to pay. I would have liked to have you forever, but I understand you were ready to say goodbye. So goodbye, my Beloved Madiba. You dance inside my heart, as you always have. I ♡ you.

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