Zoleka Mandela returns to Instagram four months after Winnie's funeral

Zoleka Mandela Winnie Mandela
Image: Instagram

Zoleka Mandela broke her silence on Instagram by posting a moving slide-show and two tribute posts about her grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela over the weekend.

This was the first time, Zoleka posted on her Instagram account @zolekamandela, since her grandmother was laid to rest on April 14th at the Fourways Memorial Park.

In one of the posts, accompanied by a picture of her in bed, spotting a bald head, Zoleka posted: "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."

She added: "I always knew that this loss would completely destroy me, I feel like I don't even recognize myself anymore. Nothing will ever be the same without the one I loved more than I loved myself."

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

Zoleka, 38, who was very close to Mama Winnie, had last posted on her Instagram page, which has more than 146 000 followers, on April 1st, a day before the struggle icon passed away at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

She also said she was "tired of being told that time heals" as she reflected on struggling to come to terms with her grandmother's death.

"What you would have wanted for me, that you're in a better place and tired of everyone around me pretending to have been the closest person to you. It only hurts more."

In another Instagram post, Zoleka shared some of her intimate moments with the mother of the nations, in a slide-show with the popular Laku tshoni langa playing in the background.

The slideshow includes selfies, video call snaps and pictures taken in the comfort of the struggle icon's home.

Zoleka also reflected on her last days with Mam Winnie: "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."

She continued: "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?"

She also wrote about the struggle icon's pain during her last moments. "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".

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