I sometimes wonder at all the sayings we have in Afrikaans and in particular the origin thereof. One of these expressions is “Dit is nie dood van Katryn nie”. Translated: “It is not the death of Katryn” (Katryn is a traditional Afrikaans name). It means that something that happened or went wrong is not the end of the world.
I find myself wondering who Katryn was. What she looked like. What type of person she was. Her death must have been devastating to someone. Devastating enough so that her name was passed from generation to generation of Afrikaans speaking persons in a context referring to potential disaster. I find myself wondering about the day Katryn died. I think her death was unexpected, possibly an accident. I picture sadness en tears and the eulogy at her funeral. Which should all be quite depressing – but I find it comforting in a weird way.
We all have people in our lives that are dear to us. And in turn we all are “Katryn” to someone close to us. Our love and respect for each other may perhaps outlast our time on earth and if we are lucky it may become as legendary as the death of Katryn.