Healing from the Loss of Our Mom: O. P. R. Muvengwa

Photo provided by Tafadzwa Rungisa

Twins Tatenda Rungisa and Tafadzwa Rungisa Chivenge are behind the company TwinConnect. They have celebrated many wins over the years but recently opened up about losing their beloved mother, O. P. R. Muvengwa.

What was your relationship like with your mother?

No words can explain such a relationship. Our relationship with Mum was more than words can express. She was a mum, sister and best friend. Our mum was ever-loving. She was one person we could turn to and talk about anything.

The things we loved most about Mum

There are so many things we admired and loved about Mum. The list is endless, and we could write a book. But there are some things that we can mention that will forever be in our hearts. Our mum was kind-hearted. She was the definition of love, just like her name.

She not only showed unconditional love to her family but to outsiders as well. Mum was a mother to many. She did not select people based on their strengths or weakness, gender or religion. To her, love was more like a gift that she gave to everyone. We loved that most about her. She taught us how to love other people and the world no matter how cold it can be.

We learnt to be business-minded because of Mum. She was a hard worker, the typical Proverbs 31 lady. She worked tirelessly for us to have bright futures. Professionally, she was an accountant. She was one smart lady but left her job to follow her passion, which was farming. She was well-known for providing the best vegetables and fruits. She supplied these in local supermarkets, and it did not end there. She ventured into poultry as well, and at the time of her death, she was pursuing a fish farming project.

Mum was a lady of many talents. She made the best cakes too. She taught us that hard work surely pays off. Although she was married to the love of her life (Dad), she believed a lady was a home builder and had to be financially empowered. We learnt a lot from her.

O. P. R. was a genuine prayer warrior. She loved and worshipped God till the time of her death. Mum was a genuine Christian. She taught us that nothing could beat the power of God and prayer. When she prayed, things happened. She was a believer; her life was a testimony. We admired that most about her, and this taught us that prayer conquers everything, and one is nothing without God. She was a lady who stood firm on God’s Word, and she lived like a genuine Christian. We are sure she is an angel in heaven.

What stood out about her?

Wow…her smile and laughter. I could almost hear it in my ears. She was a bubbly character. Her beautiful smile and laughter were two things no one could take away from her.

Who was she as a woman?

We can describe her as a superwoman. At home, she was a mother, wife, grandmother, mother-in-love. She was a lady who always uplifted other women. A hard worker and kind by nature, her love was never-ending. To some she was a counsellor, one lady who was always ready to welcome others and willing to listen and assist with their problems. Socially, she was a great person worth remembering.

Mum was a multi-tasker. She worked hard and would ensure financial empowerment. Mum was a prayer warrior, and up to now, we have set our lives’ foundation on prayer like she did.

The day she passed on

I will start off with the previous day. On the 10th of October 2016, my twin sister and I had some errands to run in town. When we were done, we decided to buy Mum some goodies. We did not have much at the time, but one thing we were sure of was to spoil our mum with what we had.

When we got home, all seemed normal, and we gave her what we had bought her. She just complained of a flu, and as usual, we thought it was just one of those things, and our strong lady was going to overcome as usual. She took her medication and retired for bed.

The next day, my sister left for work. I remained behind with Mum and Dad. All seemed normal, but Mum stayed in bed. I went to check on her while tidying her room, and I remember vividly telling her I had made breakfast, and I questioned why she was still in bed. Mum was an early morning person. Dad was in the garden, and I went to inform him that Mum did not want any food and was still in bed. He quickly went to check on her. She ended up eating with the help of her love but insisted she wanted to rest.

I decided to go into town and do some business there. I met up with my twin sister. After some time, we received a call from Dad. He requested us to rush back home. We got home as fast as we could, only to find Mum in so much pain. She was just lying there in her bed. Dad looked so powerless. We quickly looked for transport to the hospital. I went in with Dad, and Tatenda remained behind, packing her clothes to change since we all assumed she was going to be admitted to hospital.

The journey to the hospital was a long one. Mum was in Dad’s arms all the way. All he did was stare at her. I prayed all the way, begging God to heal Mum. We got to the hospital. Nurses rushed to attend and took her in. My twin was on the way, though she had a breakdown on the way. Mum’s best friend (Aunty), who at the time lived in that particular neighbourhood, rushed through. I remember she came with her son.

The next thing, Dad was called in by the doctor. I remained seated at the reception with Aunty’s son. The door to the doctor’s office was slightly open. The moment I turned to look at him, his expression was that of sadness. I knew then that it was bad news. We stormed into the room only to be told Mum was gone. My world stopped. All I remember was Dad holding his phone and saying he couldn’t see anymore (I do not know who he was trying to contact). My twin came, and she just fell down and started kicking and screaming. My aunty was the only strong person there to calm everyone down. My life stopped for a moment. My whole world had gone.

All the processes were done, and she was to be moved to a mortuary. We retired for home. No one wanted to go back there. Nothing made sense. It felt like a nightmare, and I wished I could just wake up from it.

We got home and found a lot of people outside waiting: neighbours, relatives, churchmates. We went to a different church from our parents. The people’s support was amazing; a heroine had surely passed on. It felt like I couldn’t see or feel anything myself. I just got through the gate and there was one lady from church who held me and gave me a hug. It was a tight hug; it was relieving. I cried and cried. I felt crushed. I felt a sharp pain through my heart. This was more than any heartbreak that I had ever had. I felt betrayed. I was angry.

The period leading to her burial was the worst. It felt like a sharp pain through my heart. It felt like decades and decades. I began to appreciate that when days are dark, friends are few. The days were surely dark, and I began to appreciate true friends and family.

When did it sink in that she had passed on?

The first moment it really sank in was during the body viewing. Watching her lie there hit me. She was really gone and was never going to wake up. It felt a million times more than a heartbreak. I was numb for some time.

After the burial as well, when everyone had gone, all the memories came alive. It was just Dad, my twin sister and I in the house. We all missed her. It was empty. The errands she did and day-to-day routines all made us remember her. It was the worst feeling ever. No one deserves such pain.

How we processed the loss

A loss is something that cannot be processed as a one-off thing. It takes time as one adjusts gradually. It was a difficult process as our world revolved around family. Mum was a part of us and an active part of the family. It was a tragedy and something no one expected.

  1. Firstly, we gave it all to God. God was our greatest strength. I remember going through a certain article that was on the motherless, which stated that once loss has struck, leave all your burdens unto God, and let God be your mother.
  2. Family and friends. This is the time where we appreciated true friends and family. Some people gave us strength and were there for us all the way.
  3. Talking about our loss/mum. Letting it all out helped us feel better. Being a motivational speaker, I was able to engage in women empowerment, where I related to my mum a lot. This made me feel better.
  4. We celebrated her. Not all days are the same. Some are difficult. You actually do not want to wake up from bed. One thing that helped us process our loss was celebrating Mum and thanking God for the time He had given us with her. Instead of mourning and crying all the time, we shared and remembered the best times we had with Mum.

Lessons from the experience

  1. God takes and He gives. No matter how much we love our dear ones, life belongs to God.
  2. Let love lead. In everything we do, let’s love one another, for the time we have on earth is short.
  3. Smile and be happy. Never let your smile fade. Spend more time with loved ones, especially those that make you happy.
  4. Be kind. The only thing we have to offer to one another that’s priceless is love and kindness.

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