Did you fail….or did we?

Seeing her in that coffin, broken. They said I can’t touch her, because she’s broken and that they couldn’t fix her. I can’t kiss her, I can hardly even see her  through the tears streaming down my face…I struggle to breath. I feel light headed, I can’t control the shaking, I hear roaring in my head.
I need to breath, but I can’t breath, it’s so hard and I should be the strong one, it’s expected.. but as I look into her broken face I can’t help but to wonder….did you fail, or did we?

Did we do enough to help you cope with your demons? Or tried to understand how you felt about your losses?
Were you sad?
Did you cry?
Did you feel lost?
Most importantly, did you feel alone…?


My world changed completely the day you were born, 17th October 1976. I was no longer the center of attraction. Every one doted over you, and everyone stopped seeing me. I didn’t like you! You slept on my place, everyone said how beautiful you are, you got toys that you couldn’t even play with!
I can still see the look on your grandparents face the day they saw you for the first time.
Your grandmother’s face lit up and she  couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear with so much pride and you being born was the best thing that happened to them!

Ugh, I didn’t like you! I didn’t understand the fuss! I didn’t understand that you were the first grandchild on your father’s side. I didn’t  understand that you were the first born of your mom, and of course in the house. I felt like you took my mammie from me. My mammie that belongs only to me, who doted over me for years..ok for the six years I was around. I’ve just started sub A and everyone said I was a big girl now and how I needed to “look” after you. How?? I was still a baby myself, well I believed I was..

Top Left : Your Mom, Rhoda, Denise, and of course…you

The feeling of resentment changed when you were six months old, you just had your first pair of earrings inserted. You fretted the whole afternoon and wasn’t happy about something. And you never fretted or cried unnecessarily, never.. You were such a good baby. You were so easy and everyone loved you.
Your mom then decided to see whether you needed a nappy change. She took off your nappy and saw you needed a change and asked me to stand in front of you at the bed so that you don’t fall off whilst she went to warm up your cloth.
I was seldom allowed to keep you unsupervised and jumped at the chance. As I looked down at you and you looked up at me, something happened that very moment. You smiled at me and for the first time I noticed your beautiful face, how perfect it was. You didn’t have any hair on your head, well hardly. Your skin was the color of fudge, and so soft, you smelled like baby and you were perfect!
You started a conversation with me, “gaagaaa, gooogooo” and I was a goner. I fell in love with you that very day and without knowing, it was written that I was going to fiercely protect you from all harm to come, I am going to sustain you in every way possible, I am going to be your surrogate mother.


You grew up a beauty! You were spoiled rotten. Your grandparents from your dad side was crazy about you. You lacked nothing, absolutely nothing. It was my job to take you to them and I was more than happy to do it because I got my gifts as well. I got showered with love as well. And most importantly, I got fed. Oh yes, I always loved to eat, still do!
Whenever we went there it felt like Xmas. Your granny used to lay the table and you would swear I was a visitor for the first time. She would serve two or more different dishes and then dessert and would sit with me at the table whilst playing with you. Every often she would coach me “You must eat, you only ate a little”
Goodness, I believed I ate myself to a standstill!
I’ve never experienced such hospitality ever again in my life. If I want it, I have to pay for it now!

Along came your first loss, you were about four years old and one of your favorite people left this earth very suddenly. I, for once was devastated because I came to love your granny as my own. I mourned her loss maybe for selfish reasons but felt the loss nevertheless.

From here on-wards, your life spiraled out of control, riddled with bad luck and your destiny already carved but still unknown to man, to those close to you…

One evening whilst we were sitting at the dinner table , over tipped the primary stove with boiling water and spilled all over you! I can still see it as if it happened yesterday. I still hear your pain filled shrieks, I still hear mammie’s screams. She didn’t mean to, she didn’t mean to!!
You were burned on the whole of your chest, and close to third degree burns!
We thought we going to loose you then already, but God had his own plans. I think you spent about three months in hospital, and at times it was touch and go. But you survived and went for numerous skin crafts to repair your breast tissue. The concern was that you won’t ever be able to breast feed one day, but you’ve won those odds as well!

Then we lost our mammie, the one person we felt safe with. It was devastating for me and I broke away from you wanting to be myself to wrestle with my own demons. This was a mistake but I couldn’t see how much it hurt you.

I lost my youth much earlier in life and nurtured you as my own. I fought your battles, physically that is, try to protect you from what a child your age wasn’t supposed to have been exposed to. I’ve tried my best to protect you from witnessing the physical abuse from one to the other and at times I felt I lost the battle!
And the loss of that relationship contributed to your downward spiral. Your world fell apart then, your support basis crumbled, what you thought was, was not.
And yet this was not an isolated case Sam, it was two people pulling in different directions, two people that fell out of love, two people that never stopped loving you. But who was there to reassure you? No one…And I wish I had the insight I have now, to be able to have sit you down and reassure you that no matter what, that things are going to be OK.

Sam, I had to leave to start my own Journey and couldn’t stay around.

Your babies :)
Your babies From left: Tamia, Wesley, Darren and Tyler


You were never demanding, never very vocal and were very respectful. This is what everyone remembers and still talk about long after your sudden death.

You had your first son very young age and we were all disappointed, but because we loved you, we supported you 100%
The relationship with Wesley’s father didn’t work out and this was your first love that you’ve lost. I don’t have much recollection of this time of your life as I was desperately trying to mould my own.

Then you introduced us to Sharief. What a handsome guy he was and a beautiful nature to match. He wasn’t a talker and always just smiled when we started reading him the “how to treat Samantha for life, cos if you don’t, we will find you and hurt you” The poor guy was constantly reminded of this but we soon saw that he had nothing but love and respect for you Sam. He adored you and you adored him. You apparently were planning to get married but along came the handsome, beautiful Darren :-). He was your little Cherub and we instantly fell in love with him.
He misses you the most Sam. My heart breaks every time I look at him. He is struggling to overcome your loss, Sam. You left when he needed you the most, slap bang on the verge of his teenage years. Oh I know very well what he went through having to cope with the biggest loss of his life,  while scrambling and deciphering between hormones and what is real!
But for him everything was…
Of all your children, he is the one that we worry about the most. He has so much anger and I pray that he let us help him deal with his losses and not choose the path you did…
But he is lost without you Sam, he lost you and his father a few years before you. Darling Sharief’s life was tragically and prematurely taken and this was, what I believe, the biggest loss that defined your path ahead. You’ve lost the love of your life and very suddenly without any goodbyes. This ultimately shaped what was to follow….


We’ve lost you long before the drugs and the life on the streets consumed your whole being. We’ve lost our pretty pop to an illness only you could help yourself with. We prayed to God to bring our princess back. To bring her back to obvious, away from oblivion.

Oh you had a hidden, untapped talent for dress making. You had an ability to transform the ugliest pants into a stunning and stylish skirt. You would take a shirt, cut off the sleeves, rip the sides slightly and viola! You created the sexiest, low cropped top! Oh my word, you were good and I wish I’d done more to assist you in making this dream into a reality for you. Please forgive me..

Your Mom cries every time she listen’s to Tamia’s “Make Tonight Beautiful” , “Missing You”, “Give me You”, “Stranger in my house”….


From here on-wards your life very quickly went downhill, and it’s the saddest part for me. I cannot talk about you without falling apart..I wish I’d done more!

You went from a beauty to a hardcore drug addict. Our Sam no longer noticeable to us. Your beautiful fudge skin color, replaced by dark blemishes, your beautiful white teeth no longer, you went from having a body of a super model to that of a skeleton..All we could do from here onwards was to pick up the pieces you left behind on your quest of self destruction. At most times we felt hopeless but prayed that you would be stronger than the drug that consumed your life, that ultimately took you away from us.

And then Cheslin was born and lived only for five days…he was the first offspring of your drug induced life. I held him in my arms whilst he took his last breath and because you’ve asked me to… but I insisted at the time that he spent the last and only few seconds of his life,  in your arms. We wanted and hoped this was the ultimate wake up call for you. To loose a child before you even had a chance to carve a life with him, to realize that you as a parent was responsible, that you were selfish and didn’t think of the little being, nestled under your rib cage for nine months and then finally had to lay him to rest in a beautiful white coffin with a yellow flower arrangement…Sam, I thought this was a turning point in your life, and that you wanted to change for the better!
But you only resisted the cravings for a short while,you couldn’t fight against the destruction and we lost you again..Gone in the wind..

I remember your mom phoning me one day, sounding very happy and enthusiastic because you were home and wanted help! I said thank God, he finally opened your eyes! Your place at rehab was organized and all you needed was a certain tablet, which I got at the chemist, bedding, pajamas, slippers a couple of changes of clothes and you were ready to go. I remember everyone contributed, some came from afar ( Thank you all ) to give assistance and there was a hyped of happiness and congratulations and motivation was passed along to you…

That didn’t last long, you ran away and the drug won again! And this happened a couple of more times..rehab in, rehab out..

We were devastated, I was devastated and besides myself! I was angry and disappointed and decided I wanted nothing to do with you again…How could you? You have two beautiful sons that is living their lives without you in it, that needed you?? How could you Sam…
But our anger and resentment pushed you further away and you continued your drug induced life without us. Once again you were Gone in the wind…

You could have been his daughter, almost half his age and we felt it was the last straw! You wanted a life with him but it was a mirrored image of your own! We felt he was nothing but more trouble and that he would not be of any help for you. Deep in the drug filled life himself, he strung you along on this path. We tried talking to you but you didn’t understand no reason. Had we only realized or understood that you needed him to replace a figure you craved. Had we known that you found your last love, that he was your soul mate, that you loved him and that he loved you more, as he couldn’t go living without you and followed you 7 months after your death. He wasn’t prepared to deal with life without you in it,  and gave up hope because this was easier than living without you….

Age is just that

Tamia was born a few days after my 40th birthday. A born drug addict but today a lively, almost six year old. Just last night she reminded me ” aunty Kamilah, its my birfday on Wednesday”…how precious???
A little girl who is going to grow up without her mom, who will one day want to know about you. And I will readily tell her your tale..
Tyler…oh my god! He is our nutty professor! He is too clever and one could almost swear that he didn’t start his veins full of drugs. He constantly tells me ” I love you, I love you, I love you aunty Kamilah “… He makes my heart skip a few beats and make me instantly fall in love with him over and over and over again!
(See their story previously published.

Mia and Ty. From oblivion to obvious

The saying is that God works in mysterious ways, we’ve physically lost you whilst you were in your prime, but we lost you way before then…Your untimely death on Friday the 15th of May 2015,will be a day forever carved in my memory. I lost one of my surrogate babies and I lost a piece of myself. Your death inadvertently changed my life and made me realized that I wanted more from life! I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be loved and by the mercy of God I’m hoping that the changes will bring the happiness I deserve…that so many deserves…that you deserved..

Samantha Hartogh: Born 17.10.1976 Died 15.05.2015

We’ve layed you to rest on an overcast day and it was beautiful! I chose yellow flowers, my favorite color for flowers. We made sure you got the dignified goodbye you deserved ( Thank you all). All your children in a row bidding you farewell, it was one of the saddest days of my life. And whilst your coffin was lowered down to the grounds, light showers started to fall..oh Sam, it was perfect! It was beautiful, just the way you were.. I’ve bid my farewell with a few words and as hard as it was, I had to admit that you were finally at peace, no more demons, no more losses, just peace..


I love you Sam…alwaysdownload-1.jpg.jpeg



8 thoughts on “Did you fail….or did we?

  1. sinsofamother January 22, 2016 / 6:20 am

    Having read this article without coffee, didn’t help! This story is both beautiful and sad. I can understand that you would feel the way that you do and Sam must have had many demons that she was struggling and fighting with. I told a friend the other day, that it literally kills me when my friends are in pain, now I can just imagine how you felt as she was your “daughter”. You told her story with so much love and I know she’s with our creator looking down and smiling and telling you that it’s okay, that you did everything that you could. All you can do is be there for her kids…Made me cry and smile as she was blessed to have you in her life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meagan January 22, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Beautiful and sad


    • Kami January 22, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Thank you Meagan. Look after yourself, you are always in my thoughts 🙂


  3. Charnelle January 22, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    I don’t know what to say, I cannot say anything. I am feeling so many emotions now that I do not want to feel. Another beautiful piece written by you. Knowing what drugs does to those that you love and them not seeing or feeling it is the saddest. Be blessed and may God make her precious children shine in their lives.


    • Kami January 22, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      Oh Charnelle, thank you it means a lot. I


    • Kami January 22, 2016 / 5:28 pm

      I want to put the awareness out there, both from the addict and the family point of view..I believe we did what we could, but you will always feel with hindsight that you could have done a bit more..I miss her very much..take care. And thanks for the comment. Subscribe to my blog to get all my stories 🙂 it’s appreciated..


  4. Kami February 8, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the Ping Back, appreciated 🙂 Take care!


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