“My grandmother was staying with me in Johannesburg before she returned to Kimberley to be with my mother. We were very close"
LESS than two weeks after a Roodepan resident, Poppy Oliphant, celebrated her 101st birthday, the centenarian died at her home in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Oliphant celebrated her birthday on August 28 and, according to her family, she just waited for the arrival of her granddaughter from Johannesburg before she took her last breath.
Oliphant’s granddaughter, Jeneal Desai, said she was able to spend the last hours of her grandmother’s life with her.
“My grandmother was staying with me in Johannesburg before she returned to Kimberley to be with my mother. We were very close. I always regarded her as my mother. When I arrived on Tuesday it was like she was relieved to see me.
“It was almost as if she had been waiting for me because she gave a huge sigh when she saw me. I then slept with her because I had missed her and wanted to be close to her,” said Desai.
She added that she noticed that her grandmother became “restless” during the night.
“I comforted her by rubbing her back, arm and holding her hand. I woke up at around 3am and went to the bathroom. I saw that she was not moving and did not respond when I returned from the bathroom. I tried to wake her up. I then realised that she was gone,” she cried.
Desai said the family were privileged to have spent so much time with Oliphant.
“She was a loving person. She cared for everyone. We are very blessed to have had her around for such a long time. We will cherish the memories of her forever and will miss her tremendously,” Desai said.
Oliphant will be buried next Saturday.