Hi, My name is Maya Preshyon. On March 19th, 2023, my younger brother Nathan and I lost our mom unexpectedly. She passed away at 48 years old due to complications stemming from liver failure. My brother Nathan is an Emily Carr School of Art & Design student and pro-wrestler, and I'm a student at UBC and founder of a non-profit called the Vancouver Black Library.
Our mom was our whole world and we were hers. The three of us were always inseparable. I never imagined that we would say goodbye to our mom at 21 and 19 years old and learn how to navigate a world without our favorite person. We never could have imagined when she was admitted to the hospital just one month prior that she wasn't going to leave the ICU. We thought we would have many more hugs, "luvies," and good morning/night texts from our mom.
Our mom came to Canada at the age of 13 from Zimbabwe. Though her death is unexpected, we know in our hearts that she would want to be laid to rest back home alongside her mom, gogo (grandmother), and sister. She missed them dearly.
She was the most supportive and present mother, even while navigating her health challenges. She was the most perseverant, strong-willed and brave person I’ve ever known. For many reasons, her life was not easy. But she was a fighter and she always made sure Nathan and I were taken care of. She silently battled addiction for many years as a means to survive through adversity that many people could never even imagine. When Nathan and I moved out for university, our mom knew then that she succeeded in raising us up to blossom as adults. That is when her health began to take a turn for the worst, she continued to deteriorate from liver cirrhosis stemming from her concealed addiction.
She was so much more than her hardships and went by many names - Khayla, Maggie, Kha, Sikhangezile, and mom. She was such a vibrant, magnetic, loving, beautiful light. In addition to family back home, she has made countless treasured memories and friends here in Canada over the years. Our family would like to honor her with a joyous Celebration of Life both here and back home for all who loved her to send her off.
We've created this campaign because we would like to take our mom back home to Zimbabwe to lay her to rest and celebrate her life. We would like everyone in Africa and Canada, who treasured her to have a chance to say goodbye and I love you.
I've been my mom's primary caretaker and had to be the one to make decisions about her palliative and medical care. I've been supported by my brother Nathan, my auntie Anne, and my cousin Melissa. At this point, I'm creating this campaign because we lack the financial means necessary to bury my mother the way she deserves. We are hoping to raise $35,000 for the following bereavement expenses and funeral costs:
- Flights home to Zimbabwe so we can bury her in the family grave
- Cremation and celebration of life expenses
- 6 months' worth of financial support for Nathan and me while we take time away from work and school to grieve
The loss of our mom has been earth-shattering. Our mom has been our rock, our sunshine, our safety, our comfort, our champion, our inspiration, and our biggest supporter. The three of us were a unit! It is inconceivable that we aren't a trio any longer. The greatest relief for us would be the ability to pay rent, buy groceries, and stay afloat through the most devastating period in our lives. Every little bit makes all the difference in our ability to take this time to heal.
I want to express my sincerest gratitude to anybody who can support my brother and me through this time. We are blown away by the kind actions and words so many people have been pouring into us while my mom was in the hospital. I am endlessly grateful.
We look forward to making her memorial celebration as special and memorable as she was.
All our love,
Maya, Nate & family
(Her Celebration of Life in Vancouver is tentatively set to take place in early May, I will share more information once it's available.)