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Message of thanks by Mrs Graca Machel

Madiba once said: "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others ..." I have thought of his words on each occasion the world stood with him, making a difference to him, in his healing.

So much love and generosity from South Africans, Africans across the continent, and thousands more from across the world, have come our way to lighten the burden of anxiety; bringing us love, comfort and hope.

The messages have come by letter, by SMS, by phone, by Twitter, by Facebook, by email, cards, flowers and the human voice, in particular the voices of children in schools or singing outside our home. We have felt the closeness of the world and the deepest meaning of strength and peace.

Our gratitude is difficult to express. But the love and peace we feel give yet more life to the simple "thank you!"

Mrs Graca Machel

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