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In Memory

My dad & gran with me when I was about 3.

I know I’ve been away again for a while. But, out of the blue, my nan died last Wednesday, and it’s all been a bit of blur. My obvious focus therefore has been my family and trying to come to terms with what’s happened. As my mother’s side is Jewish, we’ve already had the funeral. My aunt from Hawaii was over until today, and her leaving has meant that it’s all kind of hit me a bit more. I’m hoping writing about my nan will help me accept this tragedy and start to deal with the grief and loss.

No one deals with death well, but it’s always been the one thing I’ve really struggled with. I just can’t seem to accept that that person has gone. My nan was 89, so she had a very long and full life. However, there was nothing medically wrong with her. She passed away in her sleep. I guess you can’t ‘ask’ for a kinder way to go than that. She suffered mentally with severe depression, and was generally a negative and pessimistic person. That was just her nature. The last few visits to see her in her care home weren’t great; she couldn’t remember who I was. She’d just kind of gaze through me. It hurt more than anything, but it wasn’t her fault. I was also due to see her, the Saturday after she died. I know you can’t focus on the negative things; so what I will make sure I remember her by, is her brilliant qualities and the amazing and even funny memories I have.

She was generous to a fault. She would give you money, if ever you needed it. She was always very proud of her family, boasting to anyone who would listen. She was a brilliant cook, a dog lover and an avid reader. Aside from that; what I’ll remember most, was her support. She really pushed and loved me dancing, playing the piano, singing. I decided to stop dancing and piano when my GCSEs came up, as I wanted to focus on them and I think it upset her. I don’t have access to a piano any more, but I’m starting to save for an electric one. I’ve saved before, but something always came up, normally Uni fees or bills. I know playing the piano again would make her, as well as me, happy; so that’s what I’ll do.

I’m back at work full time now; which has been strange. Due to the fast process of the funeral and sorting matters out, I’ve not really had time to sit down and process everything. I still expect to go and see her, have her moan about the other people living there (despite them sitting barely a metre away), and laughing. In time, I’ll come to realise what’s happened. I guess it’s all part of the 5 stages of grief.

I guess a sort of ‘silver lining’ to this, is that I got to see my aunt for the first time in about 10 years. It would have been so much better, of course, in happier circumstances, but I’ve always been like her, and we’ve always gotten on so well. The past few days were no exception! It’s made me think about the importance of family and having them close. I’m going to put some money aside so that I can visit Hawaii. I don’t want it to be another 10 years! Life’s too short.

I won’t say much more. I simply wanted to try and express how I was feeling, to try and start the healing process, or at least, start to accept my nan isn’t here any more. I think writing about it has helped. My nan wasn’t happy in later life, never feeling ‘at home’ when her mental state declined. So I hope now, she’s with my granddad and has found peace and happiness.

She’ll never be forgotten.

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