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In which a lot happens, in a short time…

August 17, 2010

Sorry i’ve been away for so long. Things happened, time ran away with me somewhat and now suddenly it’s August.

Here is my grandmother with HER mother - my great grandmother - who died when she was 100, and I was 18. Amazing to have had four generations of women together for a time.

The big, and sad news, is that despite her brave fight, my dear grandmother died on 19th July. It still feels strange and difficult to write those words. I spent the next couple of weeks at her home, with my mother and sister Laura, and my three aunts and one uncle as we planned her funeral and tried in some small way to make sense of what felt, at times, like such a waste. Laura and I fell naturally, and for the most part, easily, into a helpful role, for which we became known as ‘the fairies’ – cooking, cleaning and generally providing for the rest of our family. Depsite it being hard at times, I also felt incredibly blessed to be part of things in the those first, difficult days. And to be needed. I don’t think before I have ever quite understood how wonderful it is to be truly, truly needed.

Being in my grandmother’s house during this time was actually incredibly emotive, but it gave us all strength. As if by her very nature she had gathered us all together when we most needed it. I supppose in a way I simply felt enveloped by her virtual arms, wrapped around her house and cocooning us all.

We buried her on a beautiful July day, and decorated her simple coffin with hundreds of wild flowers. We sang, and cried and grieved and shared our pain. The next day one of her sons in law said to me: “I don’t think she would have disapproved of anything yesterday…” And he was right. I guess you can’t ask for a better send off, or memorial, than that.

YB has been wonderful during all this, despite how hard it must have been – and I have been touched by his support. And his endless patience. Being the supportive other half of someone going through grief is an often thankless and difficult task, but he coped admirably with everything that I threw at him. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy either, because at times it wasn’t, but I know he did his best for me, and that was all I needed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 8:15 pm

    I’m so sorry to read your news. What a horrid time for you all. I’m glad to read that you’ve found some joy in some of the poignant moments.

    I’m thinking of you, and your family, and hope that each day gets easier.


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