Greeting Grade-G Readers,
How has your weekend been? It’s pretty rare for me to post more than once in the space of a few days, actually I am not sure it has happened before, regardless I wanted to talk about something that has affected myself, my family, parents, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews,uncles and aunties alike.
Unfortunately my Grandmother and last remaining Grandparent passed away in the evening of 26th December 2013. Due to her poor health and other complications it was widely accepted in the family that her time was near however we never thought it would come so quickly.
Before I go any further I just want to say this post isn’t about expressing my grief or sadness at her passing, it’s more about my experience leading up to her death and up to the day of the funeral. What I write may be enlightening for those readers who know me personally but may also be insightful for others who have been through similar life experiences.
I won’t go into the specifics about my gran’s illness but essentially it was terminal from my understanding. She had been stuck in the hospital for the last month or so, getting weaker and weaker by the day but her mind was still sharp. She was eager to get home. In the end she was discharged from the hospital on the 26th December and was home by the early afternoon, though she wasn’t conscious. It may have been the medication or that she was fighting to hang on. She had made it home a day after xmas and was back in her bedroom. Knowing that she was back, family and friends flocked to her side to see her, though she wasn’t conscious.We were adament that she could hear what was going on.
All the preparations had been made with the hospital and GP who would help look after my gran whilst she was back home but in the end it wasn’t needed as she passed away peacefully after a few hours of being home surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everyone is in agreement that was probably what she was waiting for.
This would have been the first time I have seen anyone pass away in front of my eyes , I would imagine it would have been the same for others there at the time, however the depth and magnitude of loosing my gran at that point weighed heavy on all. The next few days after her death would be comprised of family and friends coming to the house to pay their respects up until the funeral. Everyone coming together because of an individual, a opportunity to remember fond memories of the past, catching up with the goings on in people’s lives and provide all the support needed to overcome the loss.
Even now I think to myself how much of an impact it has had on me to loose the only Grandmother I’ve known. In terms of my relationship with her, I wouldn’t say it was the closest, though I would say I remember her being kind and always interested in knowing what I was doing in life. Maybe if I made more of an effort to visit her more often, though it certainly was easier said then done.
Come the funeral day, seeing her laying in the coffin and saying prayers before taking her to the temple. It was a pretty overwhelming experience. Naturally there were tears as we paid our respects. It would be the last time we all saw her face before sealing up the coffin again, she certainly looked at peace considering the suffering she had been going through. There were times I felt my eyes begin to well up though after a deep breath I maintained my composure and comforted those around me. It may come back to haunt me later that I never let my emotions out though at the time it felt like the best course of action considering what was going on around me.
Later at the cremetorium I helped carry the coffin to the alter and we all said our last goodbyes, As the curtains drew to a close, that was really the moment I think it all sunk in. Making our way outside the flowers we had arranged were on display with messages written by the family. It’s worth mentioning that the weather on that day was marvellous. The Sun was shinning and you would have been hard pushed to find a cloud in sight. The sheer number of people who came to pay their respects just goes to show how respected my grandmother was by young and old as well as family and friend alike.
The day of funeral went as smoothly as possible and as per my grandmothers wishes, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. As silly as it is to say the realisation of the family tree came to mind on the day of the funeral and everything she had worked to create. We live and then we die, what is important is what we do in-between these two very different states.
It’s difficult to round off this post as I think it would be wrong of me to say there is a conclusion in this, I leave that for you to think about. I do want to say however that during this time I have learnt a lot about family, I have also seen a lot that will stay with me for a long while. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts, maybe in the process lighten the load in my mind also.
It’s back to work after the long xmas break tomorrow and I am actually looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, though I am certainly not keen on trawling through all my emails… Oh well, I have never been one for excuses so let’s just get to it and start the new year on the best foot forward!!
Thank you for reading
Have a brilliant week ahead