Monday, 21 May 2012
And so.... Daughter and Son were crazy bonkers because of SATs and assessments at school, Husband worked extra long hours at work and was knackered, I had a eyeball watering tension headache and then.... my Gran died.
She was 97 years old and she really didn't want to go. She was angry, very angry, hitting and swearing at people in between morphine induced sleeps. I really felt for my Dad and his two Sisters having to endure seeing their Mother like that. My Dad has Parkinsons, feels unwell every day and tires easily, but he never, ever missed his thrice weekly visits to his Mum, not in all these years. He was as good a Son as anyone could wish for. I feel a poor imitation of a good child next to him.
Dad's Sisters and their Husbands, Me, my Mum and my two Brothers and one cousin, joined Dad at Gran's care home. Dad was with her when she died, but he was alone. Then we were all there, around Gran's bed. Talking, weeping, hugging. It took a while for the Doctor to come and certify the death, so we hung around in the home's 'quiet room' and managed, quite remarkably, to enjoy each others company. Then the Doctor came and went and we had to say goodbye. I don't think I can bare to write about that.
She didn't have a very exciting life, my Gran, she was born at the start of The Great War, married, had three kids, worked for most of her life as a playground supervisor at a local school. Other than the trials of her generation - losing male relatives in the First and Second World War and dodging Hitler's bombs as he tried to take-out Midland factories - nothing much happened to her. She didn't have hobbies, although she had been a talented artist when she was young and had gone to art school for a short time. She didn't have any friends, just her Sisters, and she never joined a club or went to Bingo. I don't think she ever had a holiday that wasn't in a caravan, other than the trip to Dublin me and my brothers once took her on. Her whole life was her family. If I have one legacy though from her, passed through my Dad to me, it is a love of animals, particularly dogs. She loved dogs more than she loved life itself, I think. And as her ending showed, she loved life pretty hard.
When I got the phone call from Mum, I told the kids their great grandmother had passed. They met her just twice, and we have a photo of her with them. I showed them the photo to remind them of who she was, but they already knew. I asked for hugs before I went to be with my Dad and I got them. Apparently after I had gone Son had a 20 minute crying fit over some toast, but I suspect that the upset of death in the family destabalised him a little. Destabalises us all, doesn't it?
Rest In Peace, Gran. I know we weren't always close, but you did say some kind things to me, we shared some lovely moments and I have a handful of terrific memories of you. I'll take care of Dad for you now.