My Gran

Thank you to everyone who has been particularly kind to me lately and sent me such nice messages. My Grandma died just after midnight on Friday night. She never woke up from when she started to go rapidly downhill in the morning, she just sort of slipped away and suddenly there was no more struggle and no more pain.

Grandma and Grandad have been best friends for over seventy years, loved each other fiercely, were hugely protective of each other and spent a lot of time laughing. It made my heart feel particularly close to exploding to see how tightly they clung to each other every time they said goodbye over these last few weeks when she was in hospital, but I feel lucky to have had this example in front of me my whole life. It was my lofty expectation that one day I too would feel like this, and if I didn’t, then it wasn’t worth it and I would rather be single. So thanks, Grandma, because no-one ever hurt me, or let me down, or made me think I wasn’t good enough or even kept me up thinking, “Does he like me, I don’t know what he’s thinking, I’m not sure” and other boring things like that.

I had one hour alone with her in the hospital when I knew she was going, and I told her this. I told her how sad I was that she wouldn’t get to hold her great-grandchild and that I’d have done almost anything for her to last another five weeks to make this happen bar forcing her to endure more pain. I said thank you to her for supporting all the decisions I’d ever made, and for being such a constant and comfortable presence in my life. Anyone could, and did, turn up at her house at any time, in any state, and be assured of being fed, looked after and listened to. Those without family of their own got a good mothering and she still received cards from one particular friend of my dad’s, addressed rather sweetly for a man in his sixties, to ‘Mum 2’.

I hope she knew that all the people who loved her best were with her at the end. We’re all incredibly sad, but in a good way. I haven’t lost anybody close to me before, I thought it would feel worse, but actually a group of people who love each other looking after each other feels like one of the safest, strongest things in the world. Crying a lot and laughing and talking a lot feels good too. I’m really going to miss her.

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