Friday, 22 April 2016

Death - How can I say goodbye?

I don't know how to start writing this post, it's not going to be an easy one to write or to read but it's time I got it all down. Bear with me through this post as it may not be perfectly written but I don't know how it could be.

Back in February there was a period just after I had got back into posting on the blog after Christmas where I just stopped posting and never explained it. It was a hard month.

Me and Simon had sat down to watch a film on TV after D had gone to bed early and about 5 minutes before the end my Mum phoned. I had answered with the intention of asking her to phone back in a few minutes but she was really upset and I wasn't expecting the news she gave me when I asked if she was okay. My Great Granda had died. He died very suddenly in his own house. She was coming over and needed to stay with us for the funeral. We had a short talk before she had to go, I don't really remember what we said or how long we spoke for on the phone. I only remember after I came off the phone I came into our living room and told Simon, he had asked if I was okay. I didn't know how to answer that at that moment. Was I okay? Was this really happening or had I somehow fell asleep during the film. It didn't feel real. I don't think I was okay, how can anyone be okay after having that news? It was a shock to my system and I didn't know how I felt or even how I should have felt.

I know that people die every day but at that point I had only known one other person who I knew had died which was my Great Granny from my Dad's side of the family. I didn't really remember her other than some ornaments she had in her window and playing as a child at her house. I didn't have a reaction when she died it was all so surreal. I went to the funeral and I felt like I had done something bad, I couldn't cry or really feel anything. I'm glad I went even though I couldn't remember her, I did remember spending time there with her and I knew who she was. That was the first funeral I ever attended.

This time was different. I had never realised it but I thought my Great Granny and Great Granda would live forever. (I know that is crazy!)  I really truly believed that they would just go on living . Simon pointed out that I tell him all the time that his Nanny won't live forever, which is true but I couldn't help my childish ideology that they would always be there. They had been together my whole life and even celebrated their golden wedding anniversary together. It was there that the last picture of me was taken with them. I was about 14 I think.  All my life I remember them both together in their house, my Granda gardening and my granny making tea while talking to us. They where amazing and as a child I thought they where as old as the world. They weren't all that old to be truthful but it just seemed like they'd always be there and always together. I was heart broken at the news.

It hit me all at once not long after the phone call. Most of all I felt guilty, I had been saying for a few months that I really needed to take D up to see them. The last time we had went D was only a small baby, I think he was a few months old. We didn't stay for long, that was the first and last time they met. I regret not going and I wish I had. Right at that moment in time I hated the fact I had never got round to it, I would never ever see him again. I could never go to my  Great Granny's house and see him sitting on the sofa in the living room or at the kitchen table, he'd never be there reading his news paper. Ever again. It was so definite, so very final. There was nothing anyone could do to change it. All I could think of was my Great Granny alone, I just couldn't make that picture form in my head. It wasn't there, she'd never been without him in my life or even in my mind. She had left the house without him and done other things like shopping. I would do with her and my aunt on a Saturday when we where very young but we talked about my Great Granda and the things they'd have for dinner that night or what newspaper he wanted us to bring home.

The few days following the call was a whirlwind of activity, most of our family live in England with a few of us living here so flights needed booked. Everyone needed a bed to sleep in for the time they where here and there wasn't much time to plan it. Everyone got somewhere to stay and came over. I don't remember anything that happened that week. Everything else is blurry and so ordinary that I just lost those days. I know I cried, I know we all cried. The funeral came quickly, it's was days later. I had never said goodbye to anyone and I had never seen a dead person. I don't want to see a dead person.

It was hard I couldn't cry at the funeral and I can't figure out why, I still can't. There was so many people there, our family is very big and there where friends of the family, neighbours and people he knew or who knew him. It was strange seeing my family all crammed into a living room saying goodbye to a man I thought would never die. I didn't feel like I was there, sort of looking at it from above. Which I suppose I actually was ( I was standing a few stairs up from the bottom to allow people to have room.)  I could see the heads of all these people, some I knew and some I had never met. I could see my Great Granny, My great aunts, uncles, cousins, my own granny, my aunts, uncles and cousins in among the sea of heads. My sister and mum where standing beside me. I could hear and see people crying but I couldn't cry. I just couldn't. I was refusing to look towards the coffin, a wooden box that held a man who was, in some way important to every person there. He was part of each of our lives for a long time.

I don't understand how you can just say goodbye. There's no defining moment. No sudden feeling of he's gone. I still forget that he isn't here sometimes. I still feel sad, I still cry. I'm crying now. Do you say words out loud? Do you complete a gesture for them? I don't know. Life just continues on without them, it just keeps going every day and they're still not there. I can't make up for not going in the two years before he died. I can't change it. I have seen my Great Granny since, I took D up and I will keep going. I want D to know her, I want him to have memories with her. She is an amazing woman. A strong person and I love her, Just like I loved my Great Granda.


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