Recently I’ve suffered a loss. I hate that stupid term. She’s not lost is she? she’s dead. My dearest Nana. Who raised me along with my Grandad so they were my parents.
My Grandad died almost 4 years ago and that was the first death I’d had to deal with. Quite lucky that I’d got to 26 and not had someone close die. Not so bloody lucky it was my Grandad. I didn’t deal with that very well. I didn’t really deal with it at all truth be told. I’m not the best with feelings to be honest. So I swept it under the carpet and acted like a fool mostly. Then boom. One day about 2 and a half years ago I though right. Let’s do this. I had some short term counselling. How American does that sound? No offence to any Americans mind. I was dubious but it really helped. So much so that I recommend it to anyone who mentions so much as a headache to me. It’s not for everyone but it done the trick for me. I’m not over it. Of course not but I can speak about it and be happy and also be upset like a normal person. There are so many memories I have. All good. Worth having and not sweeping under a carpet. I miss my Grandad every day. He was poorly and he was ready to go. None of us wanted him to but that wasn’t for us to decide sadly.
My Nana coped so well. She was a tough bird. A bit like myself and not the most open with feelings of sadness but she was affectionate and loving with me always. I told her everything- like everything. She wasn’t a prude. Raising me made sure had no choice and she loved a grotty conversation almost as much as she loved Jeremy Kyle. She often heard things and asked me to explain. Ever explained sexting to and 80 year old? Nice eh?
She was so full of life and she didn’t want to die. Absolutely not and I was not ready for her to go. She found out she had cancer just before my wedding and was so upset in case she ruined my big day. So selfless but she fought it off quicker than most deal with a common cold. She was really remarkable.
Recently she had been ill with some stomach issues. Nothing serious she was told but it went on too long. I was starting to panic and kept at her to get to the hospital. They did tests and tests and kept saying it would just go. I think she knew it wasn’t a bug. I did but I’m a pessimistic bugger. The next thing she was in hospital. Within 24 hours she was gone. I won’t go into the details as it’s a bit much. One day she had a bug and the next she was gone. I’d joked with her a few weeks prior that she better not dare die while I’m pregnant and she did. The cheek of it? She had a bit of a sick sense of humour, like me and our banter was something many could never understand. I didn’t want them too, it was ours.
That was 2 months ago nearly. It feels like ages ago and 5 minutes ago all at the same time. This time though I made a promise to myself. To grieve and I did, and I am. Someone and I wish I could remember who told me to “be kind to myself”. I’m was 24 weeks pregnant and the time and that made perfect sense. I took time off and by God did I need it? After my Grandad died I went right back to work and that was the worst move ever. I wasn’t doing that again. I didn’t just have myself to think about but a baby as well as a 6 year old and a husband too.
L and my Nan had a truly beautiful bond. They adored each other. She said to me just before Christmas that when she did die I’d have my own feelings to deal with and his. Imagine pointing that out eh? She was right though. I feel terrible for him. He forgets and he’s confused, but generally he’s OK. It’s amazing how resilient kids are and he’s a happy go lucky wee soul so he content thinking she’s watching over him and goes to the cemetery to talk about what he’s been up to that week. His attitude always helps as he’s mostly so accepting. There have been times he’s just insisted on going to see her and got angry that he can’t see her or have a two way conversation with her. I know how he feels and that’s the worst bit.
She wouldn’t want sadness or anger at all and that’s what keeps me going. I’m also mostly ok but there are the days the even getting out of bed is an issue and not just cos of the growing bump. I’m being kind to myself as advised and some days I think wow! I’ve done loads and I am supermum and others I think shit all I did was put on some clothes, but those days I’m still like “well done you!”. It’s the little things. I’m doing my best and that’s fine.
Check me? Taking loads of credit for how well I’m doing. Truth is without my friends and family I wouldn’t have at all. My husband is pretty amazing. He’s much better with words and feelings than me. We’re a bit like my Grandparents in that sense. He’s my biggest supporter and backs me up always. We really are a team and recently he’s stepped up while I’ve quite often been just useless. He’s forced me to take time, take it easy and sometimes eat cake for breakfast. He doesn’t judge at all and for all I’m shit at talking I can always talk to him and he always listens. This is more cringey than I’m used to but I couldn’t have done any of this without him. I mean just keeping on.
I’ve went off on so many tangents and what I’m really trying to say is that it does get easier. Then you have one shitty day and it feels like it doesn’t, but it does. Life goes on and I really hate that saying. So blasé and cliché and probably other words that end in é like dické. It does though whether we like it or not. I really am OK too and it’s nice to be able to say that. I’m coping and I’m looking forward to so many nice things. It’s terrible my Grandparents aren’t here but I am just so grateful for the years I did have and that will never go away.
Hopefully my Nan can tell my Grandad that I’m happy and settled. He would love that and that pleases me.
I didn’t want this to be sad and I really hope it’s not. I’m happy as I type and I’m sorry if it seems at all self pitying but I’m also not sorry. I suppose it’s just nice to write this down. Therapeutic almost (here I go again with the Americanisms).
As they say in showbiz: The show must go on.