I was told earlier today that my grandmother passed away at 6.15 this morning by her care home. It’s a strange phone call to get: One that leaves you with a sense of overwhelming blurriness in the immediate aftermath of confusion and denial.
I haven’t quite got to the anger stage, nor proper grief. I am still still firmly in shock.
But I’d like to share some of my grandmother’s best moments with me in mine (and I hope) her lifetime.
I can remember my childhood fondly. My mother was out working for herself and she relied upon my grandmother a lot for childcare when she and my father divorced. I remember being picked up from nursery by my grandmother, who we called ‘Mama’, and sharing a packet of Jelly Tots each day with her dog.
I remember big salad bowls and healthy meals. I remember the lesser healthy, but equally as hearty ones too. I recall her fondness for making sure that you had absolutely everything you needed to succeed in life.
She took me in a few years back after I’d moved out of Will’s, and she helped me to move out of her home. She had the kindness of a Saint.
There were difficult times, especially towards the end of it. She refused to see me for a while, but I am glad that I was finally able to see her and that I managed to see her yesterday, just before she died. I am glad that somebody did. She was in pain and she had poor recollection, with inability to distinguish my voice, and her face had dried out because she had clearly been refusing water.
Cancer – or, rather, three cancers – got the 88-year-old fighter in the end. There’s not much that can be done at that age. She gave it a good go though.
So, my dear Mama, I know that I don’t believe in your Heaven, but I am hopeful that I’m wrong and that you’ve met grandad and your parents in the paradise of free souls. I hope we meet again soon, because I already miss you.