Monday 13 April 2015

Remembering my Granny on her 95th Birthday

Today would have been my Granny's 95th Birthday.

She passed away three months ago on 30th December 2014.

My Granny always liked a 'bit of a fuss' on her birthday. It was a bit of family joke, we'd tease her about it, thinking that excitement surrounding birthdays is only for children. But in fact, she was right to hold onto that excitement, if you can't make someone feel a bit special on their birthday, then there's something wrong!

So on her 95th Birthday, I'm missing making a 'bit of a fuss' of her. I feel quite taken aback at how upset I feel today. I think when someone old dies you're not 'allowed' to be sad. You talk about what a long life they had and the gratitude for all the things they were able to experience. I completely get that & it's one of the best ways to cope with the death of an elderly relative. When someone young dies, it is tragic & the thoughts of what might've been are almost impossible to bear.

But when someone elderly dies, you lose a person who has been a part of your life for so long, you don't quite know how to react.

My Granny was alive for a long time, she saw her children become pensioners, her grandchildren reach their late 30s and her eldest Grandchild is going to university next year. She was a Mother, a sibling, a Grandmother, a friend and all those connections are so important in a life. She was engrained in our lives, that we can't help missing her, even if we do understand how lucky we were to have her for so long.

My Granny was intricately involved with the whole family, she wanted to know everyone's news and all the latest developments. She was part of the landscape of our lives, and when she died, a big part of our family fabric became unstitched. It isn't something you can mend, you just have to learn to live with it.

Grief is a funny thing, you think you're ok & then it hits you. It comes along when you're happy, sometimes when the sun is shining, often at family occasions when you notice the empty seat, usually at milestones in your life...when you want to tell that person all the latest news.

So, on my Granny's 95th birthday, I say "Penblwydd hapus" to her and I'll let myself feel sad, but also happy at all the shared experiences we had.

The picture you can see at the top of this post is a block made in memory of Muriel, my Granny. It is bought in aid of the Buy a Block Fundraiser and it will form part of a new floor when our local museum is refurbished. The blocks are placed in a temporary display where members of the public can see them before they are laid in their final location.

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