For anyone who regularly reads you will know that a missing weekday post is something of an anomaly for me. Blogging has become something of an addiction and I feel incomplete without a daily ramble. Not only does it help fix my mindset to writing, but it also helps to vent and share what goes on in my head. It is therapeutic and worthwhile regardless of how many or few people read, although good looking stats do make me happy!
So last night was a rare occasion. But with reason. In November last year I lost my Grandma. She is still so very dearly loved by her ever growing family. She was the stereotype that everyone longed for and built a life around her children and grandchildren. We were her centre and in turn, she ours. Words cannot even begin to register just what she meant to me.
Living away from home and the family hub, it still doesn’t feel quite real that she is gone. Whenever I have something important to share I still reach for the phone and half dial her number before realising that she won’t actually answer. On such occasions when this finality hits, grief completely consumes me. A huge gaping hole is felt right through the pit of my stomach and the weight of her loss is almost unbearable. I would even go so far as to say it is far heavier than those first days after her death.
Last night I received word that my Grandad is very poorly. Although he has been ill for several years now, something seems very imminent. He has deteriorated and, I believe, is ready to join my Grandma. Part of me is so thankful for this as it is an awful experience going to see him in such a sad state. He was such a big, strong man that to see him so weak and frail breaks my heart. But even so, that big gaping hole opened up again. I am sure it won’t be long before we loose him too (although we have thought this before and he proved us all wrong!) and the end of something truly special will come.
I try to relieve the tears by rationalising; it is the right order of things. Very old people are meant to pass on. We are an incredibly lucky family in that no real catastrophe (touch wood) has ever occurred. We are many and we are well. My cousin in fact gave birth to our latest member only a few weeks ago. Life ticks along and Grandma would not wish us to dwell or cry over her loss. Neither will Grandad.
But in the end, this rationalising doesn’t help. Only a flood of tears will – a way of releasing and expressing my deep sorrow. They were always meant to be here. They were meant to see me married and meet another great grand child. Realistically I always knew the odds were against me, but I never stopped, not once, to think that they might not one day be with me.
Grief I have found is the only emotion through which I cannot possibly begin to write. I may be crying at this moment, but the pressure on my chest is not as it was last night. It was as if a bag of bricks had been strapped to my chest and another to my shoulders, and they would not lift until my heart had cried its fill. There is a shadow of them now, but I can function. But I am constantly waiting for that phone call that will throw them back into place. Which is another kind of pressure I could do without.
I’m not entirely sure how to end this post (apologies if I have brought anyone down!) after all it could be anything from hours, days to possibly a few weeks before anything irreversible occurs, but this feeling is with me now and I have to share. I think I will leave you with words that are not my own, but a poem by Mary Frye (1932) which was included in my Grandma’s funeral last year.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.