Eight forty four is when my Mum rang me a few Saturdays ago.
I thought she was calling to talk about going to the Craft Fair at church. No, her call was more urgent and life changing. Grandad had passed away in the small hours of the morning.
He’d not been entirely right for a while and back in November-ish, Dad had a very matter of fact conversation with us. The doctors had said that Grandad could have weeks but that would be it. Six months later and he was still going but after being admitted to hospital about 10 days ago, it was sort of the beginning of the end.
Jaxon, Chris and I had been sat in bed chatting and playing games on my iPad. So when Mum’s tone was serious, I rolled over and sat up on my side of the bed. Chris knew by my tone and body language that something was up.
I got off the phone and said I needed to go to the hospital if he could look after Jaxon. Unlike Grandma who was unconscious when we’d get the call that she didn’t have long left, Grandad had already gone. I wasn’t really sure about going to the hospital. My brother and cousins had decided that they weren’t going to go (or couldn’t go for various reasons) but I decided in the end I needed to go, even if it was just to support Dad while he and his siblings made the necessary decisions and plans that were needed.
Chris and Jaxon took me to the hospital and I headed through the hospital to the lifts. I got to the lifts and as I got in the lift, Mum dashed in behind me, she’d been waiting for me in the corridor but I think I’d been in a bubble and sort of missed her as I went past. We headed up to the ward and Dad had come to meet us.
Dad walked Mum and I to the relatives room and my Aunt grabbed and gave me a squeezy hug and told me “It would be okay. Grandad was now with Grandma” We sat in a “relatives room” for a little bit chatting about what had happened etc. We talked about how Grandad had been telling the nurses all about his Great-Grandbabies – he’s got four boys and he was so proud of that fact! (Jaxon is the eldest and the most recent addition arrived just a few months ago) Dad then asked did I want to go and see Grandad. He warned me that it wasn’t going to be a pretty sight and I could leave whenever I wanted to and if I changed my mind I didn’t have to go and see him. I did go and see him. It was good to say goodbye but it was a bit strange. After all the soul of what made him Grandad was no longer there. That had gone and it was just his body left. We went back to the relatives room and then chatted some more. Dad spoke to my Uncle on the phone and they discussed various bits. Between my Uncle being away for work and my cousin being away for work, fitting in the funeral was going to be a challenge but they’d figure it out. In the end my Uncle said to book it and he’d figure out work around it. With it being a Saturday, a lot of the legal bits couldn’t be dealt with until Monday so we decided to head home. Chris had taken Jaxon out for breakfast after they’d dropped me off at the hospital so I headed home to an empty house. I decided I’d still go up to church for the craft fair and went to get my bike out. I figured the head space of cycling up there might be good. It wasn’t that easy in the end and I had to walk my bike back home again just in time for the boys to be home with the car! So I switched to the car and headed up to church, I chatted to a few of my friends who had stalls there and then headed back to the car. I drove along the road that church is on and decided I needed to go and see my other Grandma and Grandad. I just needed to go and put my arms around them and give them a big hug while I could. In the end, I sat on Grandma’s sofa and had a cry. She held my hand and talked to me about all sorts of things. I told her how I’d been talking about her at Community Group and stories she’d tell me about God providing when her and Grandad needed it.
So that was the beginning of April, then we headed towards the end of April for the funeral. The service would be on the Monday after my birthday at the Crematorium, we’d then go for lunch together after. I got Jaxon up and took him to school then came home and didn’t do a lot. I didn’t have time to go to knitting group – I tried to figure out if I could do both but I would have to leave knitting group almost as soon as I had arrived so that I could be at the Crematorium in time. The service was lovely (Well as lovely as a funeral can be). I cried lots through it, I’d forgotten to bring any tissues so ended up using the sleeve of my cardigan at least to wipe my eyes. (Oops!) The service ended with Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe and Wise. I got to meet my Cousin’s son for the first time which was lovely and got to catch up with other family members – just wish it had been on a happier occasion.
I started this post back at the beginning of April, I tried to put into words what I was feeling but I’m not always sure it came out clearly and so I kept saving it as a draft and then leaving it there for a bit. So now we’re in May and I’m adding some more thoughts to it and hitting publish.