My grandmother died yesterday morning. My mother woke me up to tell me and I just said “fuck”, but in the way where you mean “God dammit”. I knew it was coming because she’d been deteriorating fast these last couple of weeks so at the start it didn’t hit me. Then I thought of the date and I thought, ‘the 28th of October is always going to be the day she died from now on’, and that made me cry. Then I thought of Dad.
He’s in India for work at the moment and all I really want to do is hug him, because I know he would be struggling, but I can’t. My dad is emotional like me, or I’m emotional because he is, and he pretends he doesn’t need support but deep down he does and he wants it, but would never ask. We had a horrible couple of hours trying to get through to him, its Hindu Christmas over there or something, and I was frantic because I thought maybe he thought we didn’t care enough to call, and felt alone. Theres always this thing in the back of his head where he thinks we don’t care anymore, or we don’t need him since the divorce, it always plays on his mind. He knows its wrong but its his fear. So I was really freaking out trying to get to him.
He said he was okay though, it won’t hit him till he gets closer. I know he’s just frontin because its hit me already and I have only a fraction of the bond he had with her. She had a pretty tough life, she had to quit school at twelve, then she got married and worked on a farm raising nine kids. She had domestic troubles with her husband and they eventually divorced. My dad has father issues because he was one of the younger ones, and was around when the fights broke out, and naturally tried to step in and defend her. He hated his dad, but he loved his dad, and they had a fucked up relationship because of all that shit. It plagues him and he can’t move on from it because he died years ago and they never talked it out. He still can’t watch father-son movies because they make him tear up, and he’s a man who never cries.
Anyway she had to move off of the farm because she couldn’t look after the whole thing herself because she’s not an army, but she did damn well for one woman. She was always really tough and strong, she worked hard her whole life. She was pretty strict too, but I remember the older she got the more relaxed she was, and she was the best story teller. She would pick up her trinkets and tell us where she got them, and she loved kinder surprises. She’d make the toys and put them in her cabinet with the rest of her story props. She gave me a little porcelain seahorse, that I can’t find now, and a tin with pictures of beagles on the lid because she knew I liked them because I had one. And she’d always give us kids five bucks each when we came to see her, which was heaps back then, to buy ice cream or lollies at the shop.
In the end she developed dementia, she couldn’t live by herself. It was a big kerfuffle within the family because we didn’t want to put her in a home, and I don’t know all the details, but I think some of the pushy ones bullied the weaker ones into signing her up without everyones consent. I remember one particular aunt was thought of as close to the devil for a while, but then my grandmother got a lot worse and we just concentrated on making sure she was comfortable. Not long after, she didn’t know where she was or who we were, and I know that really upset dad a lot. She steadily deteriorated until finally yesterday she passed. She was 92.
Love you Granny. You deserved a better life.