Grief….time to say goodbye (July 20th 2011)

During my pregnancy and just after Baby K was born both my grandmothers passed away.
One during my baby shower in October and one on Christmas Eve.
Both amazing women and who have shaped my life in different ways. When we were younger my sisters and I used to call them Big Nan and Little Nan….purely based on height. Here are some thoughts and my goodbye to both of them.

Big Nan….

my mum’s mum who was so independent and family oriented. She loved craft and I don’t know how many knitted coat hangers and paddlepop creations I have admired over the years. The last years of her life she suffered from dementia which meant that each visit to her from me was more and more difficult. After I was married each time I would visit I would tell her I got married and she would be so excited. When I was pregnant I saw her for the last time in July last year….it was difficult because she had fallen and hurt her face. I visited her two days in a row. The second day I could not stop crying and so couldn’t stay for long. I was determined to make sure Big Nan knew I loved her and for a moment….I saw a glimmer of recognition….she knew who I was and at that time she told me she loved me too.This was the last time I saw her and I am so happy it was this visit. I do wish she got to meet Baby K but she will be so proud of me and my daughter and I promise to speak to Baby K often about Big Nan. She passed away in October last year and it was during my baby shower that I found out. It was so hard to keep it together but I had so much support around me from friends and family (especially Mum and my sisters) that it made it a little easier. Good bye Nan….I miss you so much.

Little Nan…

my dad’s mum is also amazing and she loved her family very much. Her death was on Christmas Eve in her sleep and it was so unexpected. I thought she would outlive all of us but in a way I am glad she is now hanging out with my grandfather.

I was one of many grand children but she always knew what was going on in all of our lives. She was the one who told me I would get married…even though on the day she first met him I was cranky with him and didn’t think it would last. She welcomed him into the family immediately…that’s the kind of lady she was. Very cheeky as well. She was the first person to teach me how to swear. I loved staying with her in Newtown and would go to Bingo with her. There are so many experiences that I remember that include her…..when everyone else was whinging about going to visit their grandparents I would look forward to it. She had amazing stories from when she met my grandfather in La Maddalena and the trip over to Australia, funny stories about my dad and my uncles and aunty as children. I lived with her in 2004 for a few months and it was great except I would get in trouble if I came home late and she didn’t know where I was….oops sorry Nan. My last visit to Nan was just before Baby K was born and I was on my mega drive from Canberra to the Gold Coast to live. It was great to see her but I wish I spent more time with her. I spoke with her a few days before she passed away when one of my cousins called during a visit to her….I can’t remember what was said. Baby K was only just over a week old which explains why but I wish I could remember the conversation. I know I would have told her I loved her.

On Christmas Eve we heard the terrible news that Nan had passed away. I was so distressed about her dying and this affected Baby K who was quite unsettled.

The positive from this sad occasion was the support and love from the entire family who had gathered in Sydney for the viewing and funeral. We spend time together recounting funny stories about Nan, crying, laughing, hugging and just being there for each other. I could not wish for a better family, I love them very much. Everyone fell in love with Baby K instantly and I had trouble at times tracking her down as she was being cuddled by someone from the family.

It was sad for me as Nan had never met Baby K….so I introduced Nan to her at the viewing. This was extremely hard to do but was something that helped me deal with the grief. Nan was an amazing woman and instilled family values within myself and the rest of the family.

The day after the funeral was a special time for Mama Merco as she spent some quality time with two of her sisters at the Maltese Cafe in Sydney….eating ravioli (not as good as Nan’s but definitely up there) and hanging out before we flew back to the Goldie with Baby K.

I still wish that she got to meet my amazing daughter but she will be looking down from heaven so proud of me and totally in love with Baby K. Goodbye Nan….I miss you everyday and I am reminded of you every time Baby K has a cheeky smile, just like yours πŸ˜‰

 

Please note: This blog post was originally on another site and was published in 2011. I have combined two blogs into one and this post means a lot to me that I really wanted to keep it.

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