Being A Mum · mental health

365 Days ago my Grandma passed away

It’s taken me 365 days to finally write this blog, it has also been 365 days since my Grandma passed away.  She was 99 years old, having just celebrated her birthday on the 29th of November, and welcoming who would be her last great grandchild she saw born on the 24th of November. She was so looking forward to the birth of my daughter, every time I saw her she asked me if I’d had the baby yet even when I was only half way through my pregnancy and I will never forget the day she finally got to meet her.  Grandma had 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren, 45 people exsist becuase of her.  Grandma was well and truly ready to go, she always told me the heavenly father was waiting for her, and she was confident where she was going after she died.  On the 13th of January 2017 she peacefully passed away in her sleep.

My grandma’s funeral was in Dalby, approximately 2.5-3 hours drive out of Brisbane, and as we had an 8 week old, my husband suggested we go up the night before the funeral to make our travel a bit easier.  My mum suggested we stay at Grandma’s house as no oneGrandma and her daughterswas going to be there. I was looking forward to spending the night there, I had so many memories of playing in the garden, eating dinner at the big dining room table and watching tv with everyone in the lounge room after dinner.  What I wasn’t prepared for was that everything in the house exactly the same and yet not what I was looking for.  The people I’d come to see, to remember, weren’t there anymore.  Grandma didn’t greet us at the garage, there was nothing cooking in the kitchen, there was no familiar shuffle down the hallway and Grandpa still wasn’t sitting in his chair by the tv. It’s been 17 years since my Grandpa died, and every time I visit Dalby I can feel his presence missing.

I remember that night sitting in Grandma’s spare room, with my mum and sister, just laughing. I cannot remember what we were laughing about but it was certainly hilarious.  I also remember going to bed that night just wishing for one more night. One more of Grandma’s home cooked dinners, one more conversation with my Grandpa, one more trip down to the old train in the park (which has also long gone), just one more night just to be with them both.  I often tell my husband to cherish his grandparents, visit them often spend time with them, because there is no going back, death is so permanent there are no second chances, no last words, no more dinners.

Finally, regardless of how old someone is when they die their family feel this loss, there is zero comfort in you saying well she was 99 and shrugging, even when it is meant with condolence and sympathy.  I knew my grandma was going to die, it was no secret to any of us, but knowing this didn’t make it hurt any less, I don’t grieve for her any less, I don’t miss her any less.

I’ve realised through writing this blog that I’m still grieving for both of my grandparents, and I’m not really sure that it will ever stop.  I personally think that grief is lifelong, once we’ve made a connection with someone they never really leave us.   We do find joy in life again, we take pride in accomplishments and laugh until we hurt but there is a part of us that is always sad that they aren’t here with us.  Human connection is a powerful, everlasting thing.

It’s normal to struggle with grief after losing a loved one, but if you feel like you’re not able to keep your head above water, or you aren’t finding joy in your life anymore, please go and see someone or talk to a friend about how you’re feeling.  We all grieve for different amounts of time and in different ways, but when you can’t see a light at the end of tunnel maybe you need a little extra help to see it.

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