The finality of death

It’s the oddest thing. I spent many years walking into your home, with you asleep on your chair. Most times, you’d quickly wake up — sometimes not. Every now and then, I’d get spooked as I’d not see any evidence of your breathing, and be unable to trigger your awakening.

I thought I was well-prepared for this. But all of a sudden, we’re here, and I’m really not. It’s irreversible, and all that remains are the memories forged over the years.

You’d be pleased I came to your funeral with a full-mop of hair. I know I’d promised to shave it off, just to annoy you, but we’re still in winter and it’s quite cold in the evenings.

I’m sorry I’ve not seen you so much in recent years; sadly it proved impossible to level with you that my relationship had broken down. I’d talk, you’d forget, we’d begin an infinite-loop. Interject into that that I’d walked/cycled/arrived in a spaceship from several hundred miles away, and the confusion was a very limiting factor.

Dementia? I’m not sure. I certainly think there was evidence of it. If not, then it was just one of the wonders of growing old.

The most meaningful memory, to me, I shared at your funeral yesterday. There were many others, but thank-you for so much for that, it’s proven to mean more to me as an adult than it did as a child. Thank-you for not judging, always listening, always caring. Thanks for the giggles — I have fond memories of you attempting to answer your remote control in your right hand after pressing the button to answer the call on the handset in your left hand. The bag of sweets we’d receive as children, the extra sausages you’d cook for Grandad knowing I’d steal them from his plate. The comics, the easter eggs, the mint imperials that went by a name I couldn’t begin to spell.

I took pride and pleasure in repairing your necklace for you. Coming and trying to help you when you were less able to do so was also a pleasure, and a source of pride to me. I hope I reciprocated a little of the help you’d given me.

I’m sorry we ended up dropping our guard; I think everyone trusted that each other had good intentions. We were wrong. It’s a heartfelt lesson learned by all, and one that won’t be forgotten.

Thank-you for the stability you afforded us, in what proved to be a very unstable life. Thank-you for letting me cry. Thank-you for letting me grow.

My own mother now allegedly refers to both her children as deceased. Truth is, we chose to escape her venomous, evil grasp once able to. We’re both alive and well, and all the better for it, and it’s fair to say that the celebration of your life and the marking of your passing will have hit us both in a manner more comparable to the passing of a loved parent.

I love you, and shall miss you dearly. My Grandmother, and my friend, for the final time I say goodbye.

Back in the days when I was known as Richard, rather than just Rich!

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