Today would have been your birthday, Grandma

I visited my Grandma today. Or rather, I visited Grandma’s grave. It’s her birthday – her very first birthday in Heaven.

I don’t suppose birthdays have much significance in a place that is permanently filled with joy and happiness, but it felt right to go.

I crouched down by the headstone, tears stinging my eyes, and told her all the news from the last 6 months. I haven’t been able to bring myself to visit since she died at Christmas.

I haven’t felt strong enough.

I wasn’t really planning on going today, but the idea popped into my head this morning and I couldn’t get it out.

I told her how much I missed her. I told her that I loved her. I told her about our family. Grandma always loved to talk about family – she knew everyone’s second cousin, three times removed, and always seem surprised when I didn’t know who she was talking about.

And a smile spread across my face as I realised that these memories would now be restored to her. I could tell her about my girls and she would be smiling happily, picturing their little faces.

She is free from the dementia.

Grandma had Dementia

Grandma moved to a care home a few years ago. Charis and I used to visit her on a Wednesday morning. I don’t think she knew I was her granddaughter, but she recognised my face and welcomed me into her little room.

The conversations were very one-sided. I would talk and she would listen (and sometimes fall asleep!).

I only used names. There was no point talking about “my brother” or “your son” – she couldn’t compute those relationships – but she was happy to hear about the things going on in my life.

Kneeling at the graveside today, a happy tear slipped silently down my cheek. Now she is in full health, I realised. The fog has cleared and her pretty smile will be there again.

Grandma sewing kit

Grandma’s sewing kit which is now my prized possession

Remembering happiness

Grandma was one of those people that used her whole face to smile – her eyes, her mouth, her cheeks – and, if something really got to her, she would giggle uncontrollably!

When I was 17, she lived with us for a year. I used to tell her everything. College work, friendships, crushes – she knew about it all. And she understood it all too. I used to love hearing her talk about falling in love with my grandad (whom I never met). I realised we were not so different after all.

In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been compared to my grandma. In particular, my inability to make a decision about anything has been attributed to her! Haha. And my love of reading and all-things-Disney are also grandma-isms!

I feel guilty that it has taken me so long to visit. It doesn’t mean that I don’t miss her. In fact it’s the opposite – I miss her so much, and I am afraid that I won’t be able to cope if I dwell on it. I have two little girls who depend on me, and I know Grandma always had a strong sense of duty – she would want me to keep going for them.

I miss her desperately but this cannot be a sad post. I strongly believe she is in heaven, just as she believed unwaveringly throughout her life. She is now who she was always meant to be.

Today would have been your birthday, Grandma x



Lucy At Home

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  1. 6
    Imperfect Mum

    Oh gosh this made me cry. Unbelievably I had just been thinking of my grandma today. I love how you said she used her whole face to smile. Wherever my gran was there was a party! She was a very special lady, I think our grans would have hit it off. #mg

  2. 8

    I am sorry about the death of your Grandma. Sometimes you need a really good cry. You just need to let some of the pain out. I am really glad that you can see the positives of her live and can celebrate her existence. I am sure she would want you to remember those happy memories. Pen x #mg

  3. 9

    Hi, thank you for sharing this heart warming post. It bought a tear to my eye. Enjoy all of those happy memories I still miss my nan and I lost her some time ago #dreamteam

  4. 13

    #triumphanttales sending love to you and yours. Don’t feel guilty, when it comes to grief there are no rules and if it didn’t feel right until now…then thats how it is. Love to your family x

  5. 14

    so sorry to hear about your Gran, mine died 12 years ago, it was her birthday on sept 14th. I don’t visit her grave on special dates just once or twice a year when I’m in the UK, I too grew up being compared to her. I think about her often and still go to buy her a gift when I go on holiday before remembering she’s nt here anymore and there are so many things I want to tell her still. My father died in July this year, it was his birthday in September also, I’m still grieving for him, the first’s are hard aren’t they? #triumphanttales

  6. 15
    Alan Herbert

    My Gran has dementia. In a way I’m lucky she lives in the USA. I have only seen her a handful of times since she went into the care home. Back then it was only in the early stages.
    I still remember her as she was.

  7. 16
    Lisa Pomerantz

    What a very sweet post. I miss my grandma so – she would just absolutely love my girls. She was fun, funny, silly, and would sing all the time. Your very sweet post left me thinking of my Nanny Helen. Thank you Lucy! I hope your grandma heard you, and it is good to know she is well again now… #blogcrush xoxo

  8. 17
    Mackenzie Glanville

    oh honey this is so beautiful. It resonates with such love and happiness. I can feel your love and how much you miss her. Dementia is so so sad, and mean. But I too believe that now she will be filled with happiness and lifted from that fog. Reunited with passed loved ones and watching over you an your family with pride. Happy birthday to your loving Grandmother. I am honoured that you shared this post with #mg Sending hugs xoxo

  9. 19
    Tracey Abrahams

    This post has made me a little sad. I lost my nan just over 5 years ago now but still miss her terribly. She was someone I have always held up as a role model. Not because of anything big or spectacular but because she had a brilliant attitude to life, nothing slowed her down (cancer included) and she never complained, she just got on with things. I can say as time goes on you will remember more of the things that make you smile and laugh and less of the things that make you sad xx

  10. 20
    Rhyming with Wine

    Lucy I’m so sorry that your Grandma isn’t here with you any more, but you have captured her memory here in such a beautiful way. She sounds like an incredible woman and this is such a touching tribute to her on her birthday. Lots of love to you. Thank you for sharing this with us at #DreamTeam x

  11. 21
    Mrs Mummy Harris

    Oh Lucy you’ve got me crying!!!! I am so sorry for your loss but I hope your Grandma is in Heaven, dementia free; looking down on you and your family with such pride.
    My nan is amazing, I didnt get her when I was younger and thought she was a bit of a moaner. However, as I got older i realised she is a hoot. As time has gone on I’ve realised I have her wicked sense of humour and if I could be like her as an older lady i would be super happy!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!

  12. 24
    A girl that needs advice

    My grandma just died a few minutes ago. And I know how u feel. Her birthday is in a few days and im debating about going to visit her. My dad doesn’t want to go and my mom doesn’t either but they said they will if it’s really important to me. Honestly I’m scared to go back the last time I was there i saw her burried. Does anyone have advice any advice, i would really appreciate it

    • 25
      Lucy At Home

      Oh gosh I am so sorry. How sad to lose her so close to her birthday.

      I think my advice would be – do what you need to do for YOU. Grief is different for everyone and we just need to let ourselves process things in our own way. If you want to go, then do it. But don’t go because you feel you should. It’s times like this that we need to practise self-care and just listen to what our hearts are telling us rather than worrying how we “should” be feeling or doing what we think people expect us to do.

      I am very sorry for your loss. Lucy

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