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 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