I’ve deleted the contents of this post quite a number of times over the last few weeks. I want to write about this as I wrote about my Grandad so it only seems fair but this feels so much harder to do. Unlike my Grandad, my Grandpa was like a second father and loosing him has been one of the most painful experiences of my life.
My Grandpa passed away on the 30th January, 2 days after LM’s birthday. My mum was called to his bedside on the Monday and along with her mother and her sisters they only came away at night. I like to firmly believe my Grandpa knew it was Little Miss’ birthday week and therefore didn’t want to over shadow her special day. My Grandpa loved Little Miss so much.
Although he was only 77, his death was classed as of “old age” as everything began failing him at the same time. He was in hospital from the very beginning of November until he passed away in January. Even now when I think of my Grandpa I don’t think of him as old and frail, I think of him as this big happy man with twinkling blue eyes however I’m lead to believe he wasn’t the same at the end. He’d lost so much weight and he was frail, I’m glad I never saw him like that so my memory is completely untarnished. He was cremated the following week and seeing my dad, uncles and cousins walk down the aisle with his coffin was one of the most heart breaking sights I have ever seen..
I have struggled with loosing my Grandpa so much more. I still remember the way his hand felt on mine, the sound of his voice and his mannerisms. Every time I think about the fact I’ll never see him again, I get a huge lump in my throat. Coming home from my holiday is going to be even harder knowing I won’t be able to go around to the cottage to talk all things USA, my Grandpa loved the US and had he not had a huge family here he would so have lived there.
My Grandpa was the head of our family. My mum’s side of the family is incredibly big as my grandparents had 5 children, 16 grandchildren and so far 13 great grandchildren. Of all things my Grandpa was most proud of his huge “dynasty” he’d built up. He was a devout Catholic (goodness knows why!) and we often butted heads about his beliefs and mine. He hated when we had children out of wedlock or “lived in sin” as he put it but at the end of the day as long as we were happy, he was happy. He claimed to have prayed every day for me to have a daughter while I was pregnant, even after I was told I was having a boy. Even on our “baby pool” he still said I would have a girl and ended up being the only one who still believed. Little Miss was his sunshine, his only great granddaughter to live in this country (his other ones live in Australia and America). She could do no wrong in his eyes.
I have some incredibly memories of my Grandpa. I have spent many an hour sat in his chair at the cottage talking about them with my cousins and aunts, sharing special moments we had with him to keep his memory alive. I was incredibly blessed to one year be in Georgia with my grandparents visiting my Uncle. My Grandpa was always at his best in America and I’m so lucky one year I got to experience that. He was a very kind and generous man, well known around our town. He was also funny in his own way, and very charming. He always reminded me of a British Sinatra but without the singing voice. He loved the summer so much, the light nights and going for walks. He loved an apple pie from Mcdonalds. He loved history, and ghost stories, he loved mint sweets and sitting in his arm chair. But above all, he loved us. Every one of us, especially my Nanny.
The most painful part of loosing my Grandpa is that my Nanny has been left behind. My grandpa was her only love, they married when she was 17 and he was 19. They did everything together. For a long time I could never imagine one without another, I still struggle with the concept. I can’t describe how close I am to my Grandparents, they were in my life from the moment I was born. Seeing my Nanny alone in the cottage, and worse.. the times i’ve seen her cry is like someone ripping my heart apart. If every second I cry about the fact I will never see my Grandpa again, I have to remember she’s feeling it a million times more. But through this, my Nanny has been an inspiration. A year ago if you told me how strong my Nanny would be alone I would have called you a liar. We were all terrified she would fall apart but through all of this she has walked tall. She has stepped into my Grandpa’s shoes at the head of the family and already she’s trying her hardest to be everyone’s support. I visit her three/four times a week and we sit and talk, and just being in her company gives me strength when I’m struggling. She is a remarkable woman. I’m sure my Grandpa would be beaming with pride if he could see her. Their love continues even though he is gone.
I’m not religious, I don’t believe my Grandpa and Grandad are in heaven so therefore at the moment I haven’t told LM where he is. I won’t be raising her to believe in heaven however when she’s old enough she will be able to make the choice herself. She has asked a couple of times, but she’s still easily distracted. My mum and her sisters talk as if my Grandpa is still around, and if I believe in anything, I believe in that. That he’s now part of the earth, the wind, the rain, the sea, the grass. So when the time comes where she presses me for his where abouts, maybe I’ll tell her that.
Loosing both my grandfathers in less than 6 weeks has marked a seriously hard time in my life. I haven’t been myself. I’ve struggled sleeping and even in talking to people. I even had to get my meds put up slightly to help me get by. I haven’t dealt with anything like this before and having gone to 0 funerals to going to 2 in such a sort space of time was so heartbreaking. Especially saying goodbye to two of the most important men in my life. I miss them every single day and it’ll take a long time for the hole in my heart to heal.
I miss you Grandpa, although you are gone, you’ll never be forgotten.