Monday, 12 September 2011

Just Breathe. .


On Friday i got the call, my Grandad was nearing the end of his earthly journey.

On Saturday morning he passed away.

I am not really certain how i feel yet. I haven't even had a moment to sit down and process the information properly. I haven't even shed a tear. Sure i have spent plenty of time on the phone to my mum and booked my flight for the funeral. But I find myself wondering, how do i feel about this?
I am hoping that writing this all down will help me process.

What i do know is, i am so glad that i made the trip to see him a couple of weeks ago. I got to see and speak to him while he was still conscious and he got to meet my gorgeous little ones, for this i feel most grateful and revealed.  I am glad that he didn't have to suffer for long and it wasn't drawn out for everyone's sake. At eighty seven, he was old and had had a good life. I don't mean to sound insensitive, i am just realistic. He was ready to go, he had told me so, you could see it in his eyes.

That doesn't mean i am any less sad. he was my Grandad after all. We haven't been so close in resent years, but as a child we spent a lot of time together. We lived close to my Grandparents and spent many an afternoon at their place. Apple cake, orange juice and tea for the grown ups was the way it went. In the summer we swam in their pool and let the cat lick melted ice cream from our bowls. My Grandad was  tough but kind, playful but strong. He drank whiskey and beer and sometimes the two together, in these cute little schooner glasses with his name engraved on them. He was handy too, or at least seemed to be. He made us our very own special table and chairs, had a garage he spent a lot of time in and painted anything that stood still lovely mission brown and in later years that awful green colour. He sat at his table in the sun and read the newspaper for what seemed like all day, he had a budgie called Lucky in a yellow birdcage and a dog called Tiger along with many others. For a while there i went to church with my Grandparents every Sunday, i liked the stories and the singing.

I loved the time spent together and although our relationship changed over the years it does not mean it was of any less importance. Just different.

What makes me most upset about the whole thing, is my family. My Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. One would think at this difficult, stressful and highly emotional time that they could come together, put their differences behind them, that they could begin to treat each other with compassion and kindness. But no. The bitterness continues. A stake has been driven between them all, causing such division and heartbreak.
Living so far away, i feel removed from the situation, some would say i am the black sheep having left the flock, but this way i have a better view and can see clearly what is going on. I wish i could stand before them all and speak my mind freely. I would tell them how foolish they are. Can they not see how short this life is? That all their lies are unnecessary. They should be honest with each other and communicate openly. It is the only way to move forward. They should be united and grieve together.
I don't think they even know why they are fighting anymore. Maybe it is because they are all too similar? No one honestly really knows what has gone on over the years to make the family this way. The truth is lost and each one of them tells a different story.

I wish i could say it all, i know i won't, i don't have the balls.

But i will go. Be there to support my mum. And say goodbye to my Grandad.

And the tears will flow.


How have you and your families reacted to the loss of a loved one? Did it bring them together or cause more problems like it has mine?



x jody



image here.

17 comments:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad you got to say a proper goodbye, one he was aware of and that you can look back on with gratitude.

    I'm afraid my mother's death (she was 43) tore our family apart. It's been 8 years and we are more fragmented than ever. I have no contact with any of my siblings or my mother's family. My Dad is the only one I still have contact with, and vice versa. (My mother would be shattered, but I know also that she'd have taken Dad's 'side').

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  2. Oh Jody, I am teary reading this.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am relieved that you got to say goodbye properly to him.

    Sometimes death does strange things to people. Grief can take an ugly form and people react differently. I hope the fighting subsides and that they all come together to celebrate the life of your Grandfather.

    I know all too well, the situation are you in. My cousin was fighting agressive cancer not long after I moved to Singapore 3 yrs ago. She was only 35 and was very sick. My mother called me every day and gave me updates. Then I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. Mum called and said "If you want to see her alive, you need to get on a plane tomorrow", and I told her I just found out I was pregnant. We cried and cried. We both agreed that flying home to see her dying in a hospital wasn't the right thing to do. That I should keep the happy memories I have of her. She died 3 days later. I didn't fly home for the funeral. I regretted it for awhile, because I wasn't there to support my family. But I had to take care of me and put myself first.

    I hope the next few days aren't too painful for you and your family. Remember the good times you had with him. Keep them close to your heart.

    xxx Sam

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  3. So sorry to hear this news Jody.

    There are so many families out their who don't get along - and when there is the added stress and emotion of a passing those feelings intensify.

    The only advice I can offer you is to be the calm amidst the possible storm.

    Blessings sweet one x

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear the news, Jody. At the same time, though, I'm happy for you that you were able to have that precious time with your grandpa before his passing.

    These next few days (weeks? months? I'm not sure when it stops hurting to lose someone so close as 9 months on I still think about a dear relative every day) will be hard and, I imagine, intense as everyone deals with their emotions and loss. I hope that the funeral remains about celebrating his life and giving the farewell that he deserves. Take care. I'll be thinking of you xx

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  5. Oh Jody, I'm so sorry. It's always hard, no matter the distance or the circumstance.

    All the cliches about losing someone are cliches because they're true. Time heals...especially.

    Though have to admit that I don't know how to deal with fragmented families. Mine has always become stronger after a death.

    Let me know if there's anything I can do.
    xxx

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  6. I'm so sorry Jody.

    My family has many, many problems and I am estranged from all of them as a result. This meant that I didn't speak to my Grandmother for the final years of her life, nor attend her funeral, as there was such a divide amongst her daughters and granddaughters.

    It is a heavy burden that I carry, but families can be so complex, sometimes we just have to do what is in our own best interests. Self preservation and all of that stuff.

    Sending you love, hugs and strength for the week ahead. xx

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  7. Oh sweet, I am so sorry to hear your news... Its not worth wasting your precious time with those who don't want it. Share your memories with your Mum and support each other as she will return the love and that is what counts xx

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  8. Sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Don't worry about not knowing how you feel yet, there's no timeline, no right way to grieve. xx

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  9. So sorry Jody. Families can be so much hard work I know and I think stress and grief magnify family difficulties x 1000. I hope you can find some peace in amongst it all. xx

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  10. So sorry to read of the passing of your grandfather, Jody. Much love xx

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  11. Bitterness is such an ugly, ugly thing. I'm sorry it's tarnishing an already glowless time for your family, Jody. I'm sorry you lost your grandfather. I do think you were very lucky to have him in your life for so long. x

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  12. Oh Jody, I am sorry to learn of the loss of your grandfather. I really enjoyed this post, reading about your memories as a child. It really warmed my heart and I could imagine all of the experiences you described so vividly. This piece would be a nice one to show your Mama... maybe!? You could always leave off the parts about the family. It is sad to hear of your family feuding, it is always sad when a family fights. I never quite understand it myself and I always hope that people will just come to their senses before it's too late. But who ever really knows what has gone before, only the people involved can know that. You can stand tall and feel proud of yourself for handling the situation so maturely and with such sensitivity Jody, you did a very good thing visiting your grandfather when you did. No regrets is always a fine way to live your life. Hugs sweetie :o) xo

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss, Jody.

    Sometimes when people have been fighting for so long, it becomes less and less about any actual cause or event... but becomes purely about pride. It's very sad.

    Sometimes moving away from such a negative family energy can be the best thing (I know it helped me).

    Just remember that it's not up to you to fix anything. People have to be responsible for their own lives and relationships with others. You just concentrate on you and your immediate family... be there for your Mum but don't get dragged into anything. From experience, I feel this is the best advice I can give.

    Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.
    Claire x

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  14. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandad jody. It's such a sad time and unfortunately this does not always bring out the best in people! It sounds like you have some beautiful memories though and that is so important, it really helps! I lost both my grandad's within a year of each other and looking back on all the memories I had and sharing them, really helped, especially when some family members were being... well let's say less than nice. Thinking of you, sam xx

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  15. My goodness, I am so out of the loop, I've only just found this post. Jody, I'm so so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how sad you must feel. I've never lost a family member before (touch wood), and I'm DREADING the day when I'm finally confronted with the reality of death. Thinking of you and your family xxx

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  16. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

    Big hugs coming your way. xx

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  17. So sorry for your loss and the compound pain from family issues. I know a bit about both and at its height some years ago, I was so pleased to be living interstate. Things have settled in some areas partly because pride was swallowed years after anyone remembered why there was a rift. In other cases, splits have been irreparable. Families are complicated because people can be so nuanced. I just try to make sure I'm okay with everyone and be separately supportive and loving towards those in conflict. I hope you had a good time this past week remembering your grandpa's life.

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Thank you so much for stopping by, i love hearing from every one of you! xx

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