Sunday, 15 April 2012

goodbye to a beautiful lady


I am trying to get over the hardest few weeks I think I've ever had. I've been emotionally, mentally & physically drained of everything I have in me. But I'm trying to claw my way back. Trying to feel like me again. Trying to feel happy again.

My beautiful Nanna passed away just over a week ago after deciding that her time on earth was up. She broke her hip about a month prior, and the recovery and rehabilitation was just too hard for her. She was 86 years old and had lived a full and happy life. Mum thinks she heard Nanna whisper to my Dad in her last days: "Don't be sad". She knew it was her time to go. She has been reunited with Papa and her little girl that she lost at the tender age of three.

Nanna had Alzheimer's in her final years. She often didn't know our names, but she knew we belonged to her. She always, always knew who my Dad was though. We used to tease her that he was her "Perfect Pete". And in her last couple of weeks, perfect he was. He would spend just about every waking moment with her, sleeping for only a few hours, then going back to the nursing home to be by her side. Dad was the only one with her when she died. He was having a cup of tea and a biscuit with her and having a chat - her most favourite thing to do - and she gently slipped away. Dad thinks he may have even bored her to death! {My guess is that she died a happy lady listening to her wonderful son.}

Growing up, I saw Nanna & Papa nearly everyday. I was very close to both of them, and have so many memories of them both. They were like second parents to us, as grandchildren, and we received the most love you could get from two people. They never raised their voices, never got angry and were always pleased to have us around.

I wanted to be able to express all these loving memories that I have. So, when nobody put their hand up to do Nanna's Eulogy, I put mine up. I made it clear that I was happy to do it, as long as nobody else wanted to do it. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes. This is the part that has been the most draining for me. Writing it was easy, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in it. The hard part was one person's negative remarks, both in front of my face and behind my back. Things like: It should be a child of Nanna's doing the Eulogy, not a grandchild; a person delivering the Eulogy should have at least 50 years experience with the person; delivering a Eulogy is very confronting and difficult "Are you sure you think you can do it?" "I've done one before and it was so difficult to get up there in front of hundreds of people"; blah, blah, bloody blah. It not only made me furious, but made me want to prove him wrong. To cut a long story short, I delivered the Eulogy along with one of my Uncle's and two of my cousins. I was out to prove a point, so much so that I hardly shed a tear during the service {which is most unlike me}. I wanted to prove that I could, in fact, write and deliver a meaningful, heartfelt eulogy. One that got applause, mind you. I'm not sure how the Catholic Church sees applause during a liturgy, but we got it. And it felt good.

A funeral can either bring out the best or the worst in people. I saw extreme ends of both. The Uncle that delivered the Eulogy with me was an unbelievable support to me the night before Nanna's funeral. At one point, I cried my heart out {and possibly my eyes - see above} and his words were both comforting and gave me confidence. The other extreme was this unsupportive person, who made not only me angry, but the rest of the family as well. I don't think he could understand that it wasn't about him. It was always about Nanna. There was no congratulations or well done from him after the service or during the wake - more like avoidance. But it's ok. I got to do what I wanted to do, and that's give Nanna the best send off she could ever have.


The night after Nanna's funeral, I finally slept. All. Night. After a few weeks of having a few hours here and there, I finally had a full nights sleep. I'm still catching up on sleep, but I'm feeling better. Starting to feel like me again. Although I seem to have a few extra kilos on my body. A lack of exercise hasn't helped the situation. I'm back on the horse tomorrow.

This little space of mine has been a little neglected during this time. Not only have I been lacking time, but I have been seriously brain dead. I haven't even been able to hold down a simple conversation. Even the simplest words have been missing from my vocabulary!

It's so nice to be back.

4 comments:

  1. and it's SO nice to have you back. i'm so sorry you have had to go through this at all, let alone with this thoughtless and hurtful person making it even harder. i'm so proud of you for standing up and doing the eulogy. and your dad, your beautiful dad, make sure you give him a big hug from me xxxxx

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  2. Oh Lauren, I am so sorry to read the news of the loss of your Nanna. It is such a heartbreaking time. So trying for the family and friends left behind, as they attempt to not only farewell a beautiful life, but also make sense of it all personally. I went through a very similar experience with my Nana and Papa... both had dementia in the end and I was also very very close with them until they passed away.
    Well done to you for taking on the eulogy responsibilities and the person who made you feel bad needs to get over himself. It is such a shame when people have to be filled with nastiness and pettiness at a time like that. You can hold your head high Lauren, I have no doubt your Nanna is looking down, as proud as can be. Hugs xo

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  3. So sorry to hear your news. Thinking of you x

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  4. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My blog reading has been a little limited of late, so sorry for the lateness. Your Nanna and your Dad sound like the most wonderful people. I hope you are all doing well xx

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