At the start of August, I had four grandparents. I know, it’s not that common for a 30-something to have a full set, but I did. Up until the spring of 2016, the girls had seven great-grandparents. The older generation in our family have done quite well, really.
Now, I only have two grandparents. On the 22nd of August, my Grandad, who had been very ill for quite a long time, passed away. On the same day, my Nana went into hospital. We lost her on the 23rd of September – a month and a day after Grandad.
Both my parents have lost a parent. There are some comforts to be had, small though they are. Nana wanted to be home with Poppa, and they managed that. Grandad’s final days were relatively pain free, especially compared with the years leading up to them.
I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, emotionally. The summer holidays were busy, and stressful, trying to complete my office renovation before term started. Our week in Cornwall at the end of the holidays was supposed to be our R&R time – to decompress before getting back into the swing of things. Instead, we were helping prepare for the funeral and coming home a day early. The teacher training day, no longer a useful final day before school for sorting uniforms and bags, was spent with family saying goodbye to Grandad – and celebrating his life.
Our next teacher training day, this coming Monday, is another funeral. This one means a long drive to South West Wales and an overnight stay, so we’ve been scrambling to find childcare for the children and stressing about getting a hotel room booked, and so on. A very good friend is taking a day off work to look after the girls as they won’t be in school. I cried when I got her message.
Although I knew Nana was very poorly, losing her so soon after Grandad has me feeling like a mess. Emotionally volatile. Each death, on their own, is a difficult thing to deal with, but having one happen just as the waves from the first were beginning to settle has me really struggling. Add in my migraines being worse than usual due to overdoing things at the weekend, and the stress of this week, and I’m not in a great place right now. I vacillate between numbness and tears, while dealing with horrible pain levels and light & sound sensitivity.
I found out about Nana on Saturday morning, as we were driving up the motorway to Manchester for BlogOn Xmas. As part of the team, we were helping to organise the toy awards, and spent hours on Saturday setting them up. I kept busy, most of the weekend, which helped. On Saturday afternoon there was a quiet spell after we’d unpacked a bunch of boxes, and I sat down and had a little cry, which worried some of the other volunteers a bit! Thankfully I managed to avoid the waterworks on Sunday and even made it through my media pack talk without completely flubbing it. By the time we got home at half eleven I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I’d made it through the weekend though.
A small part of me wants it to be this time next week already, so I can stop worrying about things and concentrate on getting my house, my mind and my life back in order – the DIY chaos still isn’t completely dealt with, my inbox is a bit of a mess, and although I got a good amount of work done in early September the todo list is starting to get longer again. I feel a bit like I’m in limbo, and I can’t work this week while I’m this ill – making the added expense of driving and staying overnight in Wales a bit more stressful. Then I feel guilty for worrying about stuff like that.
Both Grandad and Nana were such lovely people. Grandad was really kind, thoughtful, and had such a fantastic sense of humour. Nana was so warm and friendly, and completely bonkers in the best way. I loved them both, very much. I hope they knew that.