Saturday 17 September 2011

The Lonliness of Grief

This Blog is not exactly uplifting, so make the decision whether to read on now.

Time to me has always been elastic. There was always plenty of time for everything I might need to do and if something couldn't be done then there was always another day. But life, it turns out, is extremely short. It is impossible to know how much more time we have to fill, it can end so abruptly.

Last week at the Bristol half Marathon, a collegue of Andy's having been as fit as a fiddle with a healthy lifestyle and young children had a heart attack and died. He was 32. On the 2nd January 2007 my friend Caroline called to say our good friend Oli Cowling died of motor neurons disease at age 23. And two years ago my Grandmother, Gwen Greenaway, died very suddenly. She may not have been very young, but she was so busy and so full of life, her passing effected everyone around her. And it is my Grandma I want to remember for her incredible awesomeness today, because i still feel the grief I have for her almost too heavy to bear.

Nearly all her life my Grandma was part of the Girl Guide association, right from a Girl Guides as a teenager to Trefoil Guild right until the end of her life. She had always been nearly completely blind but never let it stop her from doing anything, she would ride about on the bus to go to town, or go with the Trefoil Guild camping. One of my most vivid memories was walking back from college and as I was walking past the Bath weir, there she was, sat on a bench. I hadn't known she was coming, and I've never been so happy to see anyone! And she was happy to see me. She just radiated sunshine, even when she felt sad herself.

Conversely though, I remember missed opportunities to see her. I had planned to see her the week before she passed and I couldn't make it. I called her and rearranged for two weeks later...too late. And I think this is the reason I still have the grief so raw in my heart. I miss her so much, and I know I'm not the only one.

I don't think I'll ever be without this sadness. Everytime I look at my Dad I can see her, they look so alike, but that makes me remember all the good things. Owls for one. Allinson brown bread with Golden Churn. Boscombe. Eggo. Corinthian (Played by the king and Young Princes). The very old biscuit tin. The extremely soft camp bed. Gillam Road. Staying there in the summer.Stories about my Dad, my uncle Steve, my Auntie Lori. The animated way she talked about my cousin Ali. More owls. Those weird squirrels. She was amazing. I shall remember her for all those things and many more, and always miss her. I think that's the only way to cope with grief, isn't it?