Grief

Maybe it’s the PTSD, maybe it’s because it’s the 29th of May. Either way, it’s a flat day today. It’s my beloved Nanna’s anniversary.

I’ve blogged about Nanna before. In previous (now defunct) blogs. Each year I think that maybe dedicating a portion of my day to writing about her will help my sadness, but it doesn’t.

I still miss her terribly. I still yearn for her. My grief isn’t raw like it was on May 29, 2007, but it’s still very much there.

I feel guilty and selfish over her death. Guilty because she was so ill for so long prior to her death. Guilty because she suffered for seven weeks before finally succumbing to disease. Selfish because here I am, a registered nurse who could see her pain, still wishing she was physically here.

My Nanna was a wonderful woman, who I was terribly close to. I spent considerable time with her growing up and I attribute so much of the woman I am today, to how she shaped and influenced me.

In her last ten years, the roles we played were significantly reversed. While she still ‘cared’ for me, I (with my mum and aunty) definitely shouldered her physical care. Taking her to doctors appointments, house work, cooking meals, racing to the emergency department behind the ambulance.

My Nanna was a wonderful lady. She lived a long and full life. She never wanted for material possessions. She was not a traveller.

She did however live for her family. One sure thing in life, was Nanna in her kitchen and Pa sitting in his chair.

She loved the country. She grew up on a farm with cows, sheep and chickens. She loved Slim Dusty’s music. Her favourite colour was blue. She never drove a car or caught a plane. If she couldn’t walk or catch a train, unless someone else was driving, the destination wasn’t worth it.

Summer holidays were spent with my cousins and neighbourhood children. Water fights, days out to the pool, walking up the the take away store for hamburgers. Catching the train to the nearest town centre. Making apple pies and jam tarts. Christmas was all about Nanna’s custard. It was simple. It was idyllic. It was wonderful.

Part of this terrible trauma has been my sheer grief for Nanna. I’m desperate for her to tell me that everything is going to be ok. Just like when I was a little girl. For cuddles. For conversation. For her lessons in life.

I took my Miss out to the cemetery last year for Nanna’s birthday. It’s too cold today to take her out again. It was bittersweet to sit by Nanna and Pa’s graves ‘introducing’ them to my little girl. How I wish she’d have known them herself. I just know that they’d have loved each other very much. Just like I loved her (and of course my Pa) so much. It brings me great joy to know that my mum, my dad and my girl have a close relationship, just like I had with my grandparents.

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This is the only photo I could find of my Nanna and I, after she died. Twenty four years and all we have is a photo of me at about two weeks old. Nanna hated her photo being taken, so we’d oblige and not take them. How I wish we’d ignored her wishes. I am so thankful for my memories. They’re worth so much more than a photograph.

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