I’ve thought quite hard about writing this post mostly because I am not too comfortable with public displays of emotion, things like what I am about to write are private. However this is no ordinary circumstance and I’d like to be able to look back in a few years time and remember how I felt and what this person meant to me. This post is for me.
Yesterday at about 5:30pm my Grandma passed away.
In simple terms I am devastated about this, my grandma was the only grandparent I knew, I don’t remark this in a bitter way its simply how life ended up. So devastated, yes, but in other ways I feel joyous and pleased. Joyous and pleased, for rather than this being a tragic situation, a life taken away in its prime, an unexpected shocking demise, it is a chance to celebrate a remarkable life.
Nana Kath, as she was known to everyone was just over 100 years old. Now in years to come this may not be a remarkable age, but today it is. Think about this, my Grandma was born Sept 22nd 1912, thats two years before the first world war. In 100 years she has lived through a lot and seen unprecedented change.
Unfortunately I couldn’t give you the history and life story of my Grandma, there are many facts I would end up getting wrong and 65 years had already been and gone when I was born. What I can tell you is that during all of the years I was privileged to have with her I have rarely met a keener mind. Her memory always amazed me, she recount stories from her childhood as if it was yesterday. In another time and place she would have achieved so much, but shackled by circumstances and the time of life she achieved everything a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother should.
Right up to the age of 100 she lived an independent life, a quiet life in the heart of yorkshire. She lost her beloved Charlie nearly 30 years ago, a long time to be apart.
In her last few years she was loved and remarked a sense of awe by all she knew and met. Her 100th birthday party being a fantastic celebration where she far outlasted even the most optimistic expectations of her. Family and friends from far and wide together in appreciation.
The last 6 months have been hard and in the end I like to think she knew it was time to go and I am thankful for the small mercy of her not suffering. Its time to be reunited with Charlie.
In her final days in hospital two tales epitomise my Grandma for me. When she was first admitted to hospital her first remark to the nurses was:
I hope you’re not going to put me in a ward with all the old folk.
And when a nurse found out she was 100 she asked whether she had received a telegram from the Queen and if she had put it up on her wall, her reply was:
Oh yes I got one of those but there’s no room for it on my wall, its full of important pictures of my family.
She kept her humour to the end and even in her wane was still a shining light.
R.I.P. Nana Kath, I love you.