Slowly.... Methodically.....


Well. It's over. The end of an era. I have been imagining the day for at least the last 25 years.

We sat in the church and I did not look at the coffin. It was nothing to do with the Nanna that I knew and loved. It was somehow foreign. I sat and listened and laughed at the eulogy. It was quite funny. It was beautifully written. The only place I thought I was really going to lose it was when they read My Grandmother's Hands. A simple poem I had penned years before to go in one of my scrapbook albums. But, I held it together. I reminded myself that this is not her....... I have many wonderful memories that are her.... not this...... not this freezing cold church.

::It was strange::

Outside the church we all stood around. We had been told that there would be a private cremation. I was talking to a cousin when suddenly we noticed that processing out of the long driveway was the three clergy, two dressed in white and one dressed in black stepping slowly in front of the hearse as it crept along the long driveway out into the street.

Did anyone even notice that she was sneaking away silently ? We stood there and watched, but didn't say anything to each other. That is the way she wanted it. She would step away slowly, privately, unnoticed and without any fuss.

Driving the seven hours back home I was surprised that I wasn't sadder. Truth is we were all so sick, too sick really to even have ventured so far.

All the way home I thought that when I knew she had decided to go, I would never be able to write another word on A Vision Splendid, nothing more about my Grandmother's ways. But when she died I felt stronger than ever that I had a duty to capture all the good things about her and craft them into my own life to make me a better person and to empower the lives of others.

But..... all in good time.

At present I am sick...... we are all sick. We are slow and steady. Even though i am not 'sad' as such, I think it is part of the realisation and the mourning.

I go about my tasks very slowly...... methodically....... I haven't been anywhere, or spoken to anyone. I am practicing a little self preservation because, as my sister told me... the cogs of life have turned. I feel as thought we have all stepped up one place in the generations. My children have become who I was, I am now my mother and my mother steps fully into her role as Grandmother. The wheels of life turn.

So, for as long as required, I am going slow. I am surrounding my self in nurture - wherever I may find it. So far I have found comfort in lovely meals, hot baths and of course...... coloured paper. I have been making some beautiful cards.... there is something very healing about cutting out a perfectly stamped pink flower.

So...... for now......... I take things as slowly as required.

13 comments:

Suzan said...

I tried to write to express my sorrow for you over this loss. Your post today sums up so many things. You are very right to take all the time you need. Grieving is such a personal journey. Lots of loving thoughts for you and yours. Your grandmother has left you and us, via you, a tremendous legacy and I thank you for it.

libby said...

Hi Michelle,

HUGS!!!!I remember feeling much the same way as you when my grandparents died (only have one Granny left now). Sounds like you have everything settled in your heart and mind and that is good. Take care of yourself and your family and I hope you are all well again very soon.

Libby

Tracy said...

So sorry to hear of your grandmother's passing and that you have been sick. Take care of yourself and allow yourself time to mourn. Hope you feel better soon! {{hugs}}

Kez said...

{{HUGE HUGS}}

Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

DEar Michelle, I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your inspirational grandmother. I fully understand the need to take it slow, to heal slowly at home in your own time and I encourage you to take whatever time you need and to grieve in what ever way feels right. There is no 'rightway' to do this. My daughter died 16 months ago and I experienced the same desire to retreat and lick my wounds. Like you I was fortunate I did not have to step back onto the treadmill of a job, so I was able to take all the time it took, which was just over a year. Some days went ok others didn't. I just likened it to floating on the ocean and travelling whichever way the waves of grief took me. God bless you, Julia

Julie said...

Sensible as always, your Nanna would be proud. Glad to hear that you are taking it easy.

Sending cyber {{{hugs}}} and get-well vibes your way.

Subtropical Happiness take 2 said...

{{HUGS}} I miss my Nana so very much.

Anonymous said...

Your gran would be so proud of you and what you have achieved, she was such a huge influence in your life and will continue to be, she lives on through you and your beliefs in A Vision Splendid. She'll be sitting up in heaven smiling down you today and every day.

Hope you are feelng better soon

Anonymous said...

Take care of yourself.
cheers Kate

Ramsey said...

I hope you and your Family give each other exactly what is needed... that amazing love and comfort in the presence of the trusted few. Hang in there and recover...Nana will be disappointed if you drop the bundle now.
A full life, lived with a loving Family has to be one of the best options you can wish for.

Your Nana was lucky to have someone younger in which she could really talk to and know that you were really listening...such a painfully rare thing these days.

Rest...Recover...and Continue On. Allow youself to pause everynow and again to remember your wonderful ancestors whose everyday battle allowed us to have our time in the Sun.

Chris said...

I'm not surprised that you weren't drawn to her coffin at the funeral. When my husband's father died of cancer 3 years ago (yesterday) I burst into tears whenever I saw his coffin.

I balled when we walked behind the coffin on the way to his final resting place. I balled when they lowered him in too.

I didn't know him as well as his own family of course, but it's strange that I was brought to tears every time I saw his coffin. You're absolutely right. He wasn't there (like your Nan) and I guess I was reminded every time I looked.

So I think the way your Nan said goodbye was very in the spirit of her life.

Take care of yourselves, rest up and I hope you all return to wellness soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I ahve been following your posts for a little while now, and find joy and peace and hope in them! Thankyou for sharing about the loss of your Grandmother. My neighbour is experiencing the loss of her own Grandmother right now, and I was wondering whether I could share the two poems you've shared with her? "My Grandmother's Hands" and "A Time for Everything" - who should I document as the author of the poems (did you write both yourself?)
Thanks once again, and my thoughts are with you too!
From Michelle (Brisbane)

BusyWoman said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

Michelle (from Brisbane) you can credit the poet 'copyright avisionsplendid.com'. A Time For Everything is from the bible - the book of ecclesiastes 3:1-8.