Yesterday was 20 years since my Grandad passed away. Just typing that out is quite unbelievable but I’ll never ever forget sitting on the sofa whilst my Mom answered the phone to my Dad to hear the news that he had died. I remember not really knowing what to say but as soon as Mom said that Dad had hung up because he got all upset that was my trigger. I felt so sad for my own Dad that he no longer had his.
My Grandad had been poorly for some time and I remember visiting him in hospital but as a 9 year old girl I had no previous experiences of anyone being ill so it was a novelty going on a day trip out. I wasn’t particularly close to my Dads parents. They lived a long way away and we only saw them a few times a year but the day he passed away I was due to run a cross country. It was a grey, dull drizzly October day and my Mom said I should still go and that it may take my Dads mind off everything. We went and I did appalling – but all the time I could just think of my poor Dad feeling so sad. 20 years on and that day is still incredibly fresh in my mind. I cannot recollect other relatives anniversaries that have passed away bar the obvious but my Grandad was the first time I had ever witnessed grief first hand. And it stuck with me. Not in a damaging or negative way but in a way that opened my eyes.
I worry so much about the lasting effect that losing Mom has had on Charlie. He often talks about her and brings her up in conversation but I know Charlie and he’s a very deep sensitive kid. He spent almost every weekday with her from the age of 13 months until he was 4 and a quarter. His early years were filled with days with Granny and this cannot simply be forgotten.
There’s been a few things that have happened that make me worry there is something we really haven’t scratched the surface of and I wonder if in time they may come out. His school did fundraiser for Macmillan for a pupil and there was a talk in assembly which shook him up. He came home and cried which for Charlie is unheard of; he was scared he was “going to catch cancer and die” which to hear from a 6 year old is soul destroying.
Charlie has been exposed to the family’s grief as we have tried ourselves as adults to come up terms with losing Mom. I cannot process it still so goodness knows how this little boy is getting it through his head. I pray that losing her will not have a negative effect on him. We will continue to chat, share and smile about our memories with her and I’m determined to never let any of them forget her. There are some people in life that are just too important to let slip away. B xx