Apr 22

So it’s April, which must mean another family funeral.

This time last year my wife’s dad died and we had to go back to North Carolina for a week. This April my grandmother died and I had to go back to Northern Ireland for a couple of weeks. All my elderly relatives will be on tenterhooks this time next year…

My grandmother was 85 in January. She was a grandmother at just 41, and considering I wasn’t even a parent until I was almost 38, well, wow. I always loved having a young grandparent growing up, actually my grandfather wasn’t much older of course, although that seems a lifetime ago now. I used to go to her house every day for lunch, and then again after school. I went and stayed with her for holidays and stuff as well, and spent a lot of time with her as I grew up.

For the last decade or so she has been confined to a nursing home and didn’t really have a great quality of life. She never even wanted to leave her room really, so it was a long, long way from the woman I grew up with. Still, it’s always hard when these things happen no matter what.

I was humming and hahing about going, but I’m glad I did in the end. Even for an old woman who lived on her own with little to her name there is still a lot to do: paperwork to be filled in, forms to be registered, a funeral to be planned, etc. My mum and my aunt were both exhausted having spent days by her bed with little sleep, so it was good I was there to take the pressure off a bit. I was delighted I did go over, and I know I made the right decision.

I gave a talk on Saturday to the Romance Writers of America so I had to come back, but I’m glad I had something to come back for because it would have been easy to stay on there an extra week or so. But life goes on, painful as it is for those of us left behind.

So goodbye Nanny. I love and miss you. And I’ll be back with a more uplifting blog next month. Until then, keep well.

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