Dear Nan,

Everybody hates Monday when it comes, everyone dreads the moment the clock ticks 12 and suddenly, the day everyone hates is there. I used to hate Monday, but now I hate Tuesdays. I dread the moment that Tuesday rolls around because it’s a week since you’ve been gone. You died on a Tuesday and now I can never look at it the same. I’m aware that it’s a bit irrational and you’d probably tell me to stop but I don’t think I can. How can I look forward to a Tuesday when it’s the day you left this world? I hate Tuesdays now.

You died. I have to keep reminding myself of that, every time I walk to the shop I look over and expect to see you sat outside Uncle Steve’s. I have to remind you that I’ll never see you sat outside again. You died holding my hand. I watched you as you took your final breath and I knew that you had what you always wanted. You’re with Uncle Neal, and you’re probably up there shouting at us to be strong but if anyone knows what grief is like, it’s you. Growing up, hearing your stories I always used to think you’d be the one person to live forever. That if God ever told you that it was your time, you’d tell him to fuck off. That if anyone would live forever it would be you because of the strength you had, the strength that went down to the very marrow in your bones. Even when you physically weak, your strength shined through. I always wanted to be like you. To be so fearless, you’d scare demons away with just a look. To be so strong that if anyone ever tried to move you, you’d plant yourself in the ground and tell them to go fuck themselves. You were my strength, the place I ran whenever my world got too much for my shoulders. You were… you were everything to this family. You were the pillar of strength, a sounding board, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, an auntie, you were everything. And I know they say god always takes the best of us to be angels, but I never wanted him to take you.

I am guilty of a lot of things, and I’ve already told you this, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t see you as much as I should have. I’m sorry that while you were battling your demons, I battled mine and I couldn’t face it. Sometimes my guilt suffocates me, but I knew you’d say that if you couldn’t take of yourself, you’d be no use to anyone else.

I miss you. I miss the way you’d swear like a sailor. I miss your stories. I miss the way you’d grip onto me when you hugged me. I miss the way you would always call me darling. I miss the way you always spoke your mind. I miss the way you’d slyly ask for a cup of coffee. I miss the way you’d stamp up the stairs and whack me with a slipper to get me out of bed. I miss the way you’d smile at me when I told a joke. I miss our conversations. I just fucking miss you so much.

I just want you to know that I’m so grateful that I got to be your granddaughter. Without you, I wouldn’t have the relationship I do with my dad. You showed me and made me realise the sacrifices he made, the things he did that I took for granted, and you made me realise that I’m so fucking grateful that he’s the dad I got given. You always used to call me a wise old soul but I was only wise because of you.

I’m not going to pretend you were perfect because you wasn’t, you had your flaws, but you owned them. You were so unapologetically yourself. You didn’t give a toss about who heard you, if you had something to say people were going to hear about it. You had a temper, you had a mouth like could make a sailor blush, you were hard on the outside, you were tough, but to those lucky few? You gave your love freely. You always used to say you didn’t have any friends, you only had family. And you were surrounded by family in those last days. And now you’re at peace.

I’ve never believed in god. But you did. And I know that he’s got you. And even though I’ll miss you everyday, and I’ll grieve for you everyday, you’re in a much better place. I hate that you had to go and leave us, but I know that you’ve got a coffee and a fag up there, and you’re having a good old catch up with Uncle Neal, and your Mum and dad. You were surrounded by family here, and I’m so glad that you’re surrounded up there by family as well. As family was one of the most important things to you.

I don’t want to end this, because it’ll just be another goodbye. So, I’m just gonna leave it with one more message.

I love you, and I miss you.

– I’ve debated publishing this, but I spoke to my dad and he said it was okay to publish it. I’ve always used writing as a coping mechanism, but I struggled with this. I’m not coping, and writing this hasn’t made any of it easier. I’m still on auto pilot I think, and I’m not ready to say goodbye. How am I supposed to find the right words? My grief is pretty much like the current, and I’m just waiting for that tidal wave to come and sweep me under.

Anyway, I just wanted to write something and I decided to write a letter. Because I can’t put my grief into words, so I thought I wouldn’t. I’d just talk to my nan. Thank you dad, for allowing me to write and publish this. I know that right now the world fucking sucks, and you’ve always been such a private person, but I love you.

Rest in peace, Nan. No one deserves it more than you do. I love you.

🎶In Loving Memory – Alter Bridge. 🎶

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