When I was a little girl I considered myself lucky, for many reasons, but one being because I hadn’t experienced the loss of a loved one, when plenty of other children around me had. I remember kids in my class who had lost their nans and granddads or sometimes even a parent.
I thought that I understood death or the concept of it, but that is truly impossible when I don’t even understand it now and I’m nineteen years old.
As I grew up people around me did pass away, but it was never anyone close.
I think that the first time death had an impact on me was when I was a teenager and my pet hamster died. It sounds silly but I was really sad to see my first little pet go, even when I knew that their life expectancy was very small.
I’m an emotional person anyway, so death is just something that I cannot fathom. I have since experienced death and loss a bit more, but I still can’t get my head around it. Or maybe its life that I can’t get my head around?
You may be wondering why I sound so morose. Well, death has been something that I have been unable to avoid thinking about this week. October ended on a bit of a low for me, when it had been such a pleasant month. Calm before the storm maybe?
My granddad Bill, my dad’s father, is very poorly in hospital. On Monday I went with my mum’s father, my other grandpop to see Bill. It was the probably one of the hardest and saddest things I’ve had to do.
Although he was conscious when we were there, he doesn’t make any sense so its not like you can have a proper conversation or a goodbye with him. It didn’t make it any easier though. My two granddads have been very good friends ever since my mum and dad have been together, and there was something very surreal and moving seeing my grandpop feed Bill and stroke his hand.
I’m pretty sure that I’m going to live with that memory for the rest of my life. I held his hand before we left and he squeezed it back, and I felt an intense surge of sadness pass over me.
It dawned on me this week that my granddad never got to know me as an adult. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was little, and as I’ve grown and developed as a person his illness has got worse.
My family knew that this year was going to be difficult in terms of my granddad because his decline is so clear to us, both physically and mentally. And although we knew he was rapidly getting worse I don’t think we quite imagined this would be how it ended. I know that my dad is very glad that we made the most of this year and went out together as a family with my granddad, because we won’t ever have the chance again.
Sad times lie ahead of us, but the saddest thing at the moment is having to see my granddad in this condition. I hope that his body finds the peace it deserves soon, because that will be the kindest thing for him now.