I miss my gran.
It comes in slapping gulps, every now and then, flashes of cold water reality shocking my psyche. It’s a different kind of missing someone, a different kind of mourning. My life has continued relatively normally since she’s been gone– there has been no huge adjustment to make, I haven’t had to reassess my entire existence the way I did after Tony died.
It’s just that my Gran has been so firmly woven into my life, ever since I was a child… sometimes my mind bumps over the expectance of her being here. I’ll drive past her street, or think of her in present tense.
I’m exquisitely aware of the absence of her. Of how she’s always been here…and now she’s not. It takes me by surprise. And every time, I cover it up, shovel life over the top of it until it doesn’t hurt so much any more.
I can’t grieve anymore. I’ve only just made my way out of the blackness of that pain, of missing my husband. I’m reluctant to begin mourning all over again. It doesn’t feel right, missing someone piecemeal and in parts, rather than as an all encompassing presence.
But at the same time, this feels like grief untainted and pure. Missing someone without being angry at them for leaving, without feeling a though the Universe got it wrong.
The memory of my grandmother is rich and worn, comforting and familiar; the softly worn paper of a book I’ve read a thousand times. I remember fretting badly, the night of Tony’s funeral, worrying that I would lose the sound of his voice. That it would fade out of existence and I’d no longer remember what it sounded like when he said my name.
I’ve not encountered that thought yet about my grandmother. Her voice comes into my head unbidden, so distinct it may as well be her there speaking in front of me. The crinkle of her eyes, the sound of her laugh. Her warm, comforting practicality.
I hold the memory of her as a omen, a token, a warm blanket to wrap myself in. Proof that there’s goodness in the world. Proof that lives well-lived are entirely possible.