I received some bad news recently. Two days ago my mum let me know that my grandma on my dad’s side passed away in her sleep. She’s been ill for a while and passed peacefully and without pain, yet it still comes as a shock and with a lot of sadness.
I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet that I lost a grandma. My brain is aware of it but I haven’t processed it all yet. Nanna and I were never very close. We didn’t see each other very often when I was growing up and once I moved to the US we never really got back in contact. The last memories I have of her were fifteen years go when we visited because grandad was ill. I have a few memories from visits when I was very young and I remember her big round glasses and tight curly hair, but nothing very concrete beyond that.
A part of me feels guilty for never reaching out and getting to know her better, yet at the same time she didn’t reach out to me either. It’s completely illogical but I think a part of me always imagined there’d be time. Growing up there would be large gaps between visits to family members but they always came back around when someone got married or had children or a big birthday. Death brings a finality and I think I’m still processing that.
Right now I’m just letting it all flow over me, and letting the realization that I’m down to one surviving grandparent sink in. I feel really bad for my father who has lost his last surviving parent. I love him deeply and despite the fact we aren’t great at sharing emotions with one another I hope he knows I’m there for him if he needs me.
It’s been an odd week emotionally. Everyone says it, but I do really still think of myself as someone in their early twenties rather than half way through my thirties. Losing a family member reminds me just how fast the timeline zips along. It’s a good reminder to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and let them know they mean something to you. You might find you have fewer chances than you think.