Saying Goodbye to Gran…

I may just have issues with letting go but I have found it very odd to think that as my reading life, and this blog too, goes on I won’t really mention Gran so much anymore. She was such a huge part of my life and my reading it doesn’t feel like it’s over. It had seemed strange to me to possibly end it all on merely the books that she has left behind that I will now go on to read; it didn’t seem like an apt ending, not quite yet.

So I thought I would share the final physical farewell we had for Gran ourselves a few weekends ago when we did her ashes, a weekend I have to say I was dreading as it loomed ever nearer. I think I am still quite raw about her death and her knot being here. I still often think of something I must ring her to tell her, even though I was with her as much as I could be after we discovered she was terminally ill, with her when she died and even though we have had the funeral. Yet we do have to move on, we have to find that dreaded cliché of a thing called ‘closure’.

It was with this in mind that we Savidge’s, just Gran’s children and me, met up for the weekend to do the final clearing of the house and of course the ashes. Well do you know what, I think Gran would have been really proud because even though it was very sad in many ways it often ended in hysterics, partly because when you are highly emotionally charged everything ends up in hysterics. For example before we had even left the house we had been in hysterics at the fact that when we went to get the remainder of my Granddad’s ashes, as Gran wanted them with hers, from the garage I discovered not one set but two, making twice the amount of Gran and leaving us all wondering if (as one had a mere post it note with his name on, the other was very professional) actually we might have someone else with us.

After much pondering we finally made a move and packed our rucksacks and off we went to an unnamed location which involved a mammoth (well for me who used to do 11 miles a day walking holiday and now walks twenty minutes to the station and back each day) hike up a hill to a spot that Gran had said was where she wanted and somewhere she could see from her house when she was poorly. The view as you can see was quite serene and quite, quite stunning.

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We did the deed and then in true Gran style we cracked open a couple of bottles of cava, raised a toast to Gran, had a bit of a cry and then (which we thought she would have liked as a bit of a techno-gadget Gran) with much laughter tried to capture a moment of all her offspring on camera, introducing one of my aunties to the concept of the ‘selfie’…

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Well, once we started we couldn’t stop and tears were falling down our faces from laughter. She would have liked that, it was oddly bonkers which seemed rather apt. We then decided it was time to head and see the house which we were all brought up in and keep the nostalgia and laughter going, a happy walk down memory lane which nicely leads to another apt selfie – I said once we started we couldn’t stop.

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Yes that really is my uncle, aunties and (on the right) my mother. No one seems to believe me, but it is true I swear. Anyway… The walk took us through the woods that we all used to often go on big family walks (I can still hear Gran saying the immortal words ‘get your boots on’) in and then at last to where we used to live.

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It was so odd going back and peering at the neighbourhood houses we played in before of course going to the house we live in itself.

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Note – we didn’t have the really tacky balcony someone has attached, I used to say I wanted to buy this house back when I was much younger (after I had cried for about a week when it was sold) strange how going back I loved it, missed it yet couldn’t imagine being in it again. No, not because I could barely make it up the hill – cheeky.

After this a well-earned pint, or three, seemed due and so we decided we would (again as Gran would have thoroughly approved of it) have a bit of a pub crawl and dinner in our old town and put the world to rights and spend time with each other without all the madness that we had last year, it was just really nice being with each other and while we missed Gran we had all the lovely memories to share. One thing that did happen, which we afterwards we found hysterical not initially, was that the pub we had dinner at got raided by the police. The sniffer dogs came in and we were all looking at our bags, which may have had traces of ashes in, with mounting panic. Would we be arrested? We thought gran would have found this a hoot. In fact all in all she would have loved the day had it not been the occasion that it obviously was.

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Even though she is no longer with us physically, she was making new funny and bonkers memories and because we are all her offspring, or her offspring’s offspring, we will continue to do so. That and all the reading ahead. By the way, I found the picture above the next day and couldn’t not share it.

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So it has been a farewell to Gran though it still doesn’t feel final, but I don’t think it ever will because she is living in me, both in the genes and in the memories and I can’t be thankful enough for that, even if I miss her like mad. So maybe we never really do say goodbye, only goodbye to the sad or difficult memories. Those we love, and the lovely memories we have of the best moments, stay with us for good.

15 Comments

Filed under Granny Savidge Reads

15 responses to “Saying Goodbye to Gran…

  1. This is so lovely. Sad and beautiful. I love that your family could do this together and have a happy as well as sad day. I don’t think we ever really say goodbye to someone who has such influence on us and is so much a part of who we are. Your family look like great fun. xx

  2. Roger Park

    Sad as it is, I’m glad you have such wonderful memories of your Gran, Simon. She will live on through those memories.

  3. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Beautiful piece Simon – and lovely pictures of your family and of you and your Gran. Having a memorable and special day for her will remain with you, as will she. I lost my best Gran when I was 10, a long, long time ago. But I still think of her regularly now, and as I long as I am here, she will be too. And it will be the same for you. x

  4. That sounds absolutely lovely, Simon. It’s always nice when you can create new family memories when you are celebrating past ones.

  5. EllenB

    Lovely post, Simon, so thoughtful. She would love it I’m sure. Plus you are all such an attractive family, especially those sisters of yours.

  6. What a beautiful post. Made me smile and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. I couldn’t help think as I was reading it, that it would make a great scene in a novel…

  7. Simon, What a wonderful post. I, like you, had a special bond with my grandmother, spending more time with her than I did with my parents. I still remember her stories and the trips we would take together. Thank you for sharing and bringing back memories to me.

  8. This post reminded me so much of my experiences after my Grammy’s passing from dementia and lung disease about six years ago now. I still dream of her as if she was here and then wake up in tears when I realize that it wasn’t real. But who knows … maybe it was and she just came for a visit? I like that explanation better even if the rational side of me doesn’t.
    And I always wanted to buy her beautiful log home when I grew up. It was sold when I was a teenager but I recently saw it again and the current owner painted it white! A log home! How tacky. I guess we really can’t go back but just get to hang on to our fond memories instead. It’ll have to do.
    Thank you for sharing this post today, Simon.

  9. dom agius

    love this & you. that’s all. she was & will always be mentally proud of you.

    x

    >

  10. What a lovely picture of you and your Gran! How lucky you were (are) to have such a delightful grandmother and family: this post shines through with the love you have for each other.

  11. drharrietd

    Totally lovely post. And what a joyful day – just what she would have wanted. Your family looks an absolute delight, and as for your mother, well, she must have been a total child bride. She’s gorgeous. You’ll never forget Gran – I still want to tell things to my beloved aunt who died 14 years ago. But how wonderful to have had her in your life. As for the photo – heaven.

  12. This is just beautiful, Simon. I’m also glad to know that mine isn’t the only family who ends up laughing hysterically and acting like goofballs in times like this. Haha!

    Love the photos and the great tribute to your Gran.

  13. Thank you for sharing this with us, Simon. Those final farewells always seem to end in hysterics in my family, too, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers to your lovely Gran.

  14. Deirdre

    Seriously Simon your mother doesn’t even look 5 years older than you. All of you must have really good genes.

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