Keeping it in the Family

My Wife's Grandmother
My Wife’s Grandmother

It’s now been a week since we said goodbye to my Wife’s Grandmother.

She sadly passed aged 82 after spending a couple of months in the hospital and having been diagnosed with Lymphoma & Leukaemia.

The funeral was short but well suited and even I, who was not terribly close to her, shed a tear at her passing.

It’s strange though, as I found myself more upset for those around me than myself; My Wife and my children (especially son no 2) as he is 7 and having held out for 15 minutes finally succumbed to his emotions. Also My wife’s siblings and cousins who all had very different relationships with their Gran, yet were brought together in sorrow by this single event.

It is this sense of togetherness that I felt was the positive I could take away from the whole thing.

I have to commend My Wife’s Uncle. He pulled together a funeral and wake which was both dignified and to be honest cheerful.
There was no real air of sadness after the proceedings and the kids were more than entertained by a bouncy castle giving the adults time to talk and reminisce over times with their Gran etc.

It really was a fitting family send off.

I should add that for me, family is not really about blood, per say.

I have 2 half siblings who, to be quite frank, I have apathy towards. I have had brief contact with both of them and don’t really regret having not spent more time with them as I grew up (if that had been an option which really it wasn’t).

Being a single child I would have thought there would be more of a sense of longing there, but apparently not.

Having said that I also have friends whom I DO consider family, not because we share the same blood but because of their actions and the closeness of our bond.

So what is family to me?

It is love, respect and being there when it counts.

To this end, to see Gran’s 7 Grandchildren all come together as a family unit, however brief it may have been, was very special. It’s also something I want to encourage to not just happen at funerals.

Life passes us by so fast and before you know it another year has passed and you haven’t seen the people you care about nearly as much as you should have. We always say to each other, “we really must do something” and then never do, so it’s time to change that and make sure that whenever possible, the people who we love and care for are with us or around us and are a large part of our lives not just great to see “when we’re not too busy”.

So the next time you think “I can’t be arsed to go to that family thing”, take a step back and think about how fast time passes, how long it’s been since you saw them and whether they would be there for you, should you ask.

Then try to make the effort. Life is short and true family is the one thing you should be able to count on no matter what.

I’ll leave you dear reader with a poem written by My Wife’s Gran before she passed.

I tried myself to write something but it all sounded so clumsy and really not like her at all, so in the end I gave up, and I’m glad I did, as for me this is just perfect.

Weep not for me as you stand by my grave, for I am not there.
The sun that warms you is my love.
The breeze that caresses your cheek; my loving kiss.
The moon to bless your peaceful sleep and dreams.
So my darlings, I am always with you,
just a prayer away.
God Bless. x

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