This was my grandmother shortly before she died, at 96. She died yesterday last year. I only noticed because her wonderful carer put some photos of her up. She gave me this one that she took, and I'm very grateful.
I'm not a fan of death anniversaries. The Catholic church celebrates them eagerly, month by month at first. It ... I don't know if it is positive for me. I'd prefer to celebrate elements of the lives of my loved ones, not the moment of their deaths, and my grief. It was, strangely, also the anniversary of my mother's death yesterday, but I am pleased to pass that day by too. For too long, I stumbled on that significance.
I thought that getting married on Midsummer's Day would be a romantic and wonderful thing, but now I have a non-anniversary that is marked in particular and maeks it less easy to slide past it without feeling many complex things. And then, of course, a week later, my mother's death-day.
I appreciate Angela marking the day, with her wonderful photos. But my memories of my granny are far deeper, go way back. My son came to me after brushing his teeth the other night, to say he was feeling sad about her. My grandmother's name was Do, for Doreen (pronounced doe) and Olivia started calling her Granny Do-Do (she'd always been Granny Do to me) and that was her name then for my children. I wonder if I'll ever get to be Granny Jo?
My grandmother was a good grandmother, in many ways that counted, though I'm not sure how lovely a mother in law she was. I was privileged to have her so long, and to have a great grandmother for my children. My mother would have been a dream grandmother though. I wish she and my children had got to have that relationship.
I was driving home the other day, thinking about her, and how I couldn't just drive to her house. That she wasn't there, in a house of hers, to go see. I know this seems obvious, and simple, but it struck me at the time, I can't quite explain how. Sometimes the Lack just hits you.