Monday, 19 December 2011

On Getting Up Again

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was little. My parents both work full time and I was fortunate enough to be looked after by my Auntie Bre and my grandparents before I started school. We used to go to the park a lot, play on the swings (me more than my Grandad) and feed the ducks.

One day, when I was probably about two or three, my Grandad was taking me to the park, and I was running excitedly ahead of him, running much too fast.
My Grandad shouted "Charlotte, slow down, you'll fall over."
I heard him, but being a toddler, kept on running. He shouted again-
"Charlotte, slow down, you'll fall over!"
Again I ignored him, but of course, a few minutes later, I fell over.
I got up and dusted myself off before my Grandad came running over.
"Charlotte!" he said, "I told you you'd fall over."
I turned round and looked at him and said,
"But I got up again Grandad."

My Grandad died on Saturday afternoon. He'd been ill for a very long time, and he was finally ready to go. He wasn't scared anymore. He'd even told my family, during his Last Rites on Friday "I'm not going anywhere today, I'm going tomorrow." He requested a can of Guinness before he died, and despite having not eaten for days, he drunk the whole can. He was my Grandad til the end, which in a way, made it harder. He was still laughing at making jokes just before he died.

I was very lucky that my Dad decided to pick me up form University on Thursday, instead of Friday, and I had a chance to see him for the last time on Thursday. He talked to me and asked me how I was and I held his hand and he squeezed mine.

We have a huge Irish Catholic family- my Dad is one of eight, so I have 14 aunties and uncles and 10 cousins, and after we left the hospital, everyone came back to our house to have a few drinks and toast his life, and share funny stories about my Grandad. He was well known in Stockport, where I live, and there are going to be hundreds of people paying their respects to him.

Things are hard here at the moment. While everyone else is getting excited about Christmas, we are in mourning. I've started to resent Christmas, refusing to help my Mum put up the Christmas tree and getting frustrated with mentions of Christmas and people's excitement. It's not fair that people get to celebrate Christmas when I've just lost my Grandad. I still have two essays to write and I have three shifts at work this week, as well as articles due and of course, this blog.

Forgive me if I'm not around much for the next few days. My head is an absolute state.

Right now, it's hit me really hard and I don't know how to get on with my life.

But I know soon I'll get up again. Because that is what my Grandad would have wanted.

8 comments:

  1. The important thing is to take time to recover a bit. I hope you'll feel better soon, but it's okay to be sad, even if it means it won't be a very joyous Christmas. At least it's the season to be together with family and friends, and I hope you'll get lots of hugs and support. Be strong, and we'll see you when you're ready. x

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  2. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss Charlotte. I too lost my two grandmothers at Christmas time, one even on Christmas Eve, so I know how it can make you hate Christmas. All I will tell you is that it gets so much easier to celebrate Christmas and think of the good times you had with your Grandfather as opposed to the loss. Take all the time you need to grieve, it is a hard time after all. But always remember the good times, I can guarantee you'll laugh at a funny memory of your grandfather in the next few days - you know it is what he would have wanted. Feel better x

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  3. Oh Charlotte, I'm so sorry. I lost my own grandfather this spring, I know how hard it is. My thoughts are with you and yours! You're right though, he'd have wanted you to get up again. On the first day of my first ever job as a teen, my great-grandmother passed away. My father came home from the hospital to tell us and he told me that my grandmother had said for me to go to work anyway, and that she would be watching over me and had always been proud and always will be. The best we can do is go on, knowing the ones we lost would want us to.

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  4. I'm sorry for your loss, he sounds like an absolutely wonderful and fun man. I hope you can find some peace during the Christmas season, if not the festive spirit. xoxo

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  5. Awwww I'm so sorry, he sounds like he was an amazing man

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  6. I'm so sorry about everything, I know you will get up again. It sounds like you guys had a great relationship. I saw your twitter feed about you being lost and lonely and connected with it as I've been feeling the same way lately. Perhaps when I arrive in the UK (where I will be even more lost and lonely) we can meet up. I know you don't live in London but perhaps we could meet in the middle! Feel better dear!

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  7. Oh dear, Charlotte! I'm so sorry!!

    As you know, I went through the same thing in November, right before Thanksgiving. It made celebrating the holiday really hard and I didn't want to at all, but inevitably, I knew it was more hurtful to myself to give up a holiday, when my grandpa wouldn't have wanted that.

    I know how sad you are - obviously, I've felt it in the past month. Life is very sad sometimes, but it's very beautiful too and your grandpa would want you to see that everyday. Since my grandpa died, I've appreciated so much more about the world... despite the sadness, I see a lot more beauty than I used to.

    You'll get through this, I know you will, but I know how hard it is.

    I'll be thinking of you and you can message me on Facebook anytime.

    xo Michelle

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. :( Your Grandad sounds like a great man.

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