Tonight my world was blown apart. That even sounds like an exaggeration to me. Tonight my Nan died.
She had a stroke just over a month and a half ago and had refused all treatment. She knew what she wanted. And that was ‘to go’ and meet my Grandfather. So much so that she died on the same day three years later.
I was working when my brother phoned me. It’s very unusual for my family to call. Normally it’s me calling them, as I have been daily for just over a month. 19:30 on the dot. My brother called me to say that my Nan had had another stroke. By 8pm I had spoken to my mother and had found out that it was her heart that had given in and that it was unlikely that she would make it through the night. I had promised myself that I would be there, more for my mothers sake as she was on her own when granddad passed. I had sorted it with work to be able to go at a moments notice but my mother said she wanted to deal with it on her own. This is the strength she has.
Meanwhile I would be busy on the phone to my brother, making sure my father and my youngest brother were OK.
My dad is not the strong one in the family and my youngest brother is always a worry. Perhaps because he is the youngest. I text him and told him to go to bed. He’s almost 25yrs old. But he will always be the youngest. He suffers from epilepsy and I knew he would be a mess should the worst happen. And I can’t be there. The brother who is next down from me as I am the eldest was stuck at home acting the big brother role I could not fulfil and trying to comfort my father at the same time. I did all I could until he text me saying “dad wants you to phone him”.
I did not understand a word my father was trying to say over the phone. Friday nights I DJ in a pub in possibly the busiest area of my home town and even though I had gone outside to make the call it was not quiet enough for me to hear. My dad passes his phone to my brother, she had gone. In less than two hours. That generation of my family had ceased to be.
I had to put the phone down, I could not contain myself. Not in the street and certainly not with many people walking past.
“Compose yourself” I kept repeating as I typed ‘mom’ into my phone. I had spoken to her. On that note I can only say that my mother is without question the strongest woman I have ever had the privilege to know. She has now lost both parents and still she manages not to let any emotion show in her voice to her sons.
I type this very carefully now as I am really quite drunk. That from about 21:30 seemed like the only option for me. Mother told me to have a drink. I most certainly have. Tonight could possibly have been one of the most difficult nights I have ever worked but I knew that my mother wouldn’t have wanted it to be any different to any other night. There is a time to grieve and that time is not in front of people.
“Never let them see you bleed”. That’s the mantra I learned from my mother. I know upon waking that maybe different but for now…
Mother- even though you will never read this. I love you, you are a constant inspiration to me and I am so, so happy to be your son.
Nan- Whatever my beliefs maybe I do hope that you have met up with Granddad and that you rest well.
I love you.