Born Winifred Dorothy Gittoes, 1933
Died Winifred Dorothy Hathaway, 2014
To me known as Nan. I should have gone to see her today. For the last time before her funeral but due to a ‘paperwork’ problem at the hospital I couldn’t. The funeral home won’t have got the body until a few hours ago, but I have been allowed access on Saturday morning. I am the only person in my family that will see her before the funeral and it will be a closed casket affair. When I woke up this morning my head was full of thoughts on what I wanted from the day. This was going to be my last chance to speak to a person rather than a picture or an object. Even though that person is no longer living. I know I was in for a one way conversation but that is how I choose to deal with it. I am normally quite private with my emotions and grief is possibly the most private of all of them. But this was my chance to say aloud my feelings without the worry of anyone hearing them.
I will still be afforded this chance on Saturday and it gives me a little time to think about what exactly I want to say out loud. Gives me chance to think about what will make me feel some closure because I know myself and I know that being able to verbalise my thoughts helps me enormously. I just don’t particularly want to talk to anyone.
I started thinking about seeing her this final time a couple of days ago when I chose the flowers I wanted for the funeral. My mother and myself had chosen the flowers that would be from myself, my parents and my two brothers. We were given small cards to take away so we could write a small messages that would be displayed with the flowers. It was while thinking about what to write that I started thinking about what my last goodbye would be. She will never hear it, but that’s the point. My last goodbye is for me, it is my goodbye, it is there so that I can come to deal with the death of a loved one. I had no clue. I started over thinking. I went from poetic masterpiece to ‘To Nan, Goodbye. Love Paul’. Nothing seemed right. So I did what I normally do when I need a quote to sum up a life event or I need help thinking of the right words. I turned to Doctor Who. So the card that lays with the flowers reads…
‘It all just disappears, doesn’t it? Everything you are, gone in a moment, like breath on a mirror… I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember’.
I’m sure many more quotes will pop into my head to help me speak my final words to her on Saturday. But Saturday is my funeral day. The actual funeral is on Tuesday but I will be more concerned with looking after my brothers and parents so Saturday is when I will be saying my goodbye. Open casket, just me and my nan in a private room and no one to hear my private words. I still have no idea what I will say but I’m happy that it will be private between me and her.