So…this blog has been pretty abandoned for May and a fair bit of April too. Sorry about that. Life got hectic and everything else went to a standstill. Not good when you’re a writer who needs to chase up work at every juncture!
Following on from a tough April, May continued to be nearly as tough. In a different kind of way but difficult nonetheless. For those not on Twitter, my Grandmother died.
It was kind of sudden, kind of expected really. Regular readers will remember my worries at Easter about her mental state. Things didn’t overly improve.
She went in for a cataract operation then spent a few days with my Aunt to recuperate. We visited on the Sunday and she looked terrible. Really confused, falling asleep every few minutes, right state. She went home the Sunday evening then on the Monday had a nasty fall.
She’d broken the top of her arm (not the shoulder, just below) and doctors told us that they couldn’t really do anything about it other than put it in a sling. A cast was too heavy for her tired and non-existent arm muscles and an operation was deemed too risky as she was so weak.
So she stayed in hospital.
While she was there, they discovered she had a severe urine infection so they were treating that. Then within a day or so, she picked up pneumonia. Not good for an old woman as weak as she was and with only one and a half lungs to start with!
Difficult week. We visited every day between the Tuesday and the Sunday. Most of those days consisted of 10hrs of watching a woman slowly dying.
I won’t go into details but it was a surreal and utterly exhausting time.
I guess I’m lucky that, as callous as this might sound, I wasn’t as close to her as I could have been. Awful to see someone suffer like she did (and she really did suffer in that time) but as she’d been so, so difficult for 26 years of my life until the past 6 months or so, it gave me some much needed room to step back. Maybe another time when it feels more appropriate, I’ll explain why she was so difficult. I think some elements of it might have even made a good film. It’s that kind of difficult!
For the most part, I was there to support my Aunt through it all. Poor woman who in the past 4 years has seen her father (my step grandfather), brother (my Dad) and her mother die. She’s all that’s left of that family. Tough spot to be in.
Another tough part consisted of the memories it brought back. While my Dad died suddenly and at home, it still brought it all back to be that bit more vivid than usual.
I didn’t actually see my Grandmother die. I saw her in a lot of pain but she died on the Sunday morning, just before we all got there (we’d had a call to rush there but we live an hour down the motorway from the hospital). Me and my Mum rushed in before the nurses could say anything and saw her body there.
While it certainly wasn’t the same as seeing my Dad die in front of me, there’s something sobering about knowing you’ve seen two dead bodies in your life. I’m lucky in one respect to have not seen more but I also feel unlucky to have seen so many. I still feel too young to have seen so much.
That’s utter rambling nonsense really but it still struck me.
We spent the Monday and Tuesday after with my Aunt who decided she wanted to clear my Grandmother’s flat as well as do all the funeral type arrangement things immediately. Then my Mum fell ill with a severe sinus infection so I’ve spent the subsequent days looking after her.
The funeral is this coming Friday.
I’ll be pleased when this part of my life is in the past.
I’m itching to stop stagnating. Two difficult months in a row make me feel like I’m just treading water when I’m desperate to get somewhere in my career and my life. Ultimately I’m just a bit annoyed by the way that things have gone.
It’ll be nice to be back in some form of control.