This war is noise.


The Final Day.
March 7, 2014, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

KINGFISHER – DAY 7.

Woke up early, with a lot of thoughts going around in my head. Mum and brother helped do the last of the organising for the tea after the service. I finally sorted what I was wearing, I remembered the neutral coloured top I have with falling leaves at the bottom, that Nanny liked on me. I didn’t manage to find a black cardigan or coat so I was going to be cold x] but thankfully after a little patch of rain the sun stayed the whole day, so I was going to have that for a little warmth at least.

We arrived at Granda’s house about 1:10pm, the house had all the close family in there, ready for 1.45pm when the minister would be coming to do a little service in the house before the undertakers came in at 2pm. They arrived at half past but waited, the minister’s service was nice enough, though it was the less preferred minister unfortunately, stumbles a bit and is awkward. Watching the seven of them standing in a circle with my Granda sitting in it, crying at different points, was strange. I don’t think I’ve seen everyone upset like that before. When talking about how proud my grandparents were and are of everyone, it almost made me upset. The religious stuff doesn’t majorly affect me, but personal stuff to do with my grandparents and how they feel definitely does.

At 2pm everything in the house finished, everyone that wanted to go in to see her before the coffin was finally closed said their final goodbye, I already had the night before so I stayed in the living room, getting Granda’s stick for him so he’d have it for going out after the coffin. The undertakers came in, and we all filed out, staying close to the door when outside. I was on the side the flowers were placed on, they were beautiful and definitely better than all white, which would have been the alternative to the coloured. My brother was already out into the car, as after the first lift, Granda would need to get in to follow behind, not being able to walk too far on the flat, nevermind up a hill, which there is. My uncles and one of their brother’s in law were set to do the first lift. They wheeled the coffin out, setting it on the still legs [the proper names escape me] then they got into position and lifted her up. Granda, mum and another were first behind, then we filed in behind them, I stayed close knowing I’d probably be the one bringing him back to the car and getting in with him. When the lift change happened, I did take him back towards the car, a lot of people stopping us on the way to offer their condolences, mainly local people and neighbours I recognised. Granda did start getting a bit upset in the car as we followed along to the end of the road before the crowd broke off to get into their cars to follow us behind the hearse.

The drive there seemed so long, with the weight of the situation, Granda trying to compose himself and the minor conversation about the weather, or about getting to the church. Even though its about 5-10 minutes maximum, I suppose with the slower speed of the hearse until we got outside the village, it added to that. When we got there, we parked just in from the gate on the church grounds, getting as close as we could for Granda to walk into the church. We were met by the 2 ministers taking the service, as my grandparents attended two different churches, both the same kind, just one was closer than the other, when they were becoming unwell. As we walked into the church, it was already fairly packed, and we walked up to the front. We sat on the right side, in the second row behind Granda, mum, my aunt and her husband and my great aunt [Nanny’s sister] which I was directly behind on the inside.

The service was nice, not too long, as no one got up to do a speech to represent the family or anything, I think if anyone was to, it would have just resulted in a breakdown. The hymns my great aunt chose were nice, but it soon highlighted the length of time it has been since I have attended any sort of church service, as they werent immediately familiar like they once were. I liked the picture they chose for the order of service, it was one that was tucked into a painting in the hallway, that was out all the time and familiar if you were in their house much at all. Also was of a time which I was around and remember, wearing things that I remember. She was also very much well in that picture.

I have not put out of my mind how she was recently though. How she’d been since Christmas, in her dressing gown alot, coughing alot, not eating right. And even then still being herself, no trouble to anyone, laughing and joking all the same. The last image I have was the saturday night, walking us out to the door, locking it and waiting behind the glass for my brother to beep the car to wave, before pulling the curtain over the door. I think I’ll always regret not seeing her again before monday. Or not going earlier on the monday shopping so we’d have seen her before she died. But I wrestle with that in my head because if we had been there during the time, would she have then had the heart attack awake? Would we have seen it? Would we have been able to do anything? Would it have been even more distressing and terrible? As in her sleep she went peacefully. We can never know.

When the service was over, and they came to take her out to the graveyard, I definitely felt a change in myself. It was all going to be very real when she went from being just still there in the coffin, to then in the ground. The finality of it so apparent and undeniable. We all walked slowly down the aisle, I didnt take too much time to look at people, as I wouldnt know what face to make, and if I’d seen someone upset, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hold my composure. I was aware the church was full though, despite not really taking in who exactly was in there til we got near the door and I noticed my Granda’s brother and briefly spoke to him.

We then slowly walked out to the graveyard, we had a fair bit to walk as the actual grave site was directly the opposite diagonally from where we were when starting into the graveyard. I ended up a little further back than I’d have ideally wanted, but my cousin who is unwell was in front of me and it would have been fairly inappropriate and rude to push past because he was making our part of the line slower to get to there. I managed to get a space in the very bumpy and fairly uneven graveyard where I could see mostly everything. The minister then did another part of the service, and when talking about my Nanny specifically, for some reason I looked up into the sky, which had been entirely clear up until then, and all of a sudden there was birds. Even though I don’t believe in God or anything, whatever powers there may be or not, I was certainly lifted a little, and felt like in some way, that was for her.

When the coffin was fully put into the grave and the minister had finished, we stayed close by to Granda and waited til he had seen everybody that came to speak to him in the graveyard before going. With the size of the funeral this took quite some time, and we had a fair amount of time to talk amongst ourselves and be introduced to far out family members and friends. My second eldest uncle stood with him to meet with everyone and we took cards and things from people who hadn’t managed to get them to us before, or were giving us the donations in lieu of flowers to the chosen charity my family picked. Heart, Chest and Stroke obviously being very appropriate, and a truly worthy cause.

When everyone apart from the close family staying for Granda was gone, he took us all around the graves of other family members that were buried there, which I’d had no idea of at all before. I suppose we’d never really had need to talk on the topic of the dead before, as apart from my dad, this was the first close important family member to me that had died. I had known of the others on my Nanny’s side buried at the other church they’d attended as I visited it often as a child when going there with my great aunt, staying there as often as I could as a kid any time there were holidays.

We didn’t stay too long, as we had the tea to go to after in the church hall. It had been set up really nice and was fairly busy when we finally got there. I didnt intend on eating anything while there as with my eating disorder issues, the stress of the day was enough without adding to it attempting to eat in front of a ton of people I usually otherwise wouldn’t ever see or in some cases barely knew. Halfway through the minister announced my eldest uncle would be making a speech on behalf of the family, which was very nice, fairly sure everyone was on the verge of tears, he was pretty much the only one capable of that kind of speech without cracking. Granda had been having some trouble with his hearing aid so didn’t fully take in what was happening, which might have been best to not heighten things for him all over again while hes talking to so many different people.

When the tea was over, we took Granda up to the house, where some of the close family were also heading back to, as well as all of the canadian uncles, one of which will be staying at the house with him, taking in turns between the 3 of them to stay a few days. Since me and my brother hadnt eaten yet, we soon went to the house to let the dog out and get something for us both to eat. It was also good to get the headspace from the situation as I think sitting around my family, the conversation would get fairly intense.

Im glad the day went exactly how my Granda wanted it to. And Im sure how my Nanny would have wanted it too.

I miss her so much already.



The worst day ever.
March 6, 2014, 4:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

KINGFISHER – DAY 3.

It started like a normal day.

The work on the bathroom got mostly finished, ready for the plumber to do the last of his job.

We went shopping a little late because of when he left.

I noticed pancake mix for tuesday, and got some, and decided we should get one of the new pans you can only get in certain shops.

So instead of going home at the normal time we would, to visit my grandparents, and give them their shopping and such, we went into town to get the pan.

While doing that, we come across my cousin, also out in that particular shop with her daughter.

We walk half around the shop as we don’t get there very often, then mum walks up to me and says “we have to go, [my cousin] just came back in and said your Granda has been ringing round trying to get a hold of us all, he thinks your Nanny’s dead”.

So we rush through paying for whatever we have in the bag I’m carrying, we rush to the house.

The drive there seemed so long and short all at the same time, and in my head I knew he wouldn’t just think that. Its not something you’re going to make a mistake over, though I was trying to fight back the thought all the same.

Mum went in first, then my brother, and he looked in, then looked at me in the doorway, while I heard what I thought was a minister saying out her full name in the bedroom, and the shock I felt was the worst thing I’ve ever felt. I ran back to the car and broke down, shaking with pins and needles in my arms, hyperventilating a bit too.

I dont know how long I was there, but it wasn’t too long. I got back out and went over to my brother who had come outside fairly shortly after me. Talking to him, trying to calm myself enough so I could go in and not just repeat what I did before.

Mum came out and asked was I not going in to see her, and I wasnt sure if I was, because the one glimpse I had of my dad dead still haunts my mind and would appear when talking about him at all, or other people doing it.

But I knew I had to. After all, we were supposed to have been there, and I wanted to see her. I hadn’t seen her since Saturday, and I always do see her on a Monday after we do the shopping.

Its mysterious how life works, how we all happened to be nowhere near when it happened, when normally we would have.

I went in slowly and looked into the bedroom, and there she was, sort of sat up in the bed, with her eyes shut, her mouth opened slightly, her skin a little discoloured and not moving.

It didnt seem real.

The doctor came soon after, said she couldn’t have passed more than an hour ago because she was still warm.

Then trying to be there for my poor Granda, who’s breaking his heart while all of it is going on, and the things hes saying would destroy your soul. “Well I’ll have to get used to being lonely, because I’ll be lonely for the rest of my life.”

I stayed close by the room most of the evening, only really going when leaving to pick up my great aunt so she could see her, as that was her last living sister, and then when the undertakers arrived.

It all happened so quick.

And then all the frantic preparation so Granda could actually sleep that night occurred.

We got home close to midnight. I dont think I slept til close to 3am. I’ve always thought more and cried – if I needed to – at night.

KINGFISHER – DAY 4.

Family and close friends have all mostly found out now.

Its all organisation and people coming to visit.

Nanny will be coming back to the house tomorrow.

My Granda is still so sad. My cousin offered to bring in washing from the dryer, which had some of my Nanny’s clothes in it, and he said no he’d do it as “it might be the last thing he ever does for her”. He then stood over the bed folding the clothes for 10 minutes crying.

My Uncle is coming from England in the evening and him and his wife – the we certainly wish was not coming – are staying with Granda tonight, to let my Uncle that stayed the last night go home and get a proper nights rest.

We got my great aunt there and back again today also.

We weren’t there super late into the night, but mum was.

My Granda is kinda looking to her and my aunt to get him through and sort everything.

I managed to get talking to Charlotte, and was glad to do so, since it gathered my thoughts a little. Told Clare too.

I still had a similar night to the one before though.

KINGFISHER – DAY 5.

Today is the day they bring her back to the house.

Second night/third day of barely any sleep, getting upset and being generally drained.

Watching my Granda trying to help them manoeuvre the coffin into the small bedroom just so he could be involved was incredibly sad.

Lots of my family were around, when my aunt, uncles and Granda went to check to see how they felt about the coffin and such, they said she looked alot better than when we found her that night.

Looked more like herself, took years off.

And because of the experience with my dad, I figured this would be fairly accurate, as when I saw my dad in his coffin, for a slight glimpse, it gave me fairly insane anxiety, as he didnt really look dead to me, he looked asleep, and not as ill.

When it was finally turn for my brother and me to go in to see her, Tina had just come out, and was very upset, it turned out she would not be still there when we’d come back out. With a combination of not being good in those situations and her feeling guilty, it was a little too much.

When we went in, my cousin was there, and although I generally dont get upset in public, this was very different. When I seen her, I just couldnt be not upset. When she seen me start to cry she told me to come up closer to see better, which I suppose made it better and worse. Seeing the lace and all that over her normal clothes. Her eyelids looked more slightly fastened than resting. She died with no teeth in so they didnt have them for to set her face naturally, and whatever they put in, kinda left her looking like she had just taken a breath in and was holding it or something, which also set off the line of her nose a little. However her skin and such looked better and she did look more herself than that night for sure.

I did not see a change in years though. She was still small and frail compared to even 3 or 4 years ago. Still had no perm in her hair. Still lost so much weight.

As I stood, I managed to touch the edge of the coffin, but I just couldn’t have touched her herself. I dont think thats something I ever want to know what it feels like.

Before taking my great aunt back home, I asked her if she wanted to go see Nanny again before leaving, and she did. She’d previously got rather upset that day as she had mentioned when shes at home by herself, closing her eyes and being able to see her face how we found her, and it staying with her. I totally knew what she meant, and Im thankful that isnt sticking with me the same now. I go between that image, the coffin image, and then my childhood images, emerging photographs, personal memories of days, weeks, months, years.

I followed her to the room and stood near the door, and watching her lean close over her and stroke her hair/forehead a little, just like she might be sleeping, her little sister, it again would break your heart.

We then took her home, taking her shopping on the way as with everyone being so busy organising, alot of basic normal tasks had to be either put on hold, or were forgotten about entirely.

I visited again that night. We were there for my uncle and his wife coming from England, though I wasn’t paying so much attention to that. I was kinda angry he brought his wife, because she was not respectful to my Nanny in life, so her being involved at this super sensitive time for me was entirely wrong and unwanted.

I wanted to visit, either with my brother or on my own as much as possible when I could get a quiet minute in the room. Not so much that it was morbid or more upsetting to do so, but I wanted to make sure it felt okay. That by Friday, I wasn’t regretting visiting more before she’d be buried and truly gone.

KINGFISHER – DAY 6.

Today the rest of my relatives are arriving today, so I planned on having a little more space.

I of course visited, as I wanted to see Nanny again, and knew that it was likely to be the last day I could, as Friday was going to be the funeral and I didnt want to be relying on there being a spare minute to get a last visit in that made me feel at peace with her going. But at the same time, when there are alot of relatives I dont normally see all around, it does give me anxiety so I knew I’d be spending less time being there in general, especially since my Granda now had more of his family there to be around and help.

I arranged my counselling for next week instead. We sorted the arrangements for the refreshments in the church hall after the service. I’ve pretty much sorted out what Im wearing tomorrow in my mind. Might be a slight alteration to it, but it’ll be fine.

Im having a lot of pain in general with the late upset nights, the early mornings regardless, and the awkward bathroom situation still. The small bathroom just isn’t good enough, and long term, this being the 4th week I think, I need more than just a standing shower. With my back pain I need baths and space and relaxation, especially in times of stress or I get worse. So that end is fairly frustrating.

Im definitely nervous about tomorrow. Not in the same way with dad, as I was nervous about having to deal with how everyone else is feeling and how they expect me to feel. Im just nervous about everything going well and being the best it can be for my Granda.

Me and my brother are going to be mostly responsible for him, and since Im going to a church I’ve never been to, though its at most 10 minutes up the road, the unfamiliar definitely adds to the anxiety.

Also the sadness. The knowing that tomorrow is the last day she’ll be with us.

I had a minute by myself with her before going out to the car.

I already miss Nanny more than I thought I’d miss anyone.

Its hard that such a big part of my already small world has gone.