The queen of inconsistent blogging is back. I’ve been wanting to blog a lot in the last few weeks, but haven’t felt able. At the end of January, I was told my Grandpa had 2 weeks left to live. In fact, 2 weeks to the day that I was told, he passed. I’ve always made a point of wanting to be totally honest on this blog and I didn’t feel as if I could spiel on about make-up and all the beautiful things in life whilst I was still grieving so deeply. Now it is 3 weeks to the day after his death. I feel it impossible to be saying this, as I cannot believe it’s been such a long time since he passed. Everything else in life seems to carry on as normal, but now and then I just get hit with this reality that he is no longer here. I only saw him every 2-3 months as he and my Granny lived in Devon, so it doesn’t seem strange to me that I am not seeing him every day, what hurts me is that there is now no longer the option to if I wanted to. His funeral is next Tuesday (very late, but it was the first available day for the type of service he wanted to have with the right person), and I have never in all my life seen my Granny as a single woman without him, and the whole family is coming together, even my cousin from America, and I know this will perhaps be the hardest day of my life so far and will be remembered as one of the hardest days of my life in my years to come.
Grandpa is the first of my Grandparents to pass away. I am very fortunate to have lived to 18 without having a close family member die, but somehow I think this makes it more difficult as not only did I know each of them as a child, but I also know all of them as an adult, which is a very different and much more special kind of relationship. Also, I have always been a lot closer to my mother’s side for as long as I can remember. I love my father’s side, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve just always been able to connect with my mother’s side more and I feel they’ve always understood me and have been the people I’ve turned to. It’s a smaller side of the family – my mum only has one sister, who has one son, who now has one daughter. My dad is one of four children, all of which have two children, as well as a mix of step-brothers and sisters.
He was a truly amazing man. Most would say this of their Grandfathers, I know. But, I do not trust many people and he is someone I have always been able to confide in and turn to. He fought in the second world war, after having attended boarding school until the age of seventeen, when he enlisted. On one of his first missions in the army, he was sent to Japan to release prisoners of war, where he was surprised to find his father to be one of them whom he saved. He then went on to carry on with training after the war finished, eventually becoming Chief of Police in Singapore. He was never close to his parents particularly, they got divorced and he ended up with a step family as well. He’d live in Singapore for three years, then return to England for six months. During his first six months, he met my Granny. He then went back to Singapore and they lost touch. However, during his second period back in England, he just so happened to see her crossing the street, they fell in love all over again and were married. They had two daughters, my Auntie Jenny and my Mum. They had dozens of dogs throughout their marriage who they loved dearly and also bred sometimes. He then had five grand children, all of whom he’s been nothing but an inspiration to. When I was younger, he’d always tell me to perform for him, no matter how shy I was. I’d do pop concerts for him, then he’d try to convince me that he was secretly Kylie Minogue. He’d let me plait his hair, which I still have no clue how that happened as he barely had any… He’d do magic tricks for me then show me how to do them myself so I could trick my parents when I’d return from my little weeks away to their house, which I did annually from the age of 7-13, then continued to do on my own account every now and then until this very day. He told me to work hard, no matter what I did and to be kind to everyone around me. He was supportive in all of our career and life choices, and was always understanding of our needs. He never judged or denied me my emotions when I was going through the struggle of teenage depression, nor has he ever treated my brother with anything but love and support in having Autism. He was intrigued by my younger brother in his ambitious Rugby career and thirst for knowledge and was kind and loving and supportive of my younger sister who is only entering the real world now as a young teenager. He was truly amazing and inspiring to me and I could never forget him.
I’ve known deep down for the last three years that he was going to be going soon – he’s been suffering from kidney failure for years and also had a tumour discovered last year, which they couldn’t treat as he was too delicate. He was fading to be nothing but skin and bone, on a strict diet, exhausted from travelling to and from the hospital three times a week for dialysis. He made a decision to quit his treatment. Whilst this news was shocking, I totally respect him for it. For me to even wish for a moment he hadn’t made this decision and that he was still alive feels extremely selfish, which is why I won’t wish it. He was a great man trapped in weakness and illness and he needed to be set free.
One thing his death has brought up with me is my views on religion. I haven’t been able to believe in God for several years now. I just don’t understand religion, I cannot grasp what it is all about and I cannot believe it. When I was suffering from depression, religion made me feel worse as I thought if there was a God, he wouldn’t be punishing me, putting me through this disease unless I was a horrible person, and I knew I wasn’t a horrible person, or at least I thought I wasn’t. I don’t get God’s ‘rules’ about who is allowed what and why they’re allowed it. I couldn’t believe and can’t believe without it sucking me into a dark spiral. Instead I turned to the idea of a deity and spirituality. I feel inside me there is a power that somehow shifts the world and paves our paths, but I don’t know what it is, but I’m happy to live with the ideaology that everything happens for a reason. I live my life through that philosophy. One thing I hadn’t thought when making this decision on my beliefs is the afterlife. After all, if there is no God and therefore no Heaven or Hell, where is Grandpa? Is he just gone? Is that it? Part of me thinks that yes, that is it and there is no evidence that he could be otherwise. But the other part of me wants so badly for this not to be true. I want him to live on, and he does. I don’t know how, but he does to me. I still feel his support every day, I still hear his voice telling me that he’s proud of me and to keep working hard to achieve my dreams. I like being able to explain everything, I’m a self confessed control freak. My panic and anxiety is dependant on me being able to have control over things, so learning that not everything has to have an explanation is challenging and has been since my ‘Everything Happens For a Reason’ decision. Most things I can justify and prepare for, but death is different and learning to let go of explanation fully. One positive is that even though the last month or so has been full of panic attacks and sleepless nights, I feel this experience has drawn me closer to learning that I cannot control everything, not everything is perfect and it’s time I really trained myself to be able to go with the flow sometimes.
I’ll stop this ramble now, because this is getting very deep and morbid and I’m sorry to those of you who I may have upset with this post. However, as I said in the opening, this blog is my space of the internet to express myself and also to keep for my personal memories and thoughts, and I couldn’t continue writing with all this back log in my head. I want to blog a lot more, and have so much more to blog about. I can’t give too much away right now as I’m not for certain, but this death has jolted me into making several changes in my life which I want to share with you. I’ll be writing lots of beauty and fashion posts as well as mixing in some anxiety, fitness and healthy eating, recipes, book, hints and tips, life update and reflective posts.
I love this community so much and know you will all be supportive and understanding of my situation.
‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living’