Grief is so hard isn’t it, it just overwhelms you when you are least expecting it. My mum mentioned selling Popa’s bungalow and whilst I know this will happen within the next few months the tears welled. Not just in my eyes but in Erin’s too. Not only is this my dads teenage home, it is where I remember nanny and popa.
Before mum was a teacher she had a few other jobs, teaching was always her goal but when I was little she did office work. Mum and dad worked in the school holidays and on those days I would spend my time at nanny and popas. I remember before he retired and when popa worked nights. We would be confined to the kitchen and porch. Our days were spent playing board games with nanny. We would also be allowed to play outside under the carport. We had a spinning top and string thing that bought hours of fuun. Popa was skilled in all things handy. He could make things like no one else (apart from dad who he passed all his skills onto). We would often be given a piece of wood, some nails and hammer to play with. Those are my memories.
We would play card games and I learnt rummy, chase the ace, sevens and patience from those days spent at the kitchen table. Ludo and snakes and ladders also featured heavily. This was long before digital technology and we were never bored.
We then would have lunch – often a boiled egg sliced, placed on toast then cheese grilled on top. It is still one of my favourite comfort foods. The lunch I turn too when needing some warmth, some reassurance. It’s odd how I associate food with a cuddle but I do. We would then watch Neighbours on the kitchen TV. We twisted the dial to find the channel! Next we would then make pudding. We had sundae glasses which felt so decandent and we would make knickerbocker glories. Basically, tinned fruit, icecream and ALL the sauces! So 1980’s early 1990’s. So wonderful!
We would then wake Popa by taking him a cup of tea. In later years popa retired early due to an injury. He was a factory worker and he had a shoulder injury caused by falling over, playing badminton with me. This caused him to leave Dowtys earlier, the place he had worked for decades.
As I got older and went to Uni, nan would make me a hamper each term. It would contain those cupboard staples plus some random items that they thought I needed! Pancake mixes, pasta, teabags (despite me not drinking tea) and washing up liquid. A box filled of goodies, wrapped with love.
My childhood is wrapped up in spending time in their bungalow. I still go up regularly at the moment. Dyl is keeping the garden under control, mowing weeding and general tidying. It is his way of helping out. He does it for love and as a tribute to how important his great grandparents were in his life.
Erin comes with us and cannot visit without bringing something home, whether it is the garden ornaments or cushions off their bed, she doesn’t leave empty handed. I let her bring back whatever she wants. I myself have a lamp that has also stood in their living room. By having a lamp it is like a light that won’t ever be extingished. I adored my nanny and popa and I miss them ooh so much. Sometimes that grief is just unbearable. I just look at their picture on my wall and the tears fall. Freely. My post on Would You and Should you Take Young Children to Funerals is one of my hugely popular posts. I am glad we need take Erin as it really helped her uunderstand and we able to grieve.
Raw grief lasts for two years apparently and there are stages that you need to go through. It is so hard to think about them withoutt feeling sad.