My beautiful 99 year old Nan, Iris passed away peacefully early one morning last week as I stroked her silver hair.
Her delicate hands were always immaculately manicured thanks to my mum and I was fascinated by them in recent weeks. I’m glad I took some photos of them to remember her by.
I stayed overnight at my parent’s house and I decided to unpack all my Nan’s possessions that close family and I packed up from her care home the day after her passing and photographed them all.
As a family we decided to donate all of Nan’s beautiful clothes & bedding to the wonderful care home she lived at and the possessions that were left filled 2 large boxes and a basket for my mum to go through when they returned from holiday.
Nan actually moved from a care assisted home some months back so her most precious possessions had already been given/bequeathed to family under Nan’s instructions. It still makes me sad thinking that these possessions are all we have left of our 99 year old Nan’s life.
I have decided though, I’m going to share stories of her possessions to help me process things and to honour my Nan whose grace and love shone through to her final days. She was so gentle and kind and I beg my children or my children’s children would want to help me during my final hours as I did her. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing Nan.
Today’s possession is Nan’s Fly Swat.
After telling my two youngest sons of Nan’s passing, their ‘Grandie’, seeing them physically crying and upset was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a parent. Purposefully upsetting my children and introducing them for the first time to grief. Helping them cope and process their own grief, whilst mine was just as raw, hurt like hell. It still does.
I then decided to give this item I’d taken to them BUT only if they said the words ‘Go get ’em Grandie!’ when they used it. Their faces were an absolute picture when I took it out the bin bag and they set about trying to swat a rather large Blue Bottle which had deemed it acceptable to lay eggs in our cat’s food shouting ‘Go get ’em Grandie’.
I don’t know if you will be in anyway interested in the stories I’m planning to tell about Nan’s possessions as these will obviously be a set of very personal posts but I do know that my own attitude changed unequivocally after my Nan passed as I realised the other residents in the nursing home were just like my Nan. All have led a long life and are now nearing their end of days. I feel society as a whole in the western world writes off our precious olds when they have so much to teach and tell us.
We owe them so much and if my posts do anything, I hope they will encourage you to make time and talk with some, even if they are strangers. I absolutely know it will make their lonely day.