The tears are falling quietly, splashing onto my glasses and falling on the desk. They are coming regardless of how many times I wipe my eyes and clean my glasses. The world is a bit hazy at the moment, a little bit off-centre…
The call came as I was getting ready for work. My cousin was at the other end and she didn’t really have to say the words ‘He’s gone.’ because I already knew. Noone really rings at 4.40 in the morning unless it’s bad news.
Do I go to work following a death in the family? I don’t know. I want to be with my family, but they’re all far away in Geelong, in London, en route to Ireland and tucked up in bed. I walk out the gate and call my sister. She knew the moment I called why I was calling. We share our grief, then say our goodbyes. I keep on walking to the railway station in the cold thinking about Granda.
His love of smoking. His need to have the house as warm and stuffy as possible. His taste for a very strong cup of tea, preferably stewed. His birthday cards with a little poem inside each one. His reminiscing with me about what my dad and auntie Dee were like as children, the same age as my kids. His faith and his love for his family.
It’s hard to say you miss someone you saw only irregularly, but I feel completely wretched at the moment, even more so because I’m not with my aunts and uncles and cousins who are feeling even worse than I. I think the worst thing is my dad is heading over yet again, too late to say goodbye.