Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Unravelling....



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It's been a year since you've been gone. A whole year! I have wanted to write about you so often but it's been too hard.

There was the initial shock and grief. The tears at night as I wept into The Pianoman's chest. Always at night.

Then we packed up and left Sydney - your home with all the memories I hold so dear - and for three months we travelled around this big country of ours. A big distraction.

At the end of the trip, we returned to our home in Tasmania and something started happening.

Like a ball of wool, I started to unravel. Delayed grief perhaps?

It started the day we arrived back here. First it was the sight of the Agapantha hedge at the top of the stairs. And then the smell of the Wisteria climbing the pillar at the front door. Memories of you.

And then a small cardboard box in the bedroom. It sat there for weeks before I could open it. It contained some of your handkerchiefs and scarves. They were destined for the local charity store and I couldn't bare that thought and asked if I could keep them instead. Worth nothing but everything to me. They still smell of you.

Then Winter came and I got to wear the beautiful chevron scarf you knitted for me in 1997 to keep me warm while I lived in Canada for a year. I wore this scarf all Winter long.

And then the one Camellia bush in the garden starts to flower. More memories of you.

Then there was the daily visit to the letterbox, knowing there would never ever be another letter from you. If you were still here we would have had many exchanges. I wanted to tell you all about our trip and our new life. You would have been so interested in everything we were doing. All the mundane things that only you would care about.

I tried to hold the ball of wool together but it continued to unravel as your Birthday came and went. As did Mothers Day, a day where I always think of you.

I unpacked more boxes and found the book you wrote about your life which we received just after you died, the most precious of gifts. And then there's the big folder of letters and e-mails which we had exchanged over the years and which you gave to me 3 days before you died.

And then I received your precious Pearls. The ones with the Sapphire clasp that you wore to all the special family occasions, Weddings, Births, Anniversaries. I wrote to Grandpa to thank him and told him I was taking your Pearls on a Date to Government House. He liked that. I wear them as often as I can.

I then I fall pregnant and the Ball of wool has well and truly unravelled now. I feel unhinged and I don't know what to do about it. You will never get to meet this member of our family and they will not meet you. It breaks my heart. I loved that I had a Daughter followed by 3 Sons just like you. But that connection will soon be broken. You would not have been surprised that I am having another baby though. We discussed it. I told you I hoped to have another one and asked whether you ever wish you had another child. You really had to think about this. You said you would have but were advised not to have any more after my Dad, the last born, was declared an "Olympic Champion" at birth. I asked you what names you liked. You liked "Loretta", a name you had heard while at the Hairdressers.

And here we are one year on. I still think of you everyday and still struggle knowing there will never be anyone to fill that void or help me feel connected to the rest of the family like you did.

You filled my life with so much love and happy memories and I will miss you forever. My Darling Nanny.



31 comments :

  1. Mel, grief is such a journey. We are on a road trip up north & coincidentally drove drove past the cemetery where my grandfather was buried 25 years ago.....so I pointed it out & told them all about my memories of him & how he died on hols visiting us in Tas from NSW. To the extent that we arrived at mum's house in Launceston & they hugged her & said how her dad had been such a 'dude'! Rx

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    1. That's lovely Romy, so important to keep the memories alive xx

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  2. Mel, I have only just started following on your journey, but I feel like I have know you for some time. I'm a bit teary reading your story. It brought a bit back to me, as some years ago after my Dad passed away unexpectedly, Mum said to me that she was 'like a ship without a rudder', so the very same analogy.
    It certainly is all a journey. I'm sure she would have been well pleased with yours. Time eases all. cheers Wendy

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    1. Cheers Wendy. All part of the rich tapestry of life. I need to be more patient :-)

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    1. Three little crosses say so much, thank you :-)

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful post Mel - you have a special way with your words - but then, you're a very special gal. Lj xo

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    1. I'm grateful for my lovely cousins, times like these I wish I was up there with you al x

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  5. Oh you poor thing. This is just heartbreaking. You know your grandmother would hug you if she knew how upset you are. What was her name? Maybe you can name the new baby after her? I did that with my eldest, in fact she has her entire name grandmother's name. I always think of her when I have to fill-in a form for the eldest. I hope this pain eases with time

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    1. Love this idea. We named our boy after Grandpa :-) Thanks for making me smile too - we don't know what we are having and I just had a vision of the look on the doctors face should I give birth to a boy and announce that we will call him "Margaret" after my Grandma :-)

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  6. Oh Mel. Grandparents hold such special places in our hearts. My gorgeous Grandma never met my girls at all. I like to think that she pulled some strings for me wherever she was and got me those daughters. Let yourself unravel. You can't stay in a big knot forever and soon you'll have another family member to pour all your love into. Small steps, Mel. x

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  7. She sounds like such a special Nanny, mine was too. Hydrangeas, grey painted houses, Queen Anne's lace, vintage childrens' books and teasets remind me of her...more with a smile than grief now after thirty years. I hope your memories turn into sweet thoughts for you with time.

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    1. Thanks Carol - the memories are ALL good. Just not good with the sad bit x

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  8. Dear Mel, what sweet memories you have. This loss will ease in time as the memories take over and make you smile. Right now you need to continue to let yourself unravel. Don't hold it in. Speaking from experience when my Dad passed away, the aftermath of all that holding will hurt that much more. It's okay to grieve and to continue to grieve. I hope you find comfort in her things and in your memories of her.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  9. Oh Mel, this post made me cry. I know exactly how you feel. I've never commented on your blog but feel I had to tonight. I was extremely close to my grandmother, I absolutely adored her (and my pa as well). As of this November 13, she would have been gone 8 years. Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of the passing of my pa, her husband. I miss them both so badly. The most special childhood memories I have are memories of them and their house by the sea. I think of her every day and can't believe it has been nearly 8 years since I saw her last. I can still picture her perfectly as well as the sound of her voice. I make sure I do this regularly so the memories don't dim over time. I still cry, always at night when I am by myself or lying in bed awake thinking of her. I wear her fleece jacket all the time but it stopped smelling of her a long time ago. So I sometimes spray a bit of her perfume on it. I wear her scarves and hand knitted jumpers and spray them with her perfume too. I plant things in the garden that she had in her garden. I have her rose bushes in pots that have moved house with us and that I fuss over.
    The grief doesn't go away. You learn to live with it. But the memories come with smiles mostly these days, rather than tears. It does get easier. But then I feel guilty.
    My nan never saw me get engaged or married. She has never met my daughter, her namesake who has her name as her middle name. She has never seen the house I live in or the car I drive. I cried when me moved house last year because she had visited us in that old house. Now we live in a house that she has never been in.
    A big hug for you tonight. Your nan lives on in you and your beautiful family. Margaret would be a lovely name if you have a little girl.
    xxxxxx

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  10. Oh Mel I can feel your sadness all the way up here in QLD. I am glad you have so many great memories. You have also reminded me I need to call my grandparents. We normally talk weekly but it has been 3 weeks now.

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  11. Oh Sweetheart. You know how much I get this. I can't believe it's been a year for you, either. I can't wait to give you a hug. J x

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  12. Oh sweet Mel, what a touching post & beautiful account of the impact your precious Nanny had on your life. Grandmothers ARE true gems & sadly their passing leaves a massive void in our lives. I miss my Nana also...I only ever knew one of my grandmothers, so she was so very special to me & my brothers. She would be smiling down upon you & your lovely family Mel, I'm sure of it xoxo

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  13. Oh Mel, how beautifully you wrote this post. I know exactly where you're coming from my grandparents were very special people and were more involved in my life than anyone else. Sadly they never got to meet any of my children but I'm sure they are still around me somewhere, as is your Nanny. They never expected me to have any children so I'm sure they're up there somewhere shaking their heads in amazement now! Sending hugs x

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  14. Beautifully written post about your nanny. Made me cry when I read it. So happyyou have nice memories. My nana is 93 and has alzhimers. dosent remember any of us, but we have great memories of her. Thank you for making me think of my good memories today.

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  15. Oh darling, so gorgeous & thoughtful. She knows, Nannies ALWAYS know. You'll re-ravel soon, it will all come together naturally, you just can't rush these things, love Posie

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  16. Such a beautiful post Mel, I had tears in my eyes. Nanas are so special and calay such a special part in our lives and you have captured this beautifully. She sounds like a wonderful lady who is no doubt watching over you and your gorgeous family, bub included. Xoxox

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  17. Hugs first xxx

    I think unravelling is an essential part of letting go, and I also think that you'll knit something beautiful from all these wonderful memories. In fact you've begun to, here. What a fabulous grandmother she must have been xxx

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  18. Mel I had to come back to your post as I had a big lump in my throat that need to be released. There is something incredibly special about grandparents. Your Nanny sounds like a truly beautiful spirit that you obviously had a wonderful relationship with.
    Bringing new life into this world I think heightens the fact that some special people in our lives won't get to meet them. It certainly did when I was pregnant. The good thing though, is that you get to tell your little people all the stories and the wonderful memories you have from your Nanny... and I reckon she would love that.

    Warm belly rubs to you.
    xxxx

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  19. Oh Mel, sorry I haven't commented earlier. This writing was so poignant and real. It is so tough to go through grief, and I think a little unravelling is fine. I hope things start coming back together for you.

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  20. Oh Mel, I'm so sorry to read this and speaking from experience, I totally understand the range of emotions your going through - I still go through them. Take comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of your Nanny and of all the special life's lessons she passed on to you. Big hugs xx

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