Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Two days ago I lost my Nana.

I've been many things in my life, an artist, an author, a husband, a father, a brother, a son and a grandson. One of the most important things I've been though is fortunate. Fortunate to have been all of those things but even more fortunate to have not lost them. At 32 years old I'm most fortunate to have only said goodbye to one close family member, my Grandad, in 1995.

Two days ago I lost my Nana.

Nana had been fighting dementia for many years and had declined both physically and mentally. It's true that she had ceased to be "Joan", the kind old lady who helped raised me and taught me right from wrong. It's true that the dementia took away from her her memory of her late husband, my Grandad. It did however give her a new life. She became, for better or worse, perhaps as a coping method for her illness, she became "Joanie". She never called herself that or claimed to be a different person, but she was so different in herself the last couple of years that it was as if she was someone different, or perhaps a regression of who she once was.

She always knew that she knew us when we visited her in the care home or hospital where she stayed, but she didn't always know how she knew us. One day her daughter could be her sister, or I'd be her son, but she always knew us - even up to her final days she waved at mum or blew me kisses. She loved eating the cream cakes we would bring her twice or thrice a week. She loved giving kisses to the staff who took care of her, and then swearing at them when she thought they'd gone. She loved, perhaps most of all, her soft toy dogs. They were all called Lily and she loved each of them more than anything. She sat with them, played with them, told them off when the her carers didn't take them outside to use the toilet. I remember she used to pretend that they would bite me and I'd pretend that they made me jump. She'd find this his hysterical.

As we are going through the motions right now of sorting out the legal side of everything that must be sorted and I'm looking back at Nana's passing and what I have lost, I don't feel cheated or angry that she has been taken from me, I feel fortunate that I had not only the pleasure of meeting and spending my childhood with Joan, but also fortunate that so much of my recent life has been spent visiting and getting to know Joanie.

I will miss them both. My life may be darker without them, but I'm fortunate that I got to know and love them for as long as I did.

Rest in Peace Nana.

I love you.


1 comment:

Sebastian Chow said...

Hey Grant,

Sorry to hear about your nana.

Best Wishes