On Christmas Day, me and my family lost someone very special and close to our hearts. My Great Auntie May passed away from a long battle with cancer. Her husband, Arthur had only recently lost his life to dementia but my Auntie was in high spirits until the very end. She was at the ripe old age of 87 but she certainly didn’t look it.
I didn’t get to see her whilst she was in the hospital and in a way I’m glad that I didn’t. Instead the last time I saw her would have been on the 30th September 2017 which coincidentally was on the date of my parent’s wedding anniversary. She didn’t seem anything else than her normal self but I think at that point she was struggling with some pain.
Thankfully no one really close to me had passed away during my childhood. The first time I experienced death first hand was with my granddad back before I was about to start university. I feel fortunate that I had the chance to grow up without having to go through grief – unless you count my hamster Wiggles. That was a tough one.
My Auntie May was always like another grandparent to me and so was Uncle Arthur. I remember she would always save 2ps for us so that when we went to visit them, she’d get them out in these little plastic bags you get from the bank and give them to me and Ashley to share out. We were always so excited to see how much we got because it meant we’d have ample spending money for the machines at the amusement arcades.
My mum has loads of home movies that my Auntie May had given her a few weeks before she passed which were full of holidays that they went on, footage of earlier life at home in my grandparents and parents places. There’s footage of myself and Ashley as babies, toddlers and young children. My Auntie May and Uncle Arthur documented a lot of their memories and it’s comforting for my mum and our family to have to look back on in years to come. We’ll have to get them put on CDs though so we don’t lose the footage on the vintage tapes!
Auntie May & Uncle Arthur had a gorgeous dog Charlie around the time that Arthur got dementia. I think this helped them both, especially Auntie May when Arthur got sick and had to be cared for in a home. Today at the time that this blog goes live, we will be saying goodbye to her at her funeral. I’m glad I’ve taken the time off to go as I don’t feel I’ve had closure yet or time to grieve and I’m sure I would have kicked myself for not going.
So really this blog is just a tribute to a wonderful woman who I had the great honour of having in my life and even though she may not be around anymore, myself and my family will still have the memories to cherish.