Grandad’s Funeral

Composing on the train. Not easy.

At the moment I’m on my way back home to the real home to see my family. It hardly will be worth it… I arrive back about midnight and will be gone again 36 hours later.

But work calls and unfortunately work rules all.

It’s now been just over a month since the funeral of my dear grandad. It was held on November 1. He had been suffering from dementia for some time, perhaps eight years or so, and in the end the actual death was relatively short on mericful… Though traumatic for all concerned.

He had been put into a care home in the summer. My poor gran just couldn’t cope any more. No surprise there. She had done so well over the years to survive that long, looking after him at home.

But in reality he declined rapidly there. We will never know for sure how much the home contributed to his end of life but I think it did. Their so called care was appalling.

In early October he went into hospital after it was decided the home just wasn’t looking after his medical needs. For two weeks he was on a nil by mouth. There were times that it seemed he might improve but in the end he was basically starved to death.

I thought of this horrible demise a lot. My poor granddad, being killed off because we could do no other. In reality though… He died for me several years ago. Mentally he hadn’t been there for a long time. He hadn’t recognised me in years and even when he showed some level of interest he just got angry.

It was simply horrible to see such an intelligent man, one who I had so much fun with and had such respect for, dying in such an undignified fashion. I guess death is not dignified anyway… But dementia is so cruel. There in body but not in spirit.

The funeral itself was both excellent and very sad. I did not cry at any time up to his death and neither have I cried since. But at the funeral, which featured a great speech from my younger sister, we all had a good sob. I was distraught in parts. I don’t know… it was just so emotional. The worst was when he was carried out to the song Unchained Melody, the song my grandparents first danced to when they met. Seeing my gran upset… for the first time ever, was very difficult.

But it was him. It was a great reflection of his life. It was a fine tribute to a man who had such a huge influence across the family and no doubt will continue to do so.

The effects of his death have not yet been fully worked out the system by my mum. She is still very upset by it all. This has made life at home very difficult and I know my immediate family, including my elder sister who has become more and more distant as the years go by, are all starting to feel the strain. We all want our mum back.

These thoughts are just what have come to my head at this time. There have been many others. Some have faded with the passage of time. But I felt like I must write about them. I owe my grandad at least that.

Thanks for the great memories.

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