This year we've started off running. Christmas was great. Relaxing. Way too much food but that's allowed during the Holidays.
During Christmas my grandmother's condition went from bad to worse. She's been in what we call the Old People's Home, for years. It's practically our next door neighbour and we visited several times during Christmas.
I went back to Bergen on Sunday 6th. I went to the introductory meetings for my courses and managed to sign up for everything. My grandmother died that day, Tuesday the 8th. My brother and I came home this Thursday, the funeral will be on the 15th.
My grandfather passed away in June 2006, and my grandmother has been getting worse ever since. Last autumn my mum called, fearing she wouldn't survive the next couple of weeks.
They'd found a tumor in her liver but, as it turned out, what made her ill was withdrawl symptoms from not smoking. She usually smoked like a chimney and when in hospital she wasn't allowed to. As soon as she got her tobacco back, she recovered quite quickly.
I thought about staying home a few days longer when I left after Christmas, but I thought she'd hang in longer. I don't know why, I just had that feeling. She was in her bed, barely conscious. She was scared of dying, constantly calling out if she couldn't hear people talking. My dad and my aunt spent the last few days and nights sitting with her. She'd been calling for her Mum and Dad, for her son and daughter.
I remember my grandfather's funeral. All us grandchildren, 8 of us, were handed a rose to place on the coffin. I was standing next to my sister, we were holding hands. I think not having given myself the chance to grieve before, it all hit me right then.
What was sadder still was my grandmother. She was already a bit 'lost' and not quite realizing what was going on. But as the coffin was standing there on the grass outside the church, ready to be lowered into the ground, she reached out. She was in her wheelchair next to the coffin, and reached out to my grandfather and whispered to him.
She kept whispering, as if he could hear her. As if she almost knew what was going on, but not quite. Like a child whispering to its doll or pet, telling them her secrets. They'd been together for more than half a century, they had two children and eight grandchildren.
Unlike my grandfather, my grandmother got to experience being a great grandparent when a little girl was born this spring. I don't think she ever knew it.
My grandmother was 84 years old when she passed away. She was old and sick but had people around who cared about her. She had children and grandchildren, and we would all be lucky if we have all that when our life comes to its end.
As for me, I have no more grandparents. One generation has passed away, as a new one is beginning. I always thought some day I'd sit down and ask them about the old days, but suddenly it was too late. I'll never have that chance back. I've learnt my lesson.