Waking up the day after a funeral is a surreal feeling. I remember waking last Friday morning, the day after saying goodbye to our Nanna Mc, with an intense awareness of my breathing. Life giving breath coursing through my own lungs, and being all the more thankful for it, because this breath I take and each one after signifies my living and existence.
It's a realisation that your life continues, in spite of the life that has been lost. That although some days it feels like grief can take the breath right out of your lungs, each day you wake and take a knowing breath and continue on with all that life will bring across your path. No matter how hard those days and those experiences can be. We all still breathe.
I'm thankful for my grandmother's life. She raised 12 children in a very difficult time. She birthed a daughter that was not going to breathe outside of her womb. She suffered in this grief, along with mourning the passing of her husband, and two of her adult children as she continued to breathe each day.
I would have loved to have talked to Nanna about her stillbirth. About the daughter, sister, aunty that I know we all would have loved to have had the chance to know. I wished I had have talked to Nanna, and told her that I knew. That I understood that pain of her grief. That it was ok to long for and cry for the daughter that wasn't going to stay.
Or to hear her tell me that she understood my grief.
We had an unspoken common bond. A bond that I know I share with far too many women. The bond of losing a much wanted and loved child.
Nanna Mc, you will always be remembered as my grandmother. Your children that you've left here will always remember you and all that you did for them .
And I want you to know that your precious Kaye will always be remembered too.