August 31, 2018

Dear Nan, on what should have been your birthday…

There’s nothing more I dislike than when people tell you that grief gets easier. It really doesn’t! You just become better at managing it the longer time goes along. You develop the ability to cope with the loss as every day is another day without that person. I didn’t realise I could still be grieving 9 years later until significant dates happen such as birthdays or anniversaries!

I know a lot of us have experienced grief. It’s a crippling emotion that feels like it’s crushing you from inside. It’s like an ache that never seems to go away despite the time continuing. I guess I’m lucky in the sense that your death has been the one and only death to really affect me but no matter who you lose, it’s always a difficult process. Grief comes in different forms to different people but what I’ve learnt is there’s never a right way to manage it. Some people are sad, quiet, angry, inconsolable. I was distraught, left feeling guilty at all the things I wish I had said or done despite the fact, I couldn’t change anything about it now.

I remember your funeral as clear as day, even remember all the words to the poem that I read aloud that day. It’s weird that you remember the little details like me mentioning how much I’d love to watch Emmerdale with you again, despite the fact you knew that I hated it! We always felt like you had to go to make space for Thomas because less than a week after you passed, along came our special little brother, and despite the fact he’s a little shit most of the time, he’s the best gift you left us!

So 9 years later and today would have been your birthday. It’s times like this that you not being here is so apparent. At big milestones you’re sorely missed. I always wonder what you’d think of my life and wish that you could have met Noah, god you’d have loved him and his cheeky ways! The wedding won’t be the same without you by my side as i know you’d have loved to see the day I walk down the aisle. I reckon you’d have quite liked the look of Neil too!!

It’s hard to go and see your woodland grave because every time I visit, the tree has grown more and more. It hurts to see as it shows how long you’ve really been gone. Every year of Thomas’ life is another without you here and it’s really not fair. I often wonder why the good ones are always taken when there’s so many bad people out there. But I know that thought can send you crazy as the world simply doesn’t make sense. But I miss you. There is so much that I miss about you from your harsh truths, to caring nature and always bringing me sweets when you picked me up from school. You were a huge part of bringing us up and taught us right from wrong. There honestly isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you.

Your cancer journey was so hard for everyone and we were all behind you cheering you on. But the fight became too much and when it returned, you’d had enough. I sometimes think what if?! What if you’d found that extra strength to continue fighting?! Would you still be here with us all and watching your great grandchildren grow up? But it was your time and we knew you were tired. What ifs won’t bring you back but they don’t stop me wondering.

I watched you grow physically weaker and the once strong willed and feisty Nan I knew, became exhausted and defeated. It never changed the fact that you were a beautiful and special person that had more of an impact on me then you could ever have imagined. Despite all the years that have passed, the thought of you still makes me cry. When I hear Tom Jones, or see white butterflies then you’re always in my thoughts. Noah will always know who his Great Nanny Newsham was and what an incredible force to be reckoned with that she was.

So If you’re out there somewhere Nan, then please know you were the best Nan in the entire world and everyone was so proud of you and your battle until the very end! ❤️

I love you an unbelievable and unbearable amount!

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