When I was 8 my Gran (Dad's Mum) died of cancer. Less than an hour before the phone call came in I was talking to a friend, the Catholic girl next-door. She told me not to be sad about my Gran dying, that God was taking away her pain and she was going to a better place. I took her words to heart. When I walked into the living room my Dad was just hanging up the phone, both parents were in tears. I remember going to the back door to say 'Goodbye' to my Gran, it seemed the right thing to do. I remember cuddling my mum and thinking; "This is selfish, she is happier now and not in pain, how can that make me sad?" So I stopped crying, I boiled the kettle and made a few phone calls so other people knew what had happened and that my parents needed them.
I didn't grieve.
Perhaps related to that perhaps not but I've been an emotional wreck for most of my life since then.
When they took Papa (Mum's Dad) into hospital I seemed to be the only one who feared the worst. He had just gone in for breathing difficulties, they kept him in because his heart wasn't stabilising. And now they're keeping him in because his heart, lungs and kidneys are failing. His mind is going and he keep trying to climb out of bed and falling. The doctors don't think he'll make it to Christmas.
This time, I'm crying.
I'm doing my best to hold myself together, I keep reminding myself that he's not dead yet, but it's hard. Maybe because I fully comprehend what death is now, or maybe because I am more attached to Papa than I was to Gran. Or maybe simply because I am allowing myself to feel this time, It hurts a whole lot more. This is the man who taught me to walk, my first word was "Papa" (bet my parents were chuffed!) and despite how annoying, manipulative and gross (84 year old men should not wolf whistle at nurses, especially 84 year old men who refuse to wash) he has become... he's still my Papa. I've said some hurtful things about him, I've thought a whole lot worse, but I'm not ready for him to go get either.
His death will mean that neither of Mum's parents are alive as her own Mum died years ago, before Mum met Dad, when she was only 16. I can't imagine what this feels like to her.
In case your wondering about the title, a while ago I was going through a rough patch and a friend made me listen to Leeland's 'Carried to the Table'. And it's kid of helping me through this too.