Monday, 21 July 2014


Thirteen years ago today, we lost someone really special. It was a Saturday. It was hot and sunny, back when the North East had proper hot summers like everywhere else. I was seven years old. It was a blur, that day. A couple of panicked, short-breaths following a phone call. A trip to a caravan, the sea side, I think I was wearing shorts, and probably advised to wear too much sun cream, although I knew something more important was going on, and I wasn't the least bit worried about ending up with a burnt nose and slightly pink shoulders, in the grand scheme of things. I think I knew what was going on, I wasn't stupid. I could tell from my mam's reaction, the faces of my family around me, they looked sick with worry. I remember the car driving away, and us sitting in deck chairs like prioritising sun was going to hide the elephant in the room. Something was really wrong. I don't think I ever communicated that to anyone else, that I had an inkling of what was happening. It seemed too horrible. Then it was a blank. I remember my dad's car, and the settee in our living room in our old house, and the absence of my mam, and my dad sitting down beside me and my sister, and the blank confusion, and the darkness, emptiness and tears that I saw for a while afterwards. I remember being told I was too young to attend the funeral, and lots of flowers being sent, sympathy cards arriving in dozens, being told afterwards the church was full to capacity.

Every year that passes, it sometimes still doesn't feel real. My grandad was such a big part of my life for those seven years, and I just wish he could see me now. I like to think he'd be proud. Glowing with pride, his first grandchild at university, two-thirds through the degree which will make her dreams possible, and hopefully a reality. I'd have so much to tell him. So much he missed, and yet, I'm sure he hasn't missed a single second of it really. We love you always, grandad. Sleep tight. We'll meet again one day. And by gosh, I'll have some stories to tell. 

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