Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another ending

Two funerals a week is perhaps a bit many, reminding one of one's mortality: the skull beneath the skin and all that.

Today's was of an old lady whom I visited in her care home because I was her church elder. She was very confused and kept bursting into tears and begging me to take her home to her own house. I never knew her unconfused so didn't ever find out much about her except that she was a widow with no children and had a niece in England.

There were only 13 people at this funeral (contrasting with the 350 or so at the previous one). On the other hand, this lady was 91 ("I'm 46!" she used to tell me) and I imagine that most of her friends were dead. It turned out that she used to be a nanny / housekeeper in Canada to a family with five children, and they thought so much of her that they named the youngest after her.

It made me realise that I'd kind of assumed that she hadn't had a very interesting life - just because she wasn't able to tell me about it. Whereas she clearly had.

When my confused aunt was in her care home, I took care to put pictures of her when younger around her room: photos of her in Pakistan, wearing Pakistani clothes and talking to children; or with her husband, young and cheerful. I wanted the staff to know that she'd been competent and lively in her time.

(Well, that was an uplifting post, wasn't it? One day, we'll all .... )

Meanwhile. little Grandson looks around thoughtfully, working out what it's all about. Do let me know when you find out, little G.


  1. It's sad that some old people appear to lose their identities...but it's often there all the time...locked up inside them...and it's marvellous if it can be released...

  2. Well, yes, a very sad post. This getting old (and watching loved ones get old) stuff isn't very fun. I know you'll make it up to us next time though -- there's a new baby in your life! (And sheesh -- can he be around 6 weeks old already? WHERE oh where did the summer go???)

  3. I had a great aunt who saw her young husband off to WWI on their wedding day, and never saw him again. I only found out recently that he is buried in Jerusalem. To her credit, she was never bitter, and lived to 100. She made me realise that elderly people were not always old.

  4. Some people led very interesting lives, and it's only after they are gone that we find out about it. Heavens - that grandchild of yours will be walking and talking next week, you know!