One of my carers suggested I do this. She suggested I write it in a card and place it with you as your body takes it’s last journey tomorrow… But I find it easier to type and I think the idea of this easier to deal with and more comforting than a card. I know that you will know this wherever you are… you probably already know what is in my Heart and what I’m going to say and I’ve yet to write it, I don’t really know what I’m going to say to you yet.
Tomorrow is your funeral. Oh how I wish it wasn’t!
I can still see you sat there in your chair in the lounge laughing at us and being happy that we were there. I would sit at a sort of right angle to you most of the time but I always tried to spend a few minutes perched on the edge of my chair holding your hand and cuddling you and chatting up close. How I wish my CP allowed me to do that more often and for longer. And how I regret that tomorrow I will not be able to stand up when the others do, kneel when they do and instead must remain in my chair.
I don’t often regret being disabled, believe it is right for me and that I have it because I am strong enough in my soul to cope with the trials it throws at me. But I won’t participate fully tomorrow because of it and I do hate it for that!
I know that you wouldn’t want me to feel like that and I’m trying not too. I know that you were proud of me for all that I am and for not letting me stop me. I will participate in everything and I know that you believe that not standing etc doesn’t affect that but I know that after your strokes you understood where I’m coming from – knowing that it’s ok that I can’t but still hurting all the same because I can’t.
Talking of being proud, did I ever tell you how proud I was of you… for everything you were and everything you taught me. And especially for how well you coped after your strokes and as you gradually became more and more disabled by them. Despite my disability being lifelong and your only becoming disabled in the last six, seven years or so I learnt a lot about how to cope with my disability from you – your courage and your smile and the way you kept fighting till the very end inspired me and taught me how important it is to say and to live as though I have a disability, it doesn’t have me. Because that’s how you lived. It is now how I live and how I will continue to live. To honour the woman that you were and the woman you helped me to become and continue to help me to grow into.
I can remember visits from the Pillow Fairy, Easter Egg Hunts, a Barbecue in the rain one day when Dad and Uncle A had to cook under an umbrella. I remember going to feed the chickens and so much more. Games of school where you would be a pupil either called Dim (because your initials were DJM) or Arabella because you liked the name.
You loved horses. I have many, many memories of going Horse Racing with you and Dad. Sitting on the grass making daisy chains between races and chosing horses to bet on because you liked the name or it was something Grandad or one of us liked. You would watch the racing on TV as well and your enjoyment was palpable. I also remember you coming to watch me in some of my Riding competitions. I was so proud to not just have my parents and brother and sister with me but my Gran too.
Just like when Grandad died we are having family flowers only and having a collection. We’re going to give the money to Riding for the Disabled in your memory – to the group that I was a part of and that gave me so much for 16 years. It was Auntie Sheila’s idea. I remember how proud of my riding you were. I remember how giving you were and how you would have done anything for anyone It seems really appropriate that we do this for you as a part of our final goodbye… our see you sometime. But oh how I cried when Dad told me that yesterday and how the tears fell even harder a few minutes ago when I printed off a notice about the donations.
I don’t want to finish writing this letter. I don’t want tomorrow to come and for it to be your funeral. I don’t want to face the truth that you really, truly are gone and not sat in your chair laughing and watching TV like usual. I feel like you should be. But I am also happy for you… happy that you are with Grandad again and the rest of your family and friends.
Do me a favour? Give Grandad a big hug and a kiss for me (Nanny and Grandad T too if you see them) and tell him I love him lots. Remember that I love you now and forever and that I am so so proud to be able to say that YOU are my Gran and am thankful that you helped me to become the person I am.
I miss you sooooooo much and hope I can do you proud with the rest of my life