Life changing events..
Once every so often events happen in life that are so big thy alter things, this just happend for us.
In short we had a death in the family, as a couple myself and the wife have been together for 20 years pretty much. In this time we have seen some key events that have been defining to us as a partnership.
- Nursing my Granddad through cancer to his passing
- Sister in law dying at 32 suddenly a month after Granddad
- My nan dying 10 months after my sister in law
The above all happened in fairly quick succession and were soul crushing, these events were for us massive life changing events and pushed us to the very limits of what we could cope with as a couple. We had maybe 18 months of a black hole in our life that we just had to work hard to get through. We always say looking back that if this did not break us nothing ever will and I very much believe that.
While a few people have died over the years these have not been in the same ball park in terms of emotional devastation until this past few days. We have to go back a couple of years however, at 96 my wife’s Granny had a fall in her home on Achill Island, Co. Mayo and broke her hip. This started a downward trend in her health which led to her being put into a care home on the island after recuperation stays in hospital. Just before we left to go on holiday to Australia we got a call she had taken bad and things were not looking good, this led to us looking into the cancellation of the holiday but after a quick day visit we decided to keep plans as they were not least as Nanny would have not been impressed on missing out on our trip for her.
While we were travelling she took bad again but no one told us, we have been back a few weeks now and again she was taken bad but this time she had nothing left to fight it with. She had a chest infection and at 98 we received a call last week that she had passed.
98 years old is a remarkable age for an equally remarkable woman. This woman was born on Achill Island, lived there, gave birth to 11 kids in the same house, raised them while her husband worked in the UK to bring in a wage. She lived in this house until she was 96 with 27 grand-kids and 20 great grand-kids. She lived through wars, depression, saw so many aspects of Ireland change and was a supporter of the recent vote for marriage equality in Ireland.
I remember going down to visit on many occasions and taking a copy of Focus magazine with me to pass the time and she would end up reading them all fascinated by what was coming down the line in science and tech and would often comment on what she may miss out on. She was a rare older person that had the ability to have no prejudice and welcomed anyone into her home for a cup of tea by the window.
This news was although not unexpected still heartbreaking to the family and to my wife. When we were kids I used to get shipped from where ever i was in the world to my nannys in Dublin for the summer, great days. My wife was shipped from Dublin to Achill to spend to with her nanny and I can directly relate to this connection. I have heard many stories over the last few days of great summers gone spent on the island with her brothers and sisters. Stories of making hay and helping neighbors when they needed it most.
Jodi spent the last few days running around making sure she was helping with the service and anything that needed doing. We got through the service with a few tears, headed back for a quick refreshment and left for home, we picked up the kids and got back to our home later Friday evening. I went up stairs to change and Jodi broke down, sobbed her heart out for a good half hour. She held it all in to support all those around her until we got back to the house where i supported her.
She will feel this loss for a long time but it will get easier as she is now in a better place.