It’s strange that so much can change in a year and yet nothing changes. Last year was my friend Helen’s hen do and I was sitting on a beach looking into the ocean thinking of my grandpa and how much I missed him. Today is no different apart from I am not on the beach.
I don’t think the pain of losing someone you love so much ever goes. I am lucky enough to have not lost many close people in my life but it really scares me to think of how hard it is when you do. When I was 18 I lost my Granddad, a really amazing healthy fit man who we all thought would live to see 100. There was no warning when we lost him, it was a complete shock. It was the first really close family member I had lost and my reaction to it was surprising. On the night we found out I was extremely upset, obviously, but the following day we all met up round my Aunties and I could not cry. I felt like I wasn’t upset enough, I must be an awful person.... I really struggled with my reaction as I expected to be crying for days. When my Grandpa died I was different again. I expected the first day being full of tears and then for them to dry up but for days afterwards just the thought of him got me upset and it took a long time for that to ease.
With my Granddad I was younger and I felt like he had gone to be with his love who died around 15 years before him. With my Grandpa I knew it was the right time and he was in pain but it was harder to accept because my Grandma is still here in the same house and it just brings up fresh emotions every time we go there. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing but I do think the grief stays a bit more prominent when you are faced with something so familiar that suddenly becomes so different.
Like I said last year, the best thing that has come out of losing the head of our ‘Peake’ (amongst other last names) family is that as a unit we are so much closer than we were before. As a family we were always strong but we took each other, and our good fortune at having such a great family, for granted. Now we understand how important it is to say ‘I love you’ whenever we can, to make more effort to see each other, to take time here and there just to drop each other a message when we are thinking about each other and really appreciate what we have.
Death is never going to be an easy thing for anyone and when you love someone so much it becomes a crippling pain that is hard to get past. Every time I go back to Gloucester I am hit with a wave of nervousness because I know what feelings are going to be brought up. However, to still have that reaction, after 2 years, is a comfort because it proves to me how truly and deeply I loved my Grandpa and no length of time will stop me missing him.
Whatever you believe about where you go after you die doesn’t really matter as long as while you are here you live a life that would make your loved ones - and family you’ve lost - proud. I believe, as a family, we all do that every day.
In my heart I believe my Grandpa, wherever he may be, is happy, comfortable and content and that one day we will all be united. But for now we just have to keep remembering to be there for each other, look forward to our future and work on ourselves as people.
Us Peake's are lucky to have a great foundation and that is because we had a great man start such a great family. An interesting and funny man that could entertain SO many children and a loving man that created such a loving, caring family unit – Our Gramps.
Big love to one of the biggest, most loving, emotional and crazy families. I feel so lucky that I got lumped with you all J
RIP Gramps xxxx