Have you ever loved someone so much that you would give your life for them? Anything to give them peace and to feel loved?
No. Not you. You wouldn’t. You didn’t.
Let me tell you a little about the beginning of the end. My nan. My hero. My heart, knew her cancer came back, even when we tried to console her that the surgeon got it all. She knew. And she was a smart cookie. She put things in place because you caused her nothing but pain.
My nan loved her flat; close to the bingo, close to the buses, close to everything, she loved it. Though after her first surgery to remove the cancer that had spread within her body, and caused her a serious hernia, she needed care. You threatened to put her in a home and in no circumstance was that an option. She had to move with me.
My mother; with complex care needs herself acted as nurse, loving for and caring for her mother more than herself. But where were you? That’s right, you changed the locks as soon as my grandmother stepped outside of the door, though she should have stayed longer. Rented it out quickly and illegally. YOU. Who only contacted her for something, took over her bank account, run up debts in the flat, even landed my grandmother with a CCJ. YOU. Who tells her friends and everyone who would listen how you cared.
Here’s the tea. You did not come to even one appointment. You never cleaned her, or changed her or helped her. Your motives have always been clear. Fuck your family, fuck your mother. You wanted the flat and you made her life a living hell. HELL.
YOU. You never watched her cry herself to sleep. You never heard her cry about coming here with only her clothes and a few belongings. You never saw her look tearily up from her bed and exclaim that if it wasn’t for me, she would be in a home (her greatest fear), you never heard her talk about how hard she worked only to have nothing of her own. Because of you, she missed out on relationships, she never even really knew her other grandkids. You never saw the embarrassment cross her face as I washed her and comforted her. Because of you, my nan lived in pain.
But I promised her, peace.
Did you know I have PTSD? From seeing her laying in a pool of her own blood, after I was only minutes sorting her medicine away from the children. To come down that she had tried to go to the toilet by herself, quietly, but then could not balance, and tipped until she smashed her head on the corner of my bath. To see that image, which haunts me to this day, as I go to my bathroom I still see her there. Do you know what it is like to make a phonecall to the ambulance services and scream, like my voice wasn’t my own. To then learn that she had a bleed on the brain.
Fast forward to her home and from then, she was not the same. She was dying. In and out of the hospital with sepsis, to be told to do a DO NOT RESCUCITATE form. To have to make that choice. To fighting everyday to get her home, as was her wishes. To make her as comfortable as humanly possible.
Then to hear the death rattle. I barely slept, moving a sofa bed in just so I could be there day and night my mother came. Helping her eat and drink until she could no longer.
Do you know the guilt of cooking and eating when the person you love most, couldn’t? No? And you… every text, every call, not asking about your mother, but her will, the flat, what YOU could get.
I set up a TV in her room, with a USB full of Father Brown episodes. As she forgot us all she never did with my eldest boy or myself, until the last day when I simply became “nurse”. When she forgot the world, due to the bleed, she thought she was still married to grandad and wanted to get home to him, she asked to go back to her home in Kennington, and I had to tell her that her home was now with me. The look of confusion on her face when she saw my mother – because to her, she was but a little girl. She never asked for you, or mentioned you at the end. She forgot you, and thank god she did. Because in those moments, the pain you caused her was forgotton.
Then in the early hours, as I ran in as the sound of her breathing was so spaced out. She took her last breath, not alone. And my little boy sang to her body “I’ll be your sweetheart” and he also sang to her as the priest blessed her within the white box containing her ashes. You had the audacity to text my mum asking for some of her remains. But no, it was her wish to remain with me. Intact.
They say time heals. But it doesn’t. Not at all. Not in my case. I miss her, I yearn for her. When I need her, she’s no longer here, no longer here to drink from her favourite cup or give me strength to take on life. I wanted to be with her so badly, that my depression almost led me to take my own life. Something I have not admitted to anyone. But when those thoughts consumed me, I knew that she did not want that, and god knows if I would have met with her. In Catholicism, suicides do not go to heaven.
Do you know what gives me comfort? That she has been reunited with the children that she lost. She told me about the baby she lost, and I know my uncle was waiting. I know grandad was too. Though she would never admit it, she did still love him right up until the end. I hope her mother gave her a hug and took her to heaven, she deserved heaven.
You wasn’t there when she saw the ghostly people pop into her room, she wasn’t scared, she would talk to them like old friends. Everytime I asked her “nan, do you know how much I love you?” she nodded and the last day, squeezed my hand.
I kept notes as I cared for her, so the Macmillan nurses knew in detail, every day what we did. I watched her skin mottle. And threw out my back carrying her to the toilet. Until I could no longer. She still wanted to go even with a catheter. But we kept her comfortable. I prayed for her, when she stopped talking.
My nan in life was THE STRONGEST woman that I had ever known. I was proud she was my nan. She would have given the last penny and clothes off her back for other people. Even people she did not know well, because she was that sort of person.
But you weren’t there.
And now I have gotten the best solicitor that money can buy to fulfil HER wishes.
You didn’t even come to her funeral, though you were invited. Even people she did not know sent love and prayers for her… you? “What about the flat?” others talked crap about what should be, never asking what she wanted. My mother and I listened to her, as she had told us in detail exactly what she wanted. We fulfilled it to the letter.
Yes, what about the flat? She left it to my mum. She never had dementia. Nor did I have power of attorney. I cut you and yours off to let her have the room to die in peace, do you know why? Because you lot threatened us, threatened my home, my children, my partner. Who did nothing to you. Did you know within a few days she had to be taken to the hospital as the stress caused her heart to go into arrythmia. You can thank your son, the chip off the old block for that.
My nan was a clever cookie and all we want is for her to have true peace. If that means that I have to spend everything I own, and more. Then I will. I will take on everything, I will tell people how you really made your money because you never had a proper job in your life and have lived on benefits. I will sue you, I will not stop until that flat is gone and debts paid.
You lived on lives Including claiming carers, which let’s be frank, you never cared for my grandad either. He’d call us to tell us about him worrying about his things going missing or how you want rid of him. You had your bathroom redone when he did not even live with you, he was back in Thailand or Cambodia. He went back early because you wanted rid, because of that he died, if he was here, he would not have and you cost him the last visit with his most beloved daughter Pauline. Mark my words, he knows everything now. His soul knows exactly what you did.
You never told my mother until you were boarding a plane to Thailand, 5 days after he passed. My mother and I could never be that cruel. We notified you, the morning of my nan’s passing.
How can you even look at yourself in the mirror? Are you that disgusting? She never raised you to be so heartless. Yet here you are. Contesting something that she wanted. She never left you the flat because of what you did in life. You destroyed lives. You made hers a living hell, for so many years. Yet I know what you have told others, because your ‘friends’ – well some of them know what you are REALLY like.
You have hated me. It’s sad. All because I have looked after your mother since I was 15 years old.
I am making her proud though. I have learnt to drive and am finishing my master’s degree – both things that she wanted me to do because she believed in me. I have my own demons to fight but even they agree that until she has peace, none of us will stop fighting. I kept receipts as the saying goes. We will use everything we have to make you face up to what you did.
You will. Hell is only half full.