Sunday, June 10, 2007


Scran was my pet name for my maternal Grandmother, a terrific lady who actually didn't make much of a secret of the fact that I was her favourite. I still miss her and these are some posts from an old journal about her last days.

From Journal 09-04-1988
Scran was admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital last week. The cancer and old age are running their inevitable course and she is rapidly failing. I think she has just about given up. Today, I know, she said goodbye to me. I went in to kiss her farewell and she said “You’ve been a good boy.” Her eyes and mine filled with tears. I told her I loved her and she gathered herself together and said “Make sure your Mother doesn’t come back in tonight.”

It is hard to come to terms with my helplessness. I am not a religious person but it is times like this that I wish I had recourse to faith in a just God and an afterlife. I hate to think that there is an end to a soul. Grief would be so much easier to come to terms with if I could believe that the soul, or the essence of a person is not lost forever. There is little comfort at this time in memories although I know that time will eventually ease the heartache.

It is my Nana’s 81st Birthday tomorrow and I find myself hoping that she doesn’t have a long lingering death. She deserves peace and dignity.

From Journal 27-04-1988
Scran is still hanging on but is now at the Harold McCracken Hospice in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. Some days are better than others, although the bad days are more common than not now. The cancer in her spine has paralysed her from the waist down and she is in such great pain that the morphine dosages have been increased to such an extent that she no longer knows who her visitors are.

Last Saturday was one of her better days, Lyn and I had a good conversation with her. She was so good that as we were leaving we took the boys in to say goodbye. Her eyes lit up when she saw them and she appeareda little like her old self.

From Journal 28-04-1988
At 8:10 pm last night, my Nana died peacefully. She had lapsed into a coma a few hours previously. Her suffering is now at an end and we as a family can get on with our grieving and our lives.

Grief is a funny thing, it lingers in the background, ever present but not constantly felt until a moment when something triggers the tears and fears of the living. Today is am unremarkable day, save for one thing, for the first time in my life I have no grandparents. I count myself lucky to have had them for so long, and, if there is one thing in particular that Nana gave me, it is a sense of family, a feeling of belonging to a family which to em is one of the most important, no, the most important thing in my life. Nana was the tie that binds and I hope the memory that binds us closer.

Nana leaves three children, twelve grandchildren, and each of their spouses, fifteen great-grandchildren and one on the way. Her existence lead to the existence of many others, her living brought something worthwhile to each of them. I told her often recently, how much I loved her, but it wasn’t necessary, she knew it and accepted it as her right and justly so. She had a lot of love to give and each and every one of us too it and I like to believe returned it in kind. I’m going to miss you Scran. I love you.

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