We farewelled Nana Betty today, it was lovely in its own sad way. Lovely to spend time with my brother – it’s actually been a great couple of days hanging with my grunting, monosyllabic, silver fox of a younger brother. We don’t normally hang out much at all – he’s not a big fan of kids and mess and I have them in abundance. He married a lovely young woman who doesn’t swear or make messes or wear anything vaguely interesting (FUCK I’m a bitch!) and he doesn’t like to make waves either so we simply don’t see much of each-other. That makes his wife sound terribly boring and that’s not true at all – we are just complete opposites.
It’s weird to look at my brother and see a grown up man. Because, like, he’s younger than me and I’m not bloody grown up! He owns property and apparently a suit (looked very dashing today) and has been going grey since we were teenagers. Me too but hair dye duh. He has a dry sense of humour and is slightly more expressive than our Dad and Uncle. Grunt grunt, mumble mumble what?
It was hard to watch my Dad break down as he finished the eulogy. At the end he asked us to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nana – today was her birthday – and I felt myself crack too. It was hard to sing Happy birthday and hard to watch my Dad cry.
My Step-Mum has been an amazing source of strength for Dad. She has basically put her life on hold for the past few years to care for Nana Betty and indeed, it was she who slept at the hospital with Nana as she was fading. I have nothing but thankfulness and admiration for the amazing job she has done of looking after Dad and Nana and the rest of us when we needed her. I hope she gets some time to grieve, her relationship with Nana was special too and she needs time.
In the weird, sad way that funerals are, it was a time to see family that you don’t really think about for the rest of the time. I have not had a close relationship with my Dad growing up and therefore his side of the family remain, for the most part, a mystery to me. It was really good to see my Uncle and cousins on that side, my step-brother, his nana, good to see them all.
We did what we could to celebrate Nana Betty and honour her memory, and I’m pleased to say that I believe her spirit is finally free.