Abby lost her grandmother this week.
This is her eulogy to her.
She was Aunty Matty to other people, mummy to her children and countless other fond names to who knew her.
But she was my Nana.
I have memories of her cradling me, and taking care of me as a baby.
Vacations at Nana’s were the highlight of my childhood years.
She was a tireless, hard working woman who raised her large family to the best of her abilities.
And not just her family, but also (to me it seemed) the whole neighbourhood.
She was loved and appreciated, just by about everyone whose life she touched.
As the years flew by, Nana seemed very out of place.
In our fast paced, always connected, no time for any one age, Nana was a slow, deliberate, thoughtful, kind, gentle and gracious woman, like someone from a different, more altruistic age.
And it was here in her shadow years, while i was grew up and was beginning to work and could make my own trips to see her, that i really began to see her for the strong willed, tireless, hard working that she was, beyond just my nana who cossetted me and made me nice things.
And after all these years, the only theme i see that has rung true throughout Nana’s life was, Nana was there.
- when i was a young bawling baby, Nana was there.
- throughout my growing up years, Nana was there.
- to cook me what my heart desired, Nana was there.
- for everyone in her life, Nana was there.
- to crack jokes and lighten up any room, Nana was there.
- to empathise and have a compassionate ear to whatever was ailing you, Nana was there.
- to gently, yet firmly correct you, Nana was there.
- to remember you on your birthdays and anniversaries, Nana was there.
- to worry about you and pick you up when you were down, Nana was there.
Since the day before, when Nana left us, I feel distraught and left alone, that Nana wasn’t there.
And yet, as i read this little note, i realise that this is not quite true.
Like the Little Prince tells the author,
I cannot carry this body with me. It is too heavy.
But it will be like an old abandoned shell.
There is nothing sad about old shells …
Nana was in pain, and she moved on beyond her body to her rest.
But that does not mean, she isn’t there anymore.
I will always carry Nana with me.
We all do.
Nana is here.