Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
Why are so many people frightened of the inevitable? Of some thing that cannot be changed, a thing that will not by pass you, a thing that will come to us all at the end.
If there is one thing that has been passed down from Grandy it is how organised she was, until the very end.
Grandy enjoyed a list, pre planning and a West Highland Terrier calendar. Sadly, her death in November last year wasn't something that any of us saw coming, this one wasn't in the diary. At eighty-five she went into hospital, she was told that she had cancer and died within the week. Just how she would have liked it.
Did she talk about what she wanted in those last few days? No. Did we try and talk to her about it? No. She had it all planned out, she had for years and years, and we all knew because she told us so!
Organised Grandy, Grandy who bought Christmas presents in September, had planned the entire celebration. Returning to her home we found numerous letters for the family, versions that had been revised as the years past, as her children re-married, wives names crossed out and re-written! We knew the Church where she wanted the funeral, to the songs she wanted played, which one at the beginning, the middle and the end. She was dramatic our Grandy and she would have enjoyed the show!
Perhaps most unsurprisingly of all were the constant notes we found around the house. In her top drawer, a note on a small tub "My gallstones, chuck these when I am gone!" To a sticky label on the spine of a book "For Ross" and inside a note explaining that she had called him after the main protagonist. All these things made everything for our family just that little bit easier - She was thoughtful and funny to the very end.
She died just a month before Christmas, and that Christmas we all cherished our last gifts from Grandy; we had found in the corner of the spare room a sack of presents and nearly two hundred Christmas cards on her desk waiting to be posted.
Our Grandy was loved by many, loved by us all dearly to the very end.
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66