It’s with a heavy heart that I write to announce the death of my beloved granny. She passed away 4 days ago and she was 87 years old. When I hurriedly booked my flight back to Ghana a month and a half ago, I hardly knew that it was going to be the last time I saw her. My very last meeting with her was really hard. I went to visit her at her nursing home with my mother & my girlfriend. She looked so different that it took a lot of inner strength for me not to break down & cry. She was so much smaller than I had last seen her- she had lost a considerable amount of weight. Her hair had been shaved- probably because she got into a coma & they did not want her head to be entangled & her face was slightly paralyzed from the stroke she had recently suffered. Yet she was so happy. Despite her swollen feet & the pain in her chest, she talked cheerfully about how delicious the food she was served was & how happy she was to see me. She narrated to the nursing home staff how my mom had left me to her to be raised when I was just 2 months old. She smiled at my girlfriend, asked her her name & said that she was so happy that my girlfriend had come to see her a few weeks previously. I shivered as goose pimples swelled up on my arms because I knew that my girlfriend had never gone to the home to see my granny- she’d wanted to but she was shy to go alone & so we decided we’d go when I came to Ghana. Weirdly enough though, my girlfriend later told me that when she got to the nursing home, she felt as if she’d been there before & she felt as if she’d met my granny before… When I said goodbye to Nana, my granny, I had no idea that would be the last time I saw her.
Nana taught me so much- how to be a strong woman, how to be a survivor, how not to be bogged down with self pity but to soldier on in life. I can barely believe that she’s gone. This is not the first time I’ve been bereaved, I lost my dad several years ago & I know that my grandmother was advanced in years, being the same age as the Queen of England is now. And yet… how can you ever deal with the death of the woman who raised you? For now I’m numb & I haven’t shed a tear since I heard of her passing. I wonder if it’s because I’m going to have a huge weeping session later or if it’s because I was more or less depressed before it happened. I read somewhere recently that depressed people deal very calmly with bad news because they expect it.
I hope you’ll all pardon me for not writing on the ‘Gran Says’ series & for the fact that I’m going to take a break from it. During the time that my granny was seriously sick, it was really hard for me to write- I was just at an emotionally difficult place where it was torturous to write about her. Now that she’s gone forever, it seems near impossible to write about her without breaking down emotionally. And yet… I know that time will ease the pain & someday, I’ll be able to write about her again & to continue the story I started to write about her life. Until that time, I’ll write about other topics & start my ‘sex & the church’ blog . So I just wanted to write to tell all of you to appreciate & love those who are dear to you because you never know when they will be gone.
Love you all,
Ekuba (in mourning)