A few days ago I found out the sad news that my Aunt Sheila passed away. My Granny’s daughter, I always kept in touch with Sheila and seemed to have a nice and unspoken kinship with her.
Sheila had a bit of a sad few last years, a brain haemorrhage left her not really herself and in a bit of a bad way. Just 66 at the time, she was hospitalised, and eventually put into palliative care in a care home.
She did well there, and improved in many ways, but eventually her lifestyle and everything finally all caught up with her and on Friday 17th October, aged 68, she slipped away.
Sheila was very close with my granny, they lived together in Lochaline (near Mull) for about the last 20 years of my granny’s life.
Granny died in 2002, and I went to stay with Sheila to help her prepare for the funeral. I spent 5 days with her and I really helped her, and I think my granny would have been well proud of me.
Since my granny died, I kept in touch with Sheila and always sent her birthday and Christmas cards and presents. I’d send her a home made hamper with stuff I knew she’d appreciate in it, and kept in touch. It was good to be able to do stuff for her.
In 2002, when I drove home from my granny’s funeral, day became night and on the way I saw some rainbows and sunshine which really stuck with me. Now when I see rainbows, I smile.
The other day in work when I looked up, I saw this rainbow in the distance. And it made me smile and be grateful.
Sheila’s funeral is on Monday 27th, in Lochaline. She didn’t have too wide a social network, so I don’t think there will be many people there, so I want to make it special if I can.
At my granny’s funeral, Henry Scott Holland’s poem was read out. And it made it really special. And if you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you’ll know I regularly ‘drop elephant ornaments’ in memory of my granny.
Well, I wanted to get a special poem for Sheila. Something to remember her by. Something the reverend could read out. Sheila always liked a good joke and a good laugh, so I wanted to get one with a bit of humour if I could. But still capture who she was and how I’d remember her.
So I wrote this:
Remember me, whist I forever sleep.
My love in your heart, to always keep.
That distant laugh, that hidden smile,
Will bring me back, to you a while.
Remember the laughs, the smiles and jokes.
And don’t forget, that I liked my smokes.
Stand tall, be proud and be yourself for all to see.
Be strong, be nice and be who you want to be.
Remember the chats and laughs we shared.
Unspoken strength throughout despair.
Throughout the darkness, let the brightness shine.
Feel now no grief, and know you’ll be just fine.
Remember us and all we are.
In the sunshine, rainbows and twinkling stars.
Remember all of the good times we had,
Just smile, remember and please don’t be sad.
Remember too that I am close,
just by your side when needed most.
And through this time that we’re apart
know that I’m there, deep in your heart.
Monday will be hard for me, for reasons I won’t go into on here…
…So I’ll need my cape, and I’m lucky to have a good friend travel a very long way to be with me and help me on the day. I’m very lucky to have her.
And I’ll be wearing my ‘remember your cape’ necklace she gave me too. :-)
Anyway, I’ve come up with something I’m going to do, to remember my Aunt (and her mum, my Granny).
Here’s where the little elephant ornament I bought in San Diego comes in handy.
It just so happens that it’s head hinges open so that something can be put inside his body.
So I printed out my poem for Sheila, and the ‘All is Well’ poem for Granny and folded then small, and put then inside it.
The next step is to drop this colourful little elephant that came all the way from San Diego.
I’ll drop it at some point on Monday, probably after the funeral, at Keil Cemetery. Or around Lochaline somewhere.
Hopefully it will be a nice personal thing to do to remember her by, and hopefully her friends will like the poem too.
Ps: if you have a cape you can lend me on Monday, I’d appreciate a shot of it. ;-)