My Grandma lived what would be considered by most people as “a small life”. She didn’t have a grand career, she wasn’t famous, and very few people will remember her. When I visited her before her passing, she told me she only wanted a small funeral because of that.
It was a small funeral, I suppose. It lasted around fifteen minutes in total. A quarter of an hour doesn’t seem like nearly long enough to say goodbye to one of the most important people in my life. But you know what? There were so many people who came to say goodbye to her, and though the service was short, it was full of love for her, for the life she had lived, and the people whose lives she touched.
Grandma taught me to read. She taught me how to tie my shoelaces. She taught me how to bake. She taught me how to knit. She taught me the importance of taking off my make-up at the end of the day, and the benefits of a good moisturiser. She taught me how to defuse a tense situation. She taught me that laughter is a great healer, and that there’s no shame in being silly and having fun.
I won’t ever forget how she made every Christmas magical, how she stuck tinsel and fairy-lights to any surface she could find, and how she literally sparkled right along with it all. How she used to find the noisiest toys in any department store and switch them all on until all you could hear was the almighty din of twenty chickens singing Happy Easter, and our hysterical laughter. How she always knew when something was wrong, how she could make you tell her anything, and no matter that you knew it wouldn’t stay secret for long, that you just always felt better for talking to her.
How she gave the warmest and best hugs, and how she always smelled like pastry and Nivea hand cream.
She was an amazing woman. She was a family woman. That’s no small thing. Not to me. Not to any of her grandchildren, or her daughters, or her husband, or anyone who knew her and loved her.
I hope she knew.