Intimations Of Mortality

Thursday marks the 3rd anniversary of the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer. I shall be observing my usual 24 hour online silence vigil in remembrance.

Three weeks ago we lost my grandmother to cancer. It was quite a shock. She had had a few tumours before, but the doctors took a scan and gave her the all clear after some operations. Less than a couple of weeks later she had another scan which showed it had returned in virulence and was pretty much inoperable. She died four days after being discharged from the hospital.

When I heard she had gone I immediately went around to her house to say my farewells. She was the last of her generation on that side of my family and, of particular meaning for me, the last link with Cornwall from where she came and where so many family holidays were spent doing the rounds of the Aunts and Uncles there.

She had lived (with my grandfather who died ten or so years ago) at her address for nigh on 40 years. A house packed full of memories for me. The house was council owned so now has to be stripped bare and the keys handed back in so as to allow for new tenants.

The morning she died I had to go into town to sort out some banking issues. I was struck by the (simple and obvious) fact that despite this personal tragedy, people still shopped for fish, the busses still ran to schedule etc. etc.

A point that also being made by the fact that the council want the keys back on Monday. All the years they lived there, the garden we played in, the back bedroom where my much loved and missed late Uncle used to fill the floor with his Hornby Train set and Scalextric racing cars ( with landscapes and tunnels he made himself out of papier mache).

All of this struck off by a mere piece of paper.

As with Jamey’s cry in the night three years ago, the sun continues to shine, the world continues to spin. What, on a local level, is of a profoundly jarring nature loses itself in the grand scheme of things. My memories of everything stopping at 4pm on a Saturday because Nan loved her wrestling, or my Grandfather and I sitting in the dining room every Friday evening listening to his records (that I now own myself, complete with the sherry and tobacco induced fingerprints all over them) mean nothing to either the council or the new people being moved in there.

Such is the nature of the world. No amount of appealing to any kind of divine authority, quoting from holy books, praying and singing is ever going to change that situation.

I guess this is where surrendering the ego plays its role.

Rest in Peace, Nan. You were a truly beautiful human being.


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