Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Re Vera (In Truth)

It's a hard day today. Today is my Nanna's funeral and because of my illness, I won't be there. She passed away on the 4th January at the ripe old age of 99. She had been in hospital, slowly deteriorating for several weeks so it was expected but as you can imagine that doesn't make it any easier. In fact, in many ways it was much harder. 

Ever since I became too ill to travel I have had this day at the back of my mind. I always knew it was likely to happen. If I'm honest, I dreaded it. To not be with my family, saying goodbye to her seemed too cruel to contemplate. Aware that each time my parents brought her to see me might be the last (another cruelty that in her elderly, frail condition it was her that had to travel to see me) when it became time to say goodbye, each time I would hug her just a little longer and try to memorise her face, what she was wearing, the things she said to me.

So here we are, finally. The day I feared would come, and I shall say my goodbyes at home in my own way. It will suffice because it has to. The hardest part will be knowing I am not there to support my mother, give her the hug she so deserves. 

My parents asked me to write a poem for the order of service so I could be included in some way. I am thankful that I managed to write something half decent - the pressure of knowing it may be read out today was a little daunting. My mum told me they would have to find someone who could read it without crying! It's called 'Re Vera' which is Latin for 'In Truth', which I thought fitting because Vera was her name. Interestingly, it's also Albanian for 'Summer'. I like that. That's how I think of her - endless warmth from her embraces, her love enveloping me like the slow heat of the summer sun. I shall miss her so very much.

Re Vera (In Truth)

I won't cry for you -
You're no longer in pain
I'll cry because I'll
Never see you again.
I'll cry that I miss you,
I'll cry now you're gone.
I'm sad that you had not
The strength to go on.
But I'm not sad for you,
You are finally free.
You're with all your friends
And you're with family.
You're up there with Grandpa,
Kate and Peter too,
With Edith and Audrey
To take care of you.
They'll love you and keep you
As safe in their hearts
As I will until
We're no longer apart.
It's their turn to have you,
We've kept you too long
So I'll try not to cry
Just because you are gone.
Age cannot stop you,
You're free from its chains.
No more will you suffer 
Its cruel aches and pains.
I'll cry because I miss you
And need the release
But I won't cry for you,
I'll be glad you have peace.
Though you're not here to hug me
Or dry all my tears.
I feel blessed to have had you 
Almost 40 years.
So sleep well dear Nanna,
For now you must rest.
You'll always be with me,
I will never forget.

© Charlotte Green 2015

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