Queen Victoria and My Grandmother

Write hard and clear about what hurts .

-Earnest Hemingway

My grandmother passed away three days ago. That’s what hurts, Earnest Hemingway. It hurts really badly. So I’m going to write about it because I don’t know how else to understand it. I’m confused, and it doesn’t make any sense.

One of the most important times in my relationship with Grammy was the trip to London she took with me in the spring of 2012. This was my 16th birthday present. Okay, so I was 19, but we were making up for my 16th because I had gone through a hard time with the death of her husband, my Granddaddy, ย years ago and also struggled to understand some things she did to cope with it. That’s a completely different conversation, but long story short, we had come to a place where we were closer and more understanding and we had decided to go on the adventure she offered me when I turned 16.

Death was surprisingly a significant presence on the course of this adventure in London. I don’t think I quite recognized this before the reflection that I have been plummeted into due to her own death, but looking back, I recognize a lot of connections, conversations, comments, and experiences relating to death that were a part of that experience.

We’ll start with probably the most significant: Grammy had been taking care of a woman, Ruby, who was really like her mother – she was the nanny for her and her siblings, and she even saved her life once. ย Grammy just adored Ruby and would talk about her all the time and you could tell it was just a joy for Grammy to take care of her and see her every day. Ruby hadn’t been doing so well when we took off for London, but she was in the care of her family for the two weeks we would be away. I remember Grammy saying “Don’t let her die while I’m gone, okay?”

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I really hopeย there is absolutely nothing wrong with making hot chocolate just for the sake of eating the marshmallows once they get all gooey and kinda melty and fluffy.