i spoke a eulogy for my grandma at her funeral, i felt i had to, owing to her influence on me, but i was faced with a conundrum: i had no idea if i could actually do it.
i perhaps thought about it too much: will i break into tears, if so, reading with my spectacles filling with tears & misting, will make the act of reading difficult & i can’t read without my specs, so i had to try to memorize something.
i had something in mind, i rehearsed it to myself & hoped that i could choke back my tears to get through it. i got through it, but i couldn’t get what i wanted to say, what i had rehearsed out, because choking back tears hindered my ability to think straight, to produce the eulogy as i’d idealized.
i managed to say something, to the effect of what is below, the eulogy, i would have ideally liked to have said, embellished as a poem, to my grandma.
(photography by me of the pine forest near my home in England, at evening: my grandma loved sunsets)
eulogy for my Nan
i never thought this day would come,
not even after seeing her consumed with COPD;
i knew death was always waiting round
the corner of the next day, but
she was always so present in my life, death
still felt remote, improbable at best, always next year.
she was always at home, in her nest, the kitchen
table where she smoked a fag in view of the tv
a litter of torn up envelopes, calculations scribbled
on the back whilst watching Countdown, bills
& cheque book, a dictionary, her 20 Superking’s ciggies,
a cup germinated with coffee & tea stains, powdered milk,
dried up Bic biros, foundation, toner, lipstick,
sometimes her teeth in a glass of water
– it felt so odd to walk into the house & she not there
to hear my news updates(she had never not been there in fact)
to hear whatever new plans i’d devised;
– no matter how outlandish,
no matter how unprepared i was
she encouraged me- no matter even how far apart
in distance & time it would make us, which went against
her own desire to keep me close :she always whinged
about my moving to Korea, but accepted that i had ambitions
– my nan understood life was for living moreover,
that it was yours to live, no one should live
the life of another, there should be no interruption,
only guidance & assistance, compelled by love
& belief in loved one’s -& ailment or no she stood by this,
against the preservation of her wishes
believed it to be the meaning of a life,
regardless all she lost while still a little girl
:her father who went mad, shell shocked from his
time served in the trenches of the Great War,
her 3 brothers who all died young.
she suffered all her life from these early loses
– calling out for her mom when the pain issued its pinnacle.
i stand in front of everyone, a testament to her generosity,
to her incorrigible belief that i can; without her
for an emotional & financial crutch, i never would
have amounted to what i have; she gave me choices
& what better gift than to be given options in life.
i don’t know anything about heavens, who does?
i don’t know if she’ll be waiting
or if she’ll be watching over me till
the wind takes off me my final breath
gathered to a fatal puff; but, i know
that energies can’t dwindle to 0 or minus,
especially energy of the magnitude my nan produced.