Last weekend my grandmother passed away and today we’ll be attending her funeral. For me it’s been a time of quiet sadness mixed in with regret that I hadn’t been closer to her while she was with us; she spoke little English and I speak no Chinese so there was always a language barrier.
While we learned a lot from her when she was alive, if communication had been easier, I think she would have had so many more lessons to share with my brother and I about her past and life in general. She lived through the apartheid in South Africa, the second world war and the early death of her husband; I can only imagine how strong she had to be during those times and throughout the rest of her life, where so many of the conveniences we now take for granted were either not available or simply too expensive to afford.
She was determined, proud and a fighter to the very end but her last years were ailed by dementia and she was constantly falling over and finding herself in hospital. I’m sad that she’s no longer with us, but I also like to think she’s now in a better place and free from pain. Today we will share her stories and relive her memory.