Last week would of been my Nans 88th birthday but she passed away last September. I wasn't able to go to her funeral or her 'sprinkling' as I call it (scattering of her ashes) as I was stuck in hospital and too unwell. If I had been well enough I would of wanted to say something during the funeral so thanks to technology I was able to record what I wanted to say on my iPad and it was played at the service.
As a tribute I thought I would share what I said, I've changed names except mine though ie granddaughter instead of Vikki
"I searched the Internet for a nice reading or poem, there are thousands to choose from but none of them felt right to me. I saw one written as a letter sent down from heaven and instantly remembered the stacks upon stacks of letters and cards that my nan proudly received from penpals, many of whom she kept in contact with for decades. It got me thinking, if Madaline could send a letter down, what do I think she would say and how would I reply, how do you fit a life time into words on just a page. I think she would say.
Dear Son, Daughter-in-law and Vikki
I got to heaven safely and peacefully, I was instantly reunited with daughterand Husband like I had dreamed of doing for 40 years, I am sorry that I can't also be with you on earth too.
I had some hard times in life but I also had many more happy times, especially socially with friends, most of whom are with me here and of course with my family, 2 young children and husband and later as a mother to a grown up son and as a grandmother.
You always looked out for me Son and although I was confused at the time I am happy I got to spend my last months near to you, DIL and Vikki. I sometimes struggled to express my love and pride in you although I told lots of other people about how good you were to me.
I used to be scared of dying but now I know it's a peaceful release, I believed my whole life I would be with God one day and live forever in a heaven that has no sadness or pain. Time has no meaning here but I do spend it with everyone ive loved and lost, looking down on you and here a little drop of brandy is recommended, it medicinal for the soul.
Today is my funeral, a day to be sad, shred tears and feel the loss but day by day I want you all to become happy once more. Feel no guilt as you did all you could and more for me all your life.
I am at peace with myself in heaven and want you all to be at peace on earth.
Lots of love mum (Madeleine)
My reply would be
Dear Nanny Maddy, I miss you but know you are where you need to be. I've been reflecting on your life a lot since you passed away.
My early memories of you coming to stay are more feelings than formed pictures, a great excitement bubbling in my tummy as we waited at the station, frantically seeking your face as the windows go by in a blur, I would guess which carriage you would emerge from and run to door to greet you. When you opened your bag to produce your milk, bread, baternburg cake and woolies pic'n'mix including coconut mushrooms i felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Your stay would be fun, emptying mums cupboards to play shops on the stairs, teddy bears picnics in my bedroom, running around playing trains, you teaching me the snowplough method of tidying up which i still do and not forgetting the time i told you my special strawberry cream was magic wrinkle cream, it wasn't until I was about 20 I realised that maybe you hadn't believed me and had smothered yourself in the sickly sweet cream just to make me giggle. I also thought the way you could make your teeth move was fascinating and no matter how much i tried i just couldnt move mine so I would beg you to do it again and again, it never occurred to me that you had false ones! We would also sing old songs, most of which you had changed the words to, we would walk to the park and buy penny sweets on the way home. There were also church trips where we would light candles for Amy and others you had lost but you were always careful I didn't get communion by mistake by placing your hand across my mouth when the priest bends down to me. I was always a bit sad when you would pack to leave but knew i had an important job, to hold the sides of the bag together or sit on the suitcase to help zip it up.
I liked visiting you as well, either having waffles, bacon and cheese while sitting on the sofa surrounded by cuddly toys or going out for lunch where we would chat and laugh or going into towm. We would play Dizzy Bugs and Ants in Your Pants, flick marbles on your many rugs or you would tell me stories from when you were younger, i would spend ages looking at all your trinkets and ornaments many of which had been purchased on the holidays you loved so much. I didn't stay with you many times but have lots of fond memories of when I did especially you teaching me how to knit, bus journies and our trip with Fred to SouthEnd.
Of course I could talk all day about the happy times we had together but I don't want to make this letter too long, mostly I will remember 3 things,
Our daily crazy half an hour's, dancing like mad people, swinging teddies around and singing random things, I thought at the time that you did this every day even in my absence!
The frequent response to something as ' ooooh good gracious'
And lastly I will remember you being a fantastic Nanny, who loved unconditionally, always made time to play or talk with me (providing coronation street wasn't of course) and someone who I felt would always be there for the big moments in my adult life. Although both of our Illnesses kept us apart thrmajority of time in recent years we were still connected. Even though your mind and now body has left us we will still be connected, as love never dies.
With all my love, your granddaughter Vikki
Ps)I hope Royal Mail delivers this ok to you