Grandmothers are amazing aren’t they? I love my grandma, Rajeswari very much. She took care of me for as long as I could remember. Not to mention, she was always on my side no matter what the issue was and if I did make a mistake, she would move mountains to fix it. She was the one who talked to my mother to allow me to pursue travelling, and she always called to check on me.
My grandma was my most valuable treasure. So, her sudden passing on 27th May 2020 came as a shock to me.
My Last Call To Grandma
I had just returned home after grocery shopping and I wanted to check on my grandma. I called my grandma to let her know I missed her. My grandma didn’t live with me so I made it a point to at least call her once a week. She stayed in Kluang, Johor, with my aunt so I wasn’t worried about her, knowing that she was in good hands. So, you could imagine my surprise when my grandma picked up the phone crying. She sounded like she was in pain and she passed the phone to my aunt, Punes who was taking care of her. She explained that my grandma had been suffering from heart anginas and they were going to go to the hospital.
I wouldn’t have expected that would be the last time I spoke to her. A few hours later, my mother, Chitra called to inform that my grandma had passed on at the hospital.
I was devastated. What was more disappointing was I couldn’t travel interstate to attend her funeral due to the travel ban imposed in Malaysia. The hospital staff didn’t allow anyone else to see her. We couldn’t even do a proper burial for her.
Give Myself Time To Grieve For Grandma
How do you cope with losing someone you love in the wake of a pandemic?
First, allow yourself some time to mourn your loss. Focus on how you’re feeling. I am an emotional person. If Finding Dory made me cry, you could imagine how losing someone I love made me feel. I took some time off from work and I stayed home just to focus on how I felt.
God gave us memories so we might have roses in December.SIR James Matthew Barrie, Scottish Novelist who wrote peter Pan
I wrote about how I felt about my loss. It wasn’t easy for me to acknowledge those feelings at first because that meant I had to acknowledge that I had lost her too. However, I knew that we did share memories that I will always treasure and those memories gave me strength to believe that I will be better.
Tell Others How I Feel
Honestly, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. My mother reminded me too much of her and my friend, Shya only looked at me with pity in her eyes. She would constantly ask, “How are you?” and I would stare back at them with blankness. They were concerned but that just reminded me that I just lost someone.
I wanted to talk to a complete stranger whom I won’t have to meet every day. That’s when I found Befrienders (24/7 hotline that provides emotional support). I spoke to them a few times until I started feeling better. It made me feel better even to talk to someone about her and how much she meant to me.
In a way, Befrienders also taught me how to really listen to others. Talking to them, I felt heard. Whenever, I said something, the person on the other end of the call waited till I finished whatever I had to say and replied calmly on what they thought would be helpful for me.
I will definitely be a better listener going forward because of Befrienders. If you would like to know more about this, I would also suggest for you to read an article written by our fellow writer Zernaish Junaid on active listening.
Ask For A Memento
I asked my mother to give me something belonging to my grandma. My mum then passed me a jewellery box. Apparently, my grandpa had given my grandma that jewellery box at a time before Malaysia gained her independence. Looking at the jewellery box, it made me feel like my grandma is always with me.
Another way you can get a memento is by volunteering to clean your grandma’s home. If you find something of hers that you think would help you get through this, ask for permission for it. Regardless the value, seeing it will remind you that your grandma hasn’t truly left you when you always keep her in your heart.
Volunteering For Grandma
Another helpful way of remembering my grandma is by volunteering in her honour. There are plenty of organisations that care for the elderly and your help will be appreciated. Consider delivering meals or even by just spending time talking with them. This will not only keep them happy knowing a complete stranger is willing to help them but I am sure grandma would be happy to know that she has raised a fine grandchild.
If you ever find yourself in my position, you can consider My Aged Care. The home encourages volunteers to plan activities that elders can participate in. You can also bring some light refreshments for a friendly sit down tea session with the residents. Cleaning supplies are limited so do bring your own and donate them after use.
Cherish Those Beautiful Memories
No matter who it is, losing someone close to you is painful. However, I will always keep my grandma alive in the stories and memories that I will share with my cousins and their children. I want everyone to know what an amazing person my grandma was.
Again, Befrienders has really helped me through this tough time. If you are considering to help out as well, Befrienders do need more volunteers. Contributing money or sharing what they do to your circle of family and friends will definitely help them create awareness among those who might need their help.
This article is part of Espoletta’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.