Sunday, 1 July 2012
Do you ever think about the last time you saw someone, and if you'd realised it would be your last time, what would you have done differently? Would you have said more? Or not changed a thing?
Does it make you cry? Laugh?
Are you happy or sad about the memory?
Last year my Grandma died, and although this was very sad, she was 89 years old (nearly 90), and it was what she wanted in the end. And we all know we've got to go in the end. I knew one day I would lose her.
She didn't want anyone seeing her as she got sick. In fact, in the past few years, she worried about seeing people and what they thought, with her ageing. I learnt that I had to just turn up to visit her (considering she lived on the Isle of Wight it took a bit of planning - but the boys enjoyed the short break!) because she would fret if she knew you were coming, if it was planned. Whereas if you just showed up, she was absolutely fine.
Luckily, the year before she died, I'd done just that. My husband and the boys stayed for a bit, then they went and watched the boats (she lived in Cowes) while I stayed with my Grandma for another hour. We talked about all sorts, about my dad (her son) and just things. But I remember her face, her voice, her mannerisms, and I'm sort of glad I never saw her sick, because I have a healthy memory of her. I remember her how she was. However, I do think about that being the last time I saw her alive, and if I'd realised then, would I have stayed longer? Should I have stayed longer? At the time I hadn't wanted to outstay my welcome. I didn't want to tire her out.
Now, I wished I'd just spent a tiny bit longer with her.
This applies to friends, lovers, anyone... sometimes you just don't realise that that last time you saw them, would be the actual last time for whatever reason. And depending on those reasons, do you think you would have done things differently?
You might be thinking what has this got to do with with writing. But the sentimental fool that I am often ponders over this feeling, especially with my Grandma as it sticks in my brain poignantly, and it is something I would like to explore in a story. In fact, everything we do, feel, experience, ends up in our writing whether we realise it or not.
To live and experience enables us to write, right?
So is there someone in your life, good or bad memories, that if you'd realised it would be the last time you saw them, you would have done or said things differently?