I have been avoiding updating on here this month. I have found it hard to be motivated. My gran, at the age of 90 (she would’ve been 91 in July), has passed away. We had her funeral last weekend. It was a tough day, gran was the last of the grandparents. Despite her age, it still came as a shock for some reason. Gran always seemed invincible. We were certain she would’ve seen 100. She was relatively healthy for her age, and mentally she was as sharp as ever.
On the day of the funeral, a tiny bird stopped by each car. It was the strangest thing. The driver very kindly took a picture for us. It was an oddly comforting moment for us all.
I wrote a little something for the ceremony. I’ll be honest, I didn’t come up with any of it. I knew what I wanted to say so I copy and pasted from a few things and in particular, from a physicist – what a physicist might say at a funeral. Gran always appreciated my sciencey point of view and as I was in a bit of a haze (I still am), I didn’t think she would mind me borrowing other people’s words. I said the following and I hope for any of you who have felt loss, that these words might be helpful for you too. I’ve never been good at grieving. I don’t really know how. Over the years, like everyone else, I have lost a large number of my family. In fact we have halved. There are only 9 of us left. The following was read for me on my behalf:
“In my search for comfort at the passing of my Gran I have turned to Science and Literature and what I found, for me personally, is a comfort that I could not gain anywhere else.
It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited and yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know and love. However, the span of someone’s life is only the core of their actual existence. We are made from the energy of the universe, it has been around for billions of years and will be for billions more, and for a brief period of time it assembles into a human form.
The first law of thermodynamics in short; states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change shape and form, but will continue on forever. Scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time.
The energy that is in us has come from the universe around us, from the sun and the stars. The same energy that created the big bang billions of years ago, is the same energy within each of us. It has all come from the universe that we are but a tiny part of.
Gran borrowed her energy from the universe, as each of us has, she has used it. Used it to live a long life, one in which she has had influence over us all, and she has passed on this energy in different forms that will never go away. Every ounce of heat produced by Gran, every breeze created by her movements and every calorie she burned is still here in the energy around us. As her family and friends, we have absorbed some of the heat from her body and some of her energy lives in all of us. Every photon of light that reflected off of Gran’s face, every breeze that blew through her hair, and the warmth from every hug continues on. Gran has changed the path of history in many ways and according to the laws of science, not a bit of her has gone, she is just less orderly.”
It may be a while again before I update. My gran loved dogs. She had numerous dogs over the years and she loved my two boys. I feel bad that she didn’t get to see them except when they were pups. She was a small woman, and with her on warfarin and being a little unsteady on her feet I always worried that my boys would cause her to fall, or bruise her. I think either way I would’ve felt guilty. If I’d taken them round and she got hurt I would’ve never lived it down. Instead I chose to disappoint her. I would show her pictures and videos and we would share stories, I hope that was enough. Gran had an Alsatian ornament at the foot of her fireplace, complete with collar. It was her reminder of her favourite pet. A large Alsatian, called Laddie. I am now the proud owner of Laddie (the ornament version), it felt right that I should look after Gran’s dog for her, being the dog mad one in the family. I hope she would approve.