Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Losing someone you love when you are travelling

**This evening I set out to write a totally different blog post to the one that I am actually writing now.  But when you are travelling, it is a real issue that more people than you realise have to deal with.**

My own journey travelling around the world came to a bitter sweet ending.  When I was in Fiji (my 4th of 7 stops) I had a call from my mum to tell my my beloved Nan had suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack.  My trip was over and I was going home as soon as I could get there.  I left that phone box in Fiji numb.  Not because my trip was over, but because I was so scared that I would lose my nan before I could get home in time.

Frantically that evening I tried to book a flight home, but I was already on the earliest flights home possible.  So I had to wait it out for two whole weeks.  I couldn't enjoy the rest of my trip though, as much as I tried and I wanted to because I knew my nan would want me to too.

I finally made it home and I saw my nan, only hours after landing.  I walked into that hospital room and was devastated to see the cruel effects of the stroke.  My mum confessed later to me, that she was hoping that me coming home would make my nan come back to us, as growing up we had always been close.  But as much as I would love to say that was the case, it wasn't.  There were moments of clarity, when my nan knew who I was again, but it didn't last for long and after a week of being home, she made the choice in one of her clearer moments, not to receive any more dialysis treatment.

My nan died two weeks later.

As much as I loved that trip, I still wished today that I had been able to spend those last five months with my nan instead because the world will always be waiting for me.  As irrational as I know that sounds.

It is a strange experience losing someone you love so much and I don't think you ever get over something like that, you just learn to kind of live with it if that is the right way to explain it?  I still think about my nan a lot and I wonder what she would say about me now and the things that I have achieved as she encouraged me to do so much.

There have been moments in my life that I really wished I had been able to share with her, like passing my driving test, starting university, graduation day and starting a new job. 

It has been seven years this year and sometimes I still go to pick up the phone or ask her who someone in a photograph is.  To share a memory or ask her to tell me one of her stories.

I hope she would be proud of me today and of who I have become.

I wrote this post though, because I think death is something that everyone needs to deal with in a different way.  You may chose, if something like this happens to you, to stay travelling and live life or you may chose to go home.  Neither of these choices are the wrong or right decision.  But I am glad that I came home and I got to spend a final two weeks with my nan and to tell her about the things I got to see thanks to her encouragement.

My Nanny