There was never a love like ours.

–       Time for your memory patch, Pa.

–      Nevermind the patch, I forgot you were here!

I was 16 the first time I sat near death. My Granny died at 89 years of age. The timing was unfortunate as Mum was on her way back from Europe, which meant that I was the only family member present in her final hours.

I was terrified the first time I walked into the nursing home and found her in a near-death state, so scared in fact that I ran to my best-friend Amber’s house and asked her to return with me.

Like going to parties where you don’t know anyone so your friend can make-out with a boy, teenage girls make devoted friends.

Fortunately, Amber has always had a natural faith in life and death. I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture but she’s the believer. I’m the doubter.

My Granny died the most peaceful death that I’ve seen so far. I wasn’t there in the final moments but during the time I was, she was looking up above her and saying things like:

–       There was never a love like ours.

And when she turned to look at me, she said.

–       I know those eyes.

She thought I was Mum.

Dad says:

–       I don’t like leaving home, someone might steal it from me.

Granny lived with us for as long as Mum could handle it. A single parent working full-time, it was too much. It’s true that I didn’t like rolling her into a window-less closet and putting a bib on her to feed her a cigarette but I’d like to think they took good care of her.

The truth is I don’t know how far down this road I will be able to care for my father. Dad says his brother was in diapers within 18 months of his memory starting to go.

I would like to believe that he will die in his home but we can only do what we can. Our surrender to life is practice for our surrender to death. Right?




About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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7 Responses to There was never a love like ours.

  1. Bryce says:

    Our relationship with death allows us to better manage and understand life force.

  2. jessie says:

    So lovely. Such grace you carry in your doubt my dear. You remind me to live each day with the preciousness it deserves. You are a shining light… For your dad, for your family, both in blood and love, and for me.

  3. Mary (Bagnall) Stairs says:

    Reading “your Journey ” is wonderful…meeting my western relatives for the FIRST time.Tom and I used to exchange letters and I miss them.I did meet Lynn,for a few minutes ,when she was visitng her aunt in Bedford,N.S. My sis ter took her to Gabarus for a brif look around.I met Charles during WW2 when he came to Glace Bay to visit my grandmother. We used to laugh when grandma spoke of Tom;Dick;and Harry!Your journey with your dad will be a fond memory when you grow older!Hugs to ALL Mary

  4. Miss Dang says:

    Wow i’m just catching up! Great moments Katie, I love anything that mentions spoon feeding cigarettes to the elderly. I also imprinted on the old folks home as a child. I remember the smell as we sang them Christmas carols and the feeling that if I could kick the diapers so could they! Thanks for sharing your grandma too! Mine was counting calories aloud while staring at my midsection. Not quite as nostalgic. (she’s still alive so there’s a little bit of projection there)

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