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This is... Hmm.

Okay, so. I had a phonecall yesterday from my Uncle and Aunt from my father's side. My Nana has died.

I saw her only twice in the last ten years, through hardly any fault of my own - my father lived with my Nana after the divorce, and just never left her house. So, when he told us not to bother seeing him again, naturally, we never saw our Nana again either.

Except I saw her twice in this year. She was very different from how I remembered her. At 6 stone and 92 years of age, she was very, very different from how I remember her. She also had Alzheimers, and so could not really remember how I was, and not even her own family most of the time. It was heartbreaking.

It sounds harsh, but given the very frail condition I saw her in those times, I am not surprised that she has died. She was a grand old age, especially in Stoke-on-Trent. espite not having the best contact with her over the last ten years or so, I am attending her funeral, as is my sister (who saw her less than me because of other commitments), and so is my Mom. I suspect the reason my Mom is attending is so that she can defend us if our father says something.

Personally, I doubt whether he will be there or not - yes, this is his mother who has died, but he cared so little about her while she was alive, never once seeing her in the nursing home, and leaving her in a state of filth and indecency for three days while she still lived with him, that I doubt he would bother. But if he is, I'm not about to start something at a person's funeral. I have always said if I see my father out in public, the first thing I will do is punch him in the face, hard. But at somebody's funeral, to do this is downright disrespectful. I'm not even going to bother talking to him, and I think that is the best thing to do, really. I am there to say goodbye to somebody I should have known better, should have seen more of - not to start a fight.

My Mom and sister reacted oddly to the news she had died. I wouldn't say that any of us were surprised - I kept them up to date with her condition when I saw her, and I kee in good contact with my Aunt and Uncle, who kept me posted. But they acted very hostiley when they found out that my Nana died on August 1st. We were informed yesterday of her death - August 7th. They are angry that we were not told sooner.

But all things considered, we were hardly high up on the list of people to inform, surely? One of my Uncles, my Nana's sons, lives in New Zealand and had to be told immediately so that he could get a plane back to the UK in time for the funeral. My Uncle had power of attorney over my Nana's stuff, so he probably had to deal with that, too. He and his wife are also executors for my Nana's will, and so that is a big responsibility. And honestly, are the Grandkids who see the aforementioned Aunt and Uncle about once a year, aside from me who has seen them about five this year, high on their list of people they need to inform? Mom said that we are family, we should have been informed first. And yes, we are family, we are Grandchildren of the lady who died. But she has a lot of family who are probably less closely related to her but have seen her more than we have, and to me, that is only fair for those people to know first. I am simply glad I know about the funeral so I have an opportunity to say goodbye. Why can they not be feeling the same?

I'm already worried about what the family will think when they see us there. But not seeing my Nana was not really my fault - I was a young, young kid then, hurt and angry about my father being a shitbag, and I never heard a word from her, either. I'm not saying I'm not partially to blame - I had a mouth, I could have said something, had my Mom arrange something, but I didn't, and because of that it's been a long time. Only this year did I get the courage to see my Nan again, at a time when she couldn't remember me even as a child, let alone from minute to minute.

There is one interesting thing she remembered when I visited, however. She stared at me for a long time, and said that Bill, her husband, has gone to work earlier that day. My Uncle stirred a little and asked where he was going. 'Down to the pits, yer bloody fool,' she told him. My Uncle looked surprised, and said to me quietly that since she had fallen ill, she had forgotten her husband - he died when I was very young. While she still wore a wedding ring, when asked about Bill she would not know who that was. Seeing me maybe triggered something in her, some memory of her husband. I'm kind of glad I was able to prompt that memory from somewhere.

But thinking we'd be high on the list of people to inform - honestly, what were they thinking? I get the impression that they feel snubbed by my Aunt and Uncle, but they're genuinely some of the nicest people you could ever meet, and I know, even if they don't right now, that they would never intentionally snub someone. If anything, the thought that they think they would makes me feel even sadder.

I also get the impression that Mom wants us to look amazing at the funeral to rub something in my father's face. Like a funeral is an appropriate place for a fashion show, but, whatever... Yes, I want to look nice and smart and formal, but I think people will have better things to discuss on Wednesday - my Nan's life, for instance - than how faded the pink is in my hair.

I dunno. I feel like I would feel less sad, somehow, if my family weren't kicking up such a fuss about those seven days. I'm not thinking of it as a big deal, so why should they?