My Nan is within a month or two of turning 89 years of age. She was born between the Great War and the Second World War, Her father was a London Stock Broker, whilst she has spent most of her employment as a Secretariat for Various Schools and Universities. She had Two Sisters, and Three Husbands, Two Grandchildren, and Five Grandchildren.
One of her Sisters was called Eileen Burgess-Driver, who went into seclusion on Dartmoor after her only Son was killed as a teenager in a motorbike accident. She lived alone with her Husband, until he died, and then she pined away a few years ago. I understand that she was the youngest of the three.
We heard this morning, that Great Aunt Joan Elliott, who reached 96 years of age, died in her sleep of old age this morning. She has lived in a care home in Devon for many years, she does have children, but I dont think she has Grandchildren.
My Nan is feeling sad, not just because her Sister has died, but more, because she is now the only one left of her Generation on the Maternal Side. There are now only Three in her Generation across the entire family, and noone but her in a direct line to myself. Her Second Husbands Brother still lives with his second wife, and the Wife of my Fathers Step-Brother still lives...but that is it for people over sixty years of age in my family.
She feels very alone, and like she is the only one left...she feels like that means she will be next, and feels sad, because who will now attend her Funeral when she dies...as she is, basically, the last of her nuclear family. Her Mother, Father, Sisters, Sisters Husbands, and her own three Husbands are all deceased.
She is a committed Christian...but she is facing her own mortality now, and I think that upsets her greatly. Over the last Quarter she has been making an inventory of everything she has, and getting people to decide what they want to have after she is dead.
Incase you dont know, I am increadibly close to my Nan...in my Family, I am probably closest to her then anyone else, and it has been that way ever since she moved up to Harrogate. Because both myself and Nan live alone, we tend to do things together. We have Sunday Lunch together once a fortnight, we do the Cinema maybe two or three times a year, and we go on a day trip maybe once a year when its nice. We go alone together, so its not really a family thing. She was the kindest member of the family towards me when I revealed my sexual orientation, and she likes Professional Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts also, just like me. She funded my American Dreams Tours, and some of the money for my Cage Gladiators Trips. More recently, she paid for The Pulver House of Birds to be built at Markenfield, and has made Nest boxes for me in her basket weaving class.
She is most special to me...and I am saddened by the fact she is saddened...I didnt really Know Great Aunt Joan....We only met Twice....Once when she visited Swallowbeck...and for the Funeral of my Grandfather, where she described me as "A pillar of strength to my Grandmother" We Exchanged a few Letters when I was a University but other then that, I wouldnt claim to really know her. But obviously, for my Nan is quite a close family member.