And round the prow they read her name
This day last week my grandmother passed away. Her passing was a slow spiral that gave enough time for all who loved her to prepare, yet in the end was still somehow sudden.
My grandmother on her wedding day, with her father and sisters.
Dublin, November, 1950
I have only ever known her as my grandmother, an elderly woman who had lived a difficult life, and if there is any good to come from this last week is that I had many opportunities to talk with my grandfather, aunts and uncles to see a different side of her, to see her as a young woman, a mother and a life-long companion. What moved me the most though was reading through old letters that she had written almost fifty years ago, and through those I think I finally got a glimpse into who she was in her own right, as a person not seen through the lens of other people's labels.
It would seem that only through her writing could she express who she truly was, how she really felt, and it was beautiful. I wish I had known this person more.