My Grandma passed away just over a year ago. It really affected me, actually. It surprised me at the time just how much it knocked me sideways. She wasn’t the first family member I’ve lost and my family isn’t a particularly close unit – everyone lives really far away from each other and we don’t talk that much. My Grandma was special to me though. I think I’ve inherited a lot of qualities from her. She had a ferociously sharp wit and was her whole life fiercely independent. She was always active, and had a pony until she was 76. When I was little (maybe 7?) I went to stay with her in the school holidays and I got to look after her pony Timmy (pictured below). She wrote me a letter afterwards, with a little certificate giving me part ownership of him and, honestly, it meant the world to me. She was creative and could paint a mean watercolour landscape. She was always worrying my Dad with her adventures, including the time she bought a narrowboat and lived on it for a couple of years. She said later that living on the boat was her one of her favourite times in her life.
Her funeral was on Halloween; I remember so clearly the autumn colours of the trees and the cold, bright morning. On my way home this evening, two owls were hooting to each other in the dark and the moon was obscured by fog – it was the perfect all hallows eve and I found that reassuring somehow, as I thought about my favourite Grandma and how the time passes you by so quickly.