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My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Monday, 18 April 2011

then she was gone

Driving up to my grandmas house on the day the auctioneers were coming to move her furniture out was horrendous. Its at the end of a small close in the beautiful village where they film Midsummer Murders.

Whenever I've turned into the road, which I have hundreds of times in my life, it would always be with such a happy expectant feeling of warmth and love. Nan would see us coming up the road through her living room window and appear at the front door with the biggest smile and the warmest welcome, so pleased to see us.

That day the sun was beaming down and everything was as it always had been, curtains still up in the windows, flowers dancing in the front garden, Nans beloved roses smiling their welcome "long time no see" I sat in the car for a while, waiting, paralyzed, feeling like someone had ripped my heart out. My legs wouldn't move but I knew I had to get out and go into the empty house full of her things, her smell. It was awful.

I imagined for a while that nothing had changed,that I was here for another lovely visit, sitting there in a past life waiting for her to come to the door and wave.

Time to be brave. I started with the garden, as I was the first there I could take my time so I walked around the side of the house and into the garden that she'd loved so much.

It was just as she'd left it, the bird bath in the flower bed that she filled up every morning while making her cup of tea, bird feeders hanging from the bird table with the seeds still inside that she'd put there and worst of all her green house, her beloved green house with her finger prints on the white washed glass. It was heartbreaking. She wasn't there and never would be again. She was gone.

Every sense I had was crying wretched tears. feeling the gaping loss of all the lovely stimulus that a visit to my nans would bring The sun was still shining down warm on my skin, bees were buzzing around the blooming magnolia bush and chickens clucking in the garden next door. The flowers smelt heavenly, and even though it was still early spring, looked glorious.

Four senses covered then but a shallow empty experience where once it would have felt the very essence of life.

And taste was utterly deprived, no cup of tea! They love their tea my family (leaves NOT bags) and it would be the first, most important thing to make sure we had a steaming hot cup after our long journey and one of Nans delicious scones of course, freshly baked that morning. Nan loved to bake for her family and we all loved her for it.

I spent a while photographing the sights that nan saw out of her kitchen window everyday. I'm sure it will help to look at them in the future. I wish I had taken more, a picture of her empty whiskey bottle by the bin (a small glass every evening with warm milk to thin the blood) pictures inside the greenhouse of her trowel,watering can and plant pots just as she'd left them, pictures of where the vegetable patch used to be.

She would take me up there and proudly show me curly courgettes and red and green tomatoes which held little interest for me at the time but I wish I'd given her more, for everything she gave to me.

My relatives arrived, it was time to go in.

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