in the past two weeks my grandmother has passed. She was 96 years of age and still pretty clearheaded. She was a writer.
Dieuwke Winsemius, photo by Jan Glas
When it had just happened I stayed a long weekend at the house of my aunt, sharing stories with her and my other aunt. It was a magical time, somewhere inbetween. They got to tell the stories to a new pair of ears and I got to see two sisters interact (I have no sisters, only brothers)
I learned much about my grandmother. But nothing new? All the new information just made the contours of the Beppe I new more clear. It emphasized what I already knew but could not articulate. One example: I didn’t know she was an excellent seamstress/sewist. She could make whatever my aunt envisioned and she did some amazing things, back in the ’60s when pop-art was all the rage. My aunt doesn’t sew and was not restricted by sewist’ knowledge of fabric or constructions. She would think up a design, talk about it with her mother and my grandmother would make it happen. Without making noise about it. Without showing much display of proudness. Which doesn’t mean she wasn’t proud, it means she didn’t feel the need to shout about it.
But I will not talk about my grandmother here. I am grieving on a personal level and do not feel OK talking about her. I couldn’t sum up who she was. Wouldn’t know where to begin. I couldn’t do what the people at the funeral did when they talked about her, about aspects of her life. Emphasizing some, leaving others obscure. I’m not ready to give a context for the life lost. My Beppe is my Beppe.
The stay at my aunt and the funeral made me live in the city for three weeks in a row. I have not been to the cabin. By now I am pretty tired what with all the noises and opportunities and impulses the city provides. I have not done any work. Before I came here I had noticed work doesn’t happen naturally to me and had just about wrapped my head around what solution might be effective. But this solution got sidetracked for a while.
Basically I am thinking about creating the bacterie-book through blogging instead of writing it with pen and paper at the kitchen table. Blogging comes easy to me. It’s an hour here, an hour there. It works for me. I’m still working out how/if to do this.
In the mean time the city has energized me. This can be good or bad. I love to be energetic. I trot around in my lady shoes, wearing dresses and lipstick. I eat bonbons and chat freely with people I meet. But I can easily overdo things and forget about rest, body maintenance or regularly getting out of that energized state into the state of Rest & Digest (the nervous systems’ counterpart of Fight or Flight).
I’ve started sewing. I’ve visited some shops and friends. I have alternated rest and activity pretty well in the past few weeks. It helped that friends and family
forced reminded me to take flat rests on couch or bed whilst staying with them. Resting is crucial to my health and I am grateful they prompted me. It really works! A pity I still perceive it as a waste of time. Twice or three times a day laying down for an hour really eats into the things you had planned for the day. It is a matter of perception of course. I can change that:
- it is crucial for digestion that I do it so no skipping
a waste of time!the only opportunity in the day to concentrate on the finicky part of a knitting pattern or some other thing requiring fine motor skills
- it’s such a joy when the tummy starts
gurglingsinging! I feel grateful every time.
Funnily enough my body reacted noticably to my grandmother’s death. My tummy stopped working, no bile, no uptake of nutrients. I got my period 4 days early. But I got through it all alright. Thanks to hydrocortison, easily digested foods and rests. And not worrying about it.
By now my body is back to business. I am not half proud of how it recuperates and so much faster than a few years back! I am whole proud! I have started taking the Zinc and aiding my body to shed Copper. It works. But now I am tired. I look forward to being in the cabin again, in nature, resting.
book illustration by Geeske van Tienhoven