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My Granny died today. I’d been to see her on Wednesday and was meant to be going again tomorrow, meeting up with the rest of my family, but the general update I thought I was about to receive from my Mum when she called this afternoon was not what she delivered.

I wasn’t at all close to my Granny, so my feelings of sadness are more with regards my Mum, though of course there’s a sadness at the ending of a life that was long (she was in her nineties).

Granny was a Scot, who went to university and was a teacher until she married and gave up her career. I was saying to one of her carers that it was a shame that an independent, educated woman with a mind of her own had to give that all up, and she replied that it was clear that when her family came around that she lit up, so she achieved in a different way.

When I saw her on Wednesday it was at times tempting to grab a pillow and smother her. They were feeding someone who was incontinent, bedridden, unable to hear nor communicate coherently, emaciated and suffering terribly from bedsores. It seemed ridiculous to continue to provide nourishment to someone that was not going to recover, so I was glad to hear that they put her on the somewhat controversial Liverpool Pathway, acknowledging that she was dying.

My Mum told me that she was becoming agitated so they gave her an injection of something to ease her symptoms; after that her breathing became very shallow, and watching her my Mum realised that she’d stopped breathing. She said she died peacefully and that she was thankful for it.

Here’s to you, Isobel.

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