A message from Mum.
Grandma died this morning.
And through my grief, knowing it was better this way,
That this life was no way to live.

Wondering whose photographs are on the walls.
Misplacing treasures in careful places.
Confusing hour… day… year…
Fading. Disappearing. Forgetting.

And who’s in THAT picture?
‘They’re my children, Grandma.’
Oh, you have KIDS? Aren’t they beautiful!
‘We think so, Grandma.’

Children kissed moments before, through car-doors,
Remembered only in reminded minute-memories,
And in baffling frames;
(Un)familiar little faces watching from the wall.

Realising over and over
That Grandad’s not coming back.
And forgetting again.
Now, where IS Nev?

Recurring grief. Furious helplessness.
Those PEOPLE stole my rings.
Why doesn’t anyone visit? Or call?
And when will He take me?

Her daughters, tried. Tired. Terrified.
‘Did you have a nice day, Mum?’
I haven’t been anywhere.
‘We just got back from lunch. You had the fish.’


But we remember
Her vivacious energy
Her diamond mind
Her laughter

Those hands that cupped our faces
Squeezed our cheeks
As she planted kisses
On our lips

We rolled our eyes and snorted
While Grandma’s laugh came thundering from the deep
Like a drumbeat; rhythmical, contagious
Her shining blue eyes playing the melody

On her knees on the carpet, games with granddaughters
Would you like a cup of tea, Mrs Green?
Oh, I’d be delighted, Mrs White!

Pretend sips, more laughter, exploding, bellowing

Four generations now
Salmon sandwiches
Real cups of tea
Small room, big hearts

Here, darling, have a biscuit
‘Oh, no thanks Grandma, I’m stuffed’
Go on, one won’t hurt
‘No really, Grandma, I’m fine’

I’ve got some clothes for you to take home
And some books
You really should eat more
You’ve finished? Here, have another biscuit

Grandma’s hands, now on new faces
Little faces with matching blue eyes
Squishable little cheeks
More kisses, on cheeks and tiny lips

Now listen, can you hear it?
Deep from her belly it bursts
Belting, blasting, booming in the silence
Grandma’s laugh



In memory of my Grandma,
4 November 1922 – 15 January 2014
Survivor – Optimist – Pioneer

And also for those touched by the tragedy that is Alzheimer’s.

14 thoughts on “(Un)forgotten

  1. Lisa this is beautiful. So touching and such a tribute. Big tears roll down my cheeks, reminding me so much of my Pop who suffered from dementia. I am reminded of him every day as I look at my twins and see his mop of curly hair on their heads. Thank you for posting and so sorry for your loss xx

  2. Dear Lisa,
    This is beautifully written and a testament to your deep love and grief for your grandma. Mine too spent the last several years in her own world, as if up a little cloud, still so sweet though.
    Thank you for this beautiful text – I feel for you and your family.
    Marion xx

  3. Such a beautiful tribute Lisa. It’s a cruel disease. Apparently still here, but slowly disappearing. She must have been so proud of you xx

  4. That’s lovely Lisa, I think about my Papa almost every day, and he died back in 1986… our grandparents can be such a gift. He used to say that one day he’d be ‘going to a better place’ and I am sure that he did and he’s there now.

Go on, say it. I know you want to.

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