Saturday, 12 September 2009
I went with my daughter last weekend to visit the crematorium in Royal Tunbridge Wells where my grandparent's ashes are scattered. I have not visited before. It is about 33 years since my granny died and about 23 since my grandad died. It feels different from going to an actual burial site, because there is not a particular spot where they are buried. It is just a rose garden, with these plaques around the edges of the rose beds. They feel so far in the past now that I remember them fondly without sadness. I do feel sorry that I did not get to spend as much time with them as some children do, we lived too far away, and that I did not know them as an adult. For a few years I spent a great deal of time with my husband's grandparents and got to know them well, and I regret that I never had that with my own grandparents. Tish and I had been to a university open day at Hadlow College. We had some lunch sitting in a small secluded area created for memorials for children, and then we walked round the beds, reading the plaques and discussing the names and messages. The garden was well looked after and very peaceful. It was a beautiful sunny day and I left feeling it would be a good place to end up. In line with Jewish tradition (we're not Jewish), flowers are for the living, so we found in the pocket of the car a large shell, collected several years ago, so we placed that as a momento of our visit.
This photo shows my grandparents, Myra and Reginald, with my mum in the garden, I think, of the house they lived in in Muswell Hill (no doubt some family member will correct me if I'm wrong). It is probably the mid 1950's, my mum is around 20 or so. I have a very small collection of photographs of them and my mum as a child. My grandad destroyed many photographs after my granny died but fortunately Auntie Enid, who moved to Canada after the war to marry a canadian soldier, had kept some pictures of her younger sisters growing up that granny had sent to her over the years.