Ok everyone, I’m sorry for my absence lately. A lot has been happening in my life and with all the social media I’m on, (I’m more active on updating on Facebook) so it’s been easy for me to get lost on updating the rest of you. So I will use this journal to give a general idea what has happened to me recently and what I have in the works, and better yet what I hope to get done. Thank you everyone for bearing with me: First of all, I have to start this journal on a tragic note. One I have been late to inform you of, but you can understand why.
MY GRANDMOTHER’S DEATH:
On September 13th, I lost my dearest gran. She died peacefully in my mother’s arms. At this point I am deeply saddened and in a state of disbelief at her absence. But I still feel closure that I got to say my goodbyes earlier that day. I sat next to her while she was in bed, she appeared asleep, but could still hear me, responding with either a smile or moving her feet. We watched the live concert of Take That (her favourites) and I held her hand all throughout. I told her that despite my tears, I wasn't afraid; I loved her with every inch of my heart. I promised her that I would be strong, I would strive to do my best, and the most important lesson she always told me, to always have a good laugh and keep everyone smiling. Since she always did that. She was a patient and strong woman (She had to be to put up and raise my mad-cap family, including myself for that matter) I gave her a few kisses, hugged her tightly and I said that I loved her more than words could say, or even that I could express. She and I had such a strong bond and our sense of humour may have been the icing on that cake. I had been going to her house every single weekend to stay, ever since I was a baby. She would sometimes ask if I ever got sick of coming to hers at my age? I told her truthfully no. I always loved seeing her and being in her company, having a laugh, her perfect home-made chips, good conversation and so many happy memories. We understood each other better than anyone else, and we knew that. Truth be told, I know I would give up every talent I had earned in order to have our good ol’ days again. There was a sort of build up to this, My gran had then recently had to go into a nursing home, since she had previously fell and dislocated her hip. So I knew that while in the home, she wouldn’t be on her own. I was furious as I promised myself I would never see her in one of those places, to the point that once I was home and out of site, I had a panic attack. But I was coming close to getting used to it. We sat in her room, watched movies, chatted, even watched some of the new doctor who series. The very last movie we watched together was this incredible epic classic called “The Thief of Baghdad”. She even asked me to draw a special sign for her door. She was a very fashionable, glamorous and naturally beautiful woman. Often mistaken for younger than she really was. So I drew a sign showing silhouetted fashion models. I will upload this piece soon, or even better remake it in the future. But I know she said she wants me to do well, so I promise that I will strive to succeed and make her proud. If there is no end, then there can be no beginning. I told myself that her love will always keep me going and keep me strong, especially for my family at this time. I spent the days between her death and the funeral later that week, at my own home. Alone. My mother said she wanted me to stay with her, but I knew I could only manage this alone, I’m always best left with my space during times of grief. Besides I just needed to be out the way to figure out what the fuck was happening with my life. One of the most important people in my life is gone forever. I tried to deny the fact for as long as possible, my dear friend :iconBeckie-Tenshi-Chan: took the effort to even pop round my house, bearing sweets and spent the whole days as we just had a laugh etc. It provided me with the distracting relief I needed. However I came to the conclusion that I had a massive responsibility to bear in these days.
While I went shopping for my groceries, I knew I should get maybe a present for my mum and dad to cheer them up. So after searching around I found a Horse Statue and a triple-pack of Malteasers chocolates for my mum. Aswell a 10 can pack of Stella and some Wine gums for my dad. I know that this is a hard time, and I still can’t believe what I have lost with her gone. But truth be told, I was smiling. I smiled ‘cos she has taught me so much and raised me with a good sense of humour that we shared. I promised her I would be strong and keep people smiling and that’s what I’ll do. I did with my parent’s prezzies. It did me so much good to see their faces light up, to let them know I was there for them and that things will get better for them. Yeah, I know I like to spoil them, but they are my parents and I’m a grown-ass woman, I can spoil them as much as I please. I even thought I told the till lady at Asda that I was going to be at a funeral this week, I still kept things light and even made her laugh. No better feeling. After Gran’s death I was given her wedding ring. It wouldn't fit me and I knew I couldn't trust myself to keep it safe. So the ring is now the new crown of my Stella statue that she, my mother and I love so much. Truly part of the home now.
My Gran's wake and funeral came. It was pleasant enough being visited by family and getting in touch with them. It was only when everyone finally buggered off to bed during the wake that I finally got to chat to gran alone. It was almost surreal how I chatted with her exactly like I would when she was alive. I think it only further foreshadowed my realization of just how alone I would feel without her. How natural it always felt to be with her. Something I would mention later in my speech at her funeral. However here wasn't much I could say, seeing how I already said my proper goodbyes when she was alive, I'm glad I did. I mainly remembering saying how everyone says I'm doing well, how brave I was being, keeping everyone smiling and how proud they were of me. I just wish I could hear it from her. Cos I know that’s what she taught me. My dad picked me up from my house and brought me to their home, as we were about to enter the door I turned to my dad and said “So this is the wake: Shame we left our Batman and Robin costumes elsewhere…” (If you have ever watched Only Fools and Horses you’ll get this joke). It did me good, and I imagine it did him good, for him to laugh.
The day of the funeral I made sure I wasn't scared. I managed to hold back the tears for the most part. Oddly enough I was told while we were on our way to the church, there was a black cat sitting in the parking area. People kept trying to chase it away, but it still kept coming back. It was there for the entire funeral then I watched it leave as we were ready to drive away. Why is it at almost ever funeral I attend this happens? Seriously there is always an animal that does this at a funeral I'm at. At my grandfathers a dove followed my mother around closely, at Niall's a crow sat on the good of the car I was in and followed me closely to the church entrance, then later at the cemetery a fox popped up out of nowhere and followed me back to the car.
My mum read out the poem "Stop the clocks" and my aunt Helene read out a poem she wrote herself. Then as we are just getting ready to leave, I told my mum I wanted to say something, This wasn't planned but the need overtook me. So the priest graciously waited for me. I can't remember half of what I said. I didn't have a script so I said it on the fly. At the top of my head I remember making a crack at how she would say the church incense isn't exactly designer perfume, but it will do, telling her what I promised, what she taught and a couple of one-liners (which got a laugh, so success!). One thing I remember saying is that a couple nights before the funeral, I took one of those online personality quizzes to pass the time. The one in question was "Which Fairytales character are you?" I wasn't expecting much until I got my result.... Little Red Riding Hood. Expect I'm a little red riding hood with no grandma’s house to go to, but luckily I'm not that fuzzed about wolves after me. When I was done I was rather surprised of getting a round of applause from the entire church (which apparently you’re not allowed to do in a Catholic Church. Which was news to me.) More alarming since even my mum and aunt didn't get one, as they kept jesting.
As the coffin went out, I was surprised by people coming up to me and telling me how brave I was. Even the priest rested his hands on my shoulders and said the same. He seemed genuinely surprised. Turns out I would be hearing that from pretty much everyone all night. It was overwhelming to say the least, but if I could bring some happiness, then I suppose it makes things easier.
I'm not sure many words can truly describe the many, many things that happened that day. Having a good crack with the priest, seeing all these cool relatives, building stronger bonds, walking from one pub to the other that night. A couple of my mother’s friends even just have me these torrents of compliments about my speech, my attitude and even my artwork and my stories. Begging me to get started professionally, saying where I lived was holding me back.
I almost feel bad for repeating this as they kinda make me look like I have an ego. But I was honestly beyond flattered. Even one woman came up to me, she wanted to ask me a few questions, mainly how she has a daughter near my age with autism, who was far more clammed up than me, much more shy and silent. I told her that speaking from experience it's easier to be like that with our condition. Even I’m more used to being on my own. I told her that her daughter is fine; after all I was the lowest of the low in my school years. From the beatings, taunts and misery, spending my breaks inside a storage cupboard so my tormentors couldn't find me. But look at from where I was then and now. I have a beautiful cottage home, I'm improving on my art and my stories have expanded into their own universe. I told her, if your daughter finds the one thing she is so passionate about, she will blossom and grow all on her own. She looked close to tears and hugged me, so I can only hope she will remember what I told her.
That night when I was dropped off back at my parents house I sat with nan (father’s mum) and we talked and I let a few tears fall. I wasn't in hysterics sobbing, just let some tears go. I felt so at peace, I could have fallen asleep right there in her arms. Then I showed her a video on British mythical creatures, as I did with gran before. Mum, dad and Uncle Allan came in a, lets just say alternative state after their all night appointments with Dr. Ink. Honestly the ways heard them coming up the street and me opening my window to tell them off, you would think I was the parent! But they were as happy as Larry, so I can't complain. Then when they got in the laughs only continued. Dad and mum dozed off on the couch, leaving myself, Allan and nan to witness the spectacle of them snoring. (Sorry guys) When Allan especially started waving his arms like a conductor, we were pissing ourselves laughing. Mums was quite soft whereas dads was more boystreious mid-tone. So I think I capped it off when I said, " just need someone to fart so we can hit the low notes". Once again, making sure everyone was laughing and smiling.
The thought of everything I have lost now with Gran gone still freezes me up with a sense of fear inside. We drove past the shops she and I used to go to every Saturday. I still remember my first time going shopping with her; I went into Claire's and bought my first handbag, pink with a bunny and a kitten on it. Also her favourite cafe, she would get a lemon meringue pie and I would have chocolate cake. It hit me like, "Wow! It's a long time before I'll ever go back down there". It's like half my life is just blinked from existence. But at the same time, what's done is done, I accept that I cannot change it. I keep making as many jokes as possible cos that's how she brought me up! To the point where my dear cousin said I should be a comedian and enjoyed hearing me speak. A massive compliment given how much of a difficult art comedy is and also I'm greatful to know whether I'm good company or not. One thing I know for certain. That was a night I will not forget.
But as I had to keep strong for everyone, I felt more alone than ever. It was hard for me to realize that the weekends I would look forward to every single week are now gone. I could always talk to her about my worries or whatever and I would always feel better. Now, it’s gone. I would go to my family and tell them how I feel, but it’s my strength that has helped them through this situation, so I’m worried by telling them I will break the illusion and even worse, make things worse for them. I saw this incredible Team Fortress 2 SFM video which really spoke to me and really summed up my private melancholy vs my face in public. Now granted I’m not suicidal, not even close, but at times I certainly feel lost. The loneliness of my home became so crippling.
Lately however, I have been trying to get better; Every Saturday now I’ve been coming to my mum’s house. We have Chinese and watch some movies. I’ll admit that I have been enjoying myself. It’s certainly been a great way for me to find relief from the stresses of my work. As we watch these different forms of media, it’s allowed me to come forward to my mother about my own series I’ve been in the process of writing for a couple of years now. It was probably the greatest feeling to share this universe I created and seeing her take interest. She describes how she loves the detail and even describes my characters as part of her extended family. To the point when she calls me during the week, to ask if I have any more finished character designs. I work on them every single day, but this was just the extra encouragement I needed.
Just last week, she and I watched the animated movie Anastasia. A film that my gran and I had watched not that earlier. We both admired how much we adored the movie. Now watching it again, I started to tear up since any of the scenes of Anastasia with her grandmother, the grand duchess Marie, instantly reminded me of our times together, from when I was a little girl to my more recent years. Especially since the duchess looks so much like my gran. Replace her silver hair with black with a couple of scattered silver hairs, and its so exact. It makes me think of how much I miss her, but also so greatful that I had her in my life.
Now as I am in my home, left more than ever to my own devices, I have made it an effort to better myself with my projects and work. Whether it be my art, writing and video work. I have now purchases a new Mac computer, after my other working laptop suddenly broke and shut down. I saved all my work, but it forced me to put several things on hold. I have placed orders for some new equipment. The items include some blue sketching pencils, a couple of Kneadable erasers, drawing markers and brush pens, comic paper, an Apple USB super-drive (to put disks and programmes into the Mac) and a microphone for recording audio of good quality. Also a good friend of mine has reliably told me that while I have improved on my artwork, my lines are still very blocky and uneven, she recommend Paint Tool Sai to me, as of now doing minor drawings she has noted the improvement, hopefully I will be able to upload pieces from that programme soon enough. Not the least which of least is my part for an art-trade between us. I have been putting massive amounts of pressure on myself to improve, much to perhaps my own detriment. But if I get the result I desire, I tend to go to bed in a happy mood.
My mood has been improving more, most notably with my progress and my enthusiasm for my projects. I have even considering maybe doig a fan-fiction comic, just to test out my methods in the medium while my original series is still in the conceptual stage. This will take a while, so I won’t say of what fandom its for or even the premise. But I know a select group of friends will know what I’m talking about.
I’ve taken up the method of writing down ideas and putting them in an empty Nutella jar, which always sits at my workspace, I just wish I had thought of it sooner. I have been gaining great joy from also the many books I have purchased, most of which of course are either art books or anything for my writings. Perhaps as a means of recreation, I would really like to get into Team Fortress 2, I have already bought a plushie Balloonicorn and created a Steam account.
Since I am afraid of losing my Youtube audience, I have created a concept for a series of videos I can make to keep them entertained between my larger countdown projects. Which yes, as many of you will be happy to know, as of now still going ahead. Also I will soon release a journal entry giving my thoughts on the finale of The Wolf Among Us aswell as the fist volume of the Fables graphic novel series I have started reading.
Thank you if you have managed to stick out this entire journal and for being patient with me during this difficult time in my life. I don’t know how well this clears up my situation, but I can only hope to make up for it with the upcoming results of my labour. Also forgive me for any inconsistencies in this journal, I was up to 2 in the morning writing this and was too tired/busy to proof-read it.