The last week has been incredibly hard.
Last week my Poppa was taken to hospital and we were told that he only had 24 hours to live. I woke up on Friday morning to an email from my Mum telling me this news and there commenced a frantic scramble to try to get a hold of family back home to see what the latest update was. Since then, it's been an emotionally exhausting existence, trying to work out if I could get back home and accepting the fact that I couldn't, calling the hospital every night and every morning to see how Poppa had gone over the last few hours - fearing before each call that I was about to hear news I didn't want to hear, and checking in with my Mum and my brother every day to make sure they were also ok, and so that they were I assured I was "ok" too.
The first time I spoke to Poppa after he was hospitalised, he was barely there and couldn't speak. Our conversation wasn't helped by the fact that I was sobbing on the other end of the line, trying to tell him how much I loved him and that I hoped he wasn't in any pain. The next few days he was always asleep when I called.
The second time I spoke to Poppa, he was sounding much better. He was still weak, but was able to carry on a conversation with me, and we spoke about my travels, the postcard I had sent him from Mallorca, and his morphine-induced hallucinations of water flowing on the ceiling.
That was the last time I spoke with my Poppa.
I have received some lovely emails from friends offering support from afar, but one in particular gave me a quote to which I have been clinging... "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened." I'm not done crying yet, but it does warm my heart when I think that Poppa is now back with Nanna again, caught up in the whirlwind of their youth when they first met and were just starting to fall in love - Nanna beautiful and glowing with happiness, Poppa dashing in his navy uniform.
Today, as my Poppa is laid to rest back home, I cannot help but cry because his time in this world is over and my heart aches with missing him, but I do promise to raise a glass of Scotch for him, and I will smile because I knew him, and because the life of Harold Douglas Coleopy, my Poppa, happened.