Yesterday I missed a call from my mum. I got a voicemail message asking me to call her back as soon as I could. I knew my great auntie Gwen had died even before I called my mum back.
I’m not psychic, she’d been ill for quite a while and it wasn’t too difficult to put the tone of my mum’s voice together with the list of things that could be wrong.
For the last 7 years or so since I got back from America I’ve been meaning to go and visit her. For one reason or another I didn’t manage it. It’s kind of ridiculous to think I couldn’t make time to visit her once in 7 years, and that’s because it’s not true. I could easily have gone to visit her at almost any time. I just didn’t.
It’s easy to use things like not having her phone number or address as an excuse, but I could get those things within a couple of minutes by calling almost anyone else in my family. It’s really quite upsetting.
I believe it’s now the case that every member of the family in the generation of my grandparents is dead… Another reminder that I’m getting older.
Trying to piece together the information I can remember about her is quite difficult. I know she was a scientist. I was told she worked on interesting projects for things to do with satellites, or rockets, and the colour television. I know she used to ride a motorbike when she was a lot younger. I know she loved nature, woke up early, was active until very late in her life, and that’s just about it.
So yeah, it seems her love of nature is following her to the grave, literally. She requested a woodland burial in a cardboard coffin. That’ll be an interesting experience, but I’m glad we’re trying to follow through on her wishes as much as possible.
R.I.P. Gwendoline Elsie Luker (formerly Bull) 25th of May 1927 – 27th or 28th of January 2012