When My Nan Died: Religion, Closets and Love (repost)

I wrote this two years ago, on the third anniversary of my Nan’s death.  I want to share it with you all, because much as I would like to say I feel healed, I can’t. It’s been five years. I don’t think I can ever forgive that church for forcing so many things to be unsaid.

You see, when I think of my gran, I imagine sharing all the things I do with her and I know how proud she would be. I can imagine exactly how everyone in her town would know hopelessly-exaggerated versions of every achievement I’d made, and I can feel that secretly-delighted mortification of hearing them back after a few rounds through the grapevine. I know that she’d have been up at the Galas talking David Norris’s ears off whether he liked it or not, and that every newspaper article about derby or demonstrations where you could kind-of see the side of my face would be saved and shared with half the town. I know that, and despite the everpresent ache of missing, that knowledge buoys me up and leaves me feeling so loved. Even though she’s gone for so many years.

I think about my nan, though? I miss her so much. I think about how much I love her. How close I always felt to her. How I idolised her when I was a kid, and how I grew up and.. well, that never really changed. I never thought of her with anything other than love. But right in the middle of that love? Is the knowledge that even if she was still alive, I’d have to keep so much from her. I can’t imagine how she’d feel about the things that I do. I’d still keep so many of them from her.

Because I was afraid. I was afraid that words would leave my mouth meaning “here is how my heart is wired and where I find joy” and reach her ears as “I am broken and my heart is bent towards evil”.

There’s more. Here’s the rest.

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When My Nan Died: Religion, Closets and Love (repost)

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