Monday, 18 October 2010

A Eulogy For Bernard Crawley

My grandfather and I were never close. 

We mostly never talked of anything past simple pleasantries when I became an adult, asking each other how we were when he would phone, inevitably in the middle of dinner to talk to my mother or my aunt.  There were the few occasions when he needed my technical expertise with computers, mainly with email, and on those few occasions we did manage to hold a somewhat stunted conversation, as most of the words we exchanged were to do with how this or that worked.

I can’t really recall conversing with him on any particular subject when I was a child and teenager.  When I would speak to him, it was to ask his permission for any particular something.  He always had a stern demeanour, a quick temper which thankfully faded with age, and he was a hard man for a child to love affectionately.  It was easy for me to fear him.

Those are the bulk of my memories of my grandad.

The others I have are different.

I remember asking him about my great-grandparents, and writing down the names he gave to me.  I remember that he let me harvest seeds from his garden to grow somewhere closer to home.  The puzzle he had started that he said I could finish.  The leather satchel and my grandmother’s old sewing box he said I could have. 

I remember the time when I was a tiny unknowing child and stuck a raisin up my nostril.  He fished it out with a pair of tweezers.  And the time when I got stuck in the downstairs toilet and he unscrewed the lock to get me out.

I have others, but I wish I had more.  Everything else I know about him is fact. 

A twin, he was born in 1926, married young, and had ten children.  He used to smoke before he had his first heart attack, and had subsequent problems with his health ever since.  He adored steam trains, built model railways, collected photos and recorded minute details in a dozen ledgers, an obsessive like myself.  When my grandmother died he moved to Prince’s Risborough, into the bungalow they had decided upon before her death.  He was Catholic, and became very devout, going to church practically every day.

I am glad I got to say goodbye to him before he left this world.  From what I have been told he was ready to go, after a long life which saw him experience a great amount, and he is finally at rest.

I cried for him, and though we did not understand each other, we were nevertheless grandparent and grandchild, and I shall miss him.

Bernard Crawley, 1926-2010

1 comment:

  1. Great Uncle Cyril30 October 2010 at 13:39

    I think it is wonderful that yo.u have written this eulogy for your grandad.
    Your Grandad's twin brother, Cyril