Caroline White is one of our ambassadors. Here she is talking about the loss of Seb’s beloved Great Grandma.
I always wondered how Seb’s Great Grandma (in her 90s) would view Seb as so much has changed attitude wise over the last century.
Seb, who has a wonderful way of engaging with people, would march up to her, hold her hands and talk to her. Seb didn’t see an ‘old person’ he just saw his Great Grandma. In return, she didn’t see Downs syndrome, she just saw Seb - and she would literally come alive when he visited. She would cradle his face and tell him he was beautiful and he would use Makaton when he thought she couldn’t hear him clearly.
Six months after her 100th birthday, she passed away. We went to her funeral. As we walked into the chapel, Seb saw a photo of her and let out a big tearful sigh, “I miss Great Grandma” he said. I was taken aback by how much he had taken in of her departure.
“Where is Great Grandma?” he asked.
“In heaven” I would reply.
“Can we go and see her? Is she with Keith?”
(His Uncle’s cat who had also passed away).
“What is she doing?” Seb missed her terribly.
Seb has really struggled with the concept that his Great Grandma’s departure is final. He thinks she is in heaven - but he also pictures that heaven is a room somewhere, just like the room she lived in. I love that he thinks of death like this. I wish I did too.
One day I would really love Seb to have a dog but it really worries me how he would cope when the dog passes away. I can’t bear the heartbreak that he wouldn’t understand where it had gone and that he couldn’t see it ever again.