July 7, 2020

Is it safe to dig up the past?

Emma Jackson, 44

I was lucky to grow up with my Gran and Grandad living next door. When I came home, Gran would always have cake and biscuits and a kind word at the ready. We knew my Grandad was a bit grumpy and Gran would get into a ‘bit of a state’, but mental health problems were never discussed. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties and after my Grandad had died that I found out about my Gran’s anxiety and my Grandad’s depression and some of the reasons behind their pain. Neither found the words to talk about their loss. Gran was hospitalised after the episode described here and never came home again. This is my attempt to tell an important family story. If I don’t give this space, all that remains of William Davies is a death certificate and a receipt for a tiny coffin we found after my Grandad died. I too have lived with depression most of my life. I have learnt that it is good to talk, to give things their rightful space and weight in your emotional life. I just wish my grandparents had the same opportunity.

What Does Chronic Anxiety Look Like?, 2020Writing