I was just twelve years old when my grandmother died. She was 84 years old and had lived with my mother since her husband had died many years before. I loved her dearly. She looked after my brother and I whilst my mother worked. Gran died at home after a short illness. She was laid in her coffin which was put into the sitting room on trestle’s with the lid off. I used to stand beside her, hold her hand and talk to her. I also brought family and friends into the room. Some people were frightened to come in and I used to hold their hand and take them in. I have never been afraid of dead bodies and always feel the need to see friends and family before the service. I am sure that the experience with my grandmother made this possible.