Alfonsa R.I.P

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I haven’t posted for a while so this post will hopefully explain why I have not been around much of late.

In my previous post I told you that we had been for a couple of meals over the weekend.

Today we went to a restaurant here in the town of Navalcarnero. It was equally expensive, but not on the same level as the Tech Restaurant! It was an enjoyable afternoon, but that was more due to the company of Elenas family than the food.

The above meal took place on Sunday and as you can see from the above quote, the company of Elenas family was superb! Two of the people at that meal were Elenas grand parents and only 24 hours later Elenas gran was taken to hospital, on Tuesday morning she passed away.

I haven’t spoken much about the family life here in southern Madrid, but the families here are very close in many ways. It is very normal for grand parents to live in the same house as the grand children and in many ways the grand parents act as a second parent.

So obviously this was a huge blow for Elena and her family.

On Tuesday the body was taken to a room here in the village and family members spent the day & night with the body. I stayed for most of the day with Elena and her family and it was very intense.
I was amazed at the amount of people that came to pay their respects. Here it is normal for work-mates to come and pay their respects as well, so teachers who work in the same school were visiting to be with Elenas mother. I found this quite strange but also very touching, bearing in mind that most of these people had never met Elenas gran it was nice of them to take the time to come and pay their respects.

Myself and Elena left at around midnight on Tuesday night and returned early the following morning.

The body was taken from there to the church in the village where Alfonsa (Elenas gran) spent most of her life. We went to the church and once again I was amazed at the amount of people that were there. Alfonsa used to run a grocery store in the village, so there were hundreds of residents at the church.

About 45 mins later the coffin was taken to a nearby church graveyard and thankfully the weather was superb. It was a pretty sad experience, but after that we went to the house that she had lived in for most of her life. At this point Elena and her cousins started to remember all the memories of when they used to play there as children. The atmosphere completely changed and became more of a celebration of her life.

Elena said that it really helped that I was with her during those two days and I think her family appreciated it as well. I certainly felt more of a part of the family and was treated as a family member by everyone.

So from a work perspective we are both trying to get back to our usual routine now. I will try and make sure that my next update gives you more info on the Deano’s Den project.

Alfonsa I wish I had met you earlier and I wish my Spanish was better so that I could have got to know you more, but it was an honour to know you. Rest in peace.

Dean