The Tower Block - post mortem The tower block - post mortem. Click the windows for memories

Little Granny with the Good Heart

- Tanja Holmen

Granny has had another heart attack…We’re at the hospital, I think you should come too, Tanja, it’s serious… Mum’s voice as I had never heard it before, hollow and muddled. It was a grey day before Christmas, the 12th of December 2006.
Outside my office in the Prinsensgate street the heavy traffic lumbered by. Was it really possible that my grandmother should die on such a day as this?

Little Granny with the pretty, delicate face and the abundant silver-grey hair. My wise, lovely granny with a heart condition and a body bent over by osteoporosis.
Granny who had always been there, who was surely immortal, my own dear wonderful granny.

During the last years of granny’s life we got to learn the Tower Block intimately. Granny was often there – it might be a heartattack, a broken arm or foot. But she was a tough cookie. Little Granny became a familiar sight in the RiT corridors. My grandmother was the kind of patient who detested having to bother the staff. When I came to see her, to read for her or take a cup of coffee with her in the living-room, I always had to accompany her to the bathroom. Often she would defer the errand until one of us turned up, so that she would not have to ask the staff to help her. That’s what granny was like. As a patient she came to know the Tower Block very well – and also as next-of-kin.

I rushed into the hospital and up the stairs. The night before we had talked for a while, but Granny was easily tired out, so the visit was a short one. In the bed opposed to that of my granny’s lay Edel, an old acquaintance of hers.

I was asked to go to a waitingroom. My mum and Granny’s doctor greeted me. The words floated past me…angina pectoris…kept alive artificially…great pain…
The room was tiny, the walls beige and, as far as I remember, the floor was covered by some kind of modern laminate. My granny was allowed to die that day, on the fifth floor of the Tower Block. (I think it was the fifth, anyway.) We embraced her as she was dying. We caressed her cheeks and held her hands, and I know that she could feel our presence. My granny, the 89 year old Sigrid Synøve Ustad, a Trondheim citizen, originally from Levanger, died in the Tower Block the 12th of December 2006.