There are some things too painful to write about. Some images too raw to share. Her house was like that. After she’d left, and I’d driven her away to the care home, and the house yawned open and empty despite how much was left behind. The cumulation of three generations in a single house. And it had come to this. She had saved everything. The letters the photographs the books the clothes the furniture. A crushing and desperate need to save. To keep the remnants of a family and life and time torn apart by the Holocaust. And now all she owns is in a set of rooms in a dementure ward of a care home where we visit her every day. And the grandmother who I sat with in the evening sun and shared sherry with and told about my life and once, took my courage into both hands and told her about my girlfriend, and all the summers we spent as children on the sloping lawn, and the attic bedrooms under the wooden beams and no more. The trees we climbed. The cool stone floor of the kitchen. The plastic furniture of the outdoor chairs which her parents had sat on, then her, then us. The cushions embroidered by my great grandmother. The hot, tiny sewing room upstairs where she made us dresses. The bedrooms which took over the house by the end until she couldn’t run them anymore, forgetting how to change a sheet, use the washing machine, an iron. The long hall with the rugs whose patterns I used to dance around. The paintings and pictures and ornaments and knick-knacks from people long-gone. The quiet peace of a second home that was always there for me. With her. A comforting listener, a sparkling conversationalist, a funny, shy, earnest person. Selfless. Witty. Kind. Pressing money into my hands to pay for petrol as I left for the long drive home. The lunches of homemade soup or cold cuts and pickled beetroot. The things she was. Now they are gone. All gone and all that is left is a house I can no longer visit and her. Restless. Unhappy. Losing all of the history she fought to remember for so many years. The names of family members gassed to death. The places they fled. The stories of their lives. The little things it would be a crime to forget. The name of the ostrich who ate the soap in Africa. The boarding school with a two day journey they took alone as children. The cousins and aunts and great grandmothers. The Austrian language. The big house in Vienna. The colour of her mother's eyes. Yesterday she told me she wanted to visit her parents and I said nothing. No one tells you how to tell your grandmother her parents died twenty years ago. She laughs sometimes and I see the person she was. She tells me earnestly to look after myself and stay cheerful and come and visit soon and has no idea what my name is or that we sat and watched the sun going down and drank sherry and talked about the world and our lives and our dreams. She knows only that she does not know where she is or why is there or why my mother doesn’t come. All the cards I send, all the visits I make, all the jokes I make, cannot bring back these things. The daffodils in the garden. The fruit trees and berries bushes she cultivated. The roses she trained to grow over the side of the shed. The hours spent chasing rabbits from her lawn. The mulberry tree whose fruit we plundered ever year. The funny roundhouse with a tight bend in the driveway. The blue and white bathroom. The light and the air. The smiles and the tears. The kindness and despair. My heart hurts. Sometimes I think it will break with this hurting. Sometimes I think I will break with this hurting.