Spain dismissed the writer Almudena Grandes with an emotional tribute at the Almudena civil cemetery in Madrid two days after she died of cancer. For Benjamín Prado, Almudena’s close friend, the farewell came earlier than planned.
The contributor to La Ventana explained in a infoLibre article that went to the writer’s house on Saturday to say goodbye to her, but that arrived minutes after she died. In La Ventana de los Libros, with a special program in memory of Almudena Grandes, he spoke of his feelings after the funeral: “I have come to bury a sister and bad, really.”
“Almudena’s funeral has been one of extraordinary emotion, it has been an incredible thing, the love that this woman has generated in so many people is wonderful,” he says, “which makes it doubly ugly that there have been absences as petty as that of the President of the Community of Madrid and the Mayor of Madrid that they have not passed through the funeral home or the cemetery is a terrible thing ”.
Neither the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, nor the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, have attended the funeral or the funeral home, as President Pedro Sánchez did, among others. Among the public condolences is the president of the Popular Party, Pablo Casado, who with this tweet remembered the writer.
Prado explains this lack of recognition to the writer, who never hid her leftist ideology, “with the word pettiness, with the fear of losing four Vox votes, I imagine, and with a creeping idea of politics, because I believe that anyone normal of this world understands that children and the dead is another league, it cannot be judged in the same way ”.
My condolences to the family of Almudena Grandes, a prominent figure in Spanish literature, a film scriptwriter and committed to her ideas. His legacy will last forever.
All my affection to Luis and the rest of his family. Rest in peace.https://t.co/1PlvnR0EI5
– Pablo Casado Blanco (@pablocasado_) November 27, 2021
Almudena’s house was always open
Even so, for Prado there is much more good to remember than this little incident: “How am I going to stay with that when I have been lucky for thirty years to enjoy one of the most generous, most honest and best people in this world. planet, what was Almudena Grandes? “
“How can I forget how Almudena has treated my family, my children, my mother, myself, her way of sharing her open kitchen so that you could go to eat whenever you wanted, her key in her hand so that you could open the door of her house when you needed it, her phone always ready for you to ask her for a favor at any time? “
Prado also thanked the “hundreds and hundreds of citizens with Almudena’s books in hand, an act of love, of shared pain, of feeling of orphanhood, of loss, of ‘this world is going to be worse without Almudena Great among us. ‘
The inciting of the burial, to which almost all those present attended with a book by the author, was carried out by the journalist Ramón Lobo, who in his account on Tuiter.
“The networks sometimes have these beautiful details,” Prado acknowledged, “he commented to Ana Belén, ‘Look, it’s like a burial with something from the nineteenth century, very much in line with the novels of Almudena Grandes’, in the civil cemetery, people with the novels above, all this has a little bit of the 19th century ”.
I don’t know where the farewell will be, but Almudena Grandes deserves an act like Saramago’s in Lisbon, with her readers holding one of her books as thanks pic.twitter.com/NCdioZthQp
– Ramón Lobo 🇪🇺🇪🇸🇫🇷🇬🇧🇱🇺🇻🇪 (@ramonlobo) November 27, 2021
A less pleasant first meeting
Prado also recalled how he met his friend, the beginning of a very unconventional friendship: “When I met Almudena I was in Sitges. I was then working at Diario 16, and the publisher had sent me the book and told the publisher ‘what a brick’. And then suddenly I was sitting at a table having dinner and a tall, dark-haired girl with curly hair, who ended up being Almudena Grandes, hit me like this from behind and said ‘so brick, huh?’, And that’s how I met Almudena Grandes ”.
Since then, he explains, his life has improved in all aspects: “If I had not met Almudena, everything would be worse. Worst writer, worst father, worst friend ”.
“That is a huge debt of gratitude that I do not know with what can be paid,” he concludes, “perhaps with memory, with memory, with love.”