This is not the post I had planned to write, but it is the post that is in me today.
As I prepare the clothes and get things ready for the funeral of the 97 year old matriarch of this family, I feel such a sense of time moving and changing. For all manner of self-reflection I am doing at the moment. A passing of the baton to our mothers, regardless of whether they are ready, or capable. And for us. As we raise the next generation. Regardless of whether we are ready, or capable.
This was the last grandmother in this family. My beloved’s grandmother. Who I adopted, since I had lost both of mine, and I think how lucky I am to have had such strong examples of giving, nurturing and very wise women. I look at my daughter and see glimpses of all of them, and think about the legacy they all left.
After my paternal grandmother died, I felt the loss so completely of one of the few people to have so wholly made me feel loved, and cherished and worthy. I sank into it. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be anymore, at the lonely age of 18. She came to me before she went, and I “knew” before I knew that she had gone. We had such a connection, on a soul level. I feel her still. Now. I ache sometimes that she never “met” my children, or saw the woman I am becoming. I still miss her deeply. And barely a day goes by that I don’t think about her.
My maternal grandmother died barely a week over 4 years ago. In fact exactly a week before the date my beloved’s grandmother died. I felt her loss keenly as well. But not to the sinking depths that I felt with my paternal grandmother. I think perhaps having children didn’t let me sink to quite the same depths of despair. Though I had such a sense of guilt, that I had not been a more devoted grandaugher. That I had gotten swept up in life and raising children and she didn’t know how much she truly mattered to me.
And I never really expected she would go when she did. I thought I had time. Two months after she died I had the most incredible, weird, emotional dream, where I woke sobbing. Or rather I was sobbing, and my beloved woke me. :) But after the dream I had such a sense of peace. That though I still feel some guilt, that much of the burden was lifted by her. And I am grateful for the gift she gave me that night. In the nonsensical dream that even now has a power over me.
And today. I have felt the loss of my Beloved’s grandmother keenly as well. Though I feel no guilt, because the lessons of my maternal grandmother meant I said everything that needed to be said, and that she knew I loved her, and we had spent the last month or so preparing ourselves, and saying goodbye, for what is inevitable eventually for all of us. We had many moments, some scary as all heck, and some sacred and intimate and I am grateful for all of it. And that my children were able to be present for all of it as well. To see the beauty and scariness and the sacredness of life. And the intimacy of death.
I was a little worried, coming out of the funk I had been in only recently, that I may find myself stuck or sinking. But that hasn’t happened (touch wood). The opposite in fact. I feel so inspired by everything. So empowered, and blessed. And grateful to be able to work towards the life I am creating in a productive and meaningful way.
Grateful for the connections I make, and have made. Grateful for the bounty of our feijoa tree (that I have just gathered), and new changes in home routines (that will take some getting used to, but that have exciting possibilities as well). Grateful for the blessings of my children and even grateful for what I am sure is one of the most destructive puppies in the land (who appears to have a fetish for my daughter’s undies and my paint brushes).
And so in all this energy that is whirling around, I feel on the brink of change. So acutely. Like there is a whirling of energy swirling around me. And I am grateful. Grateful for everything. Especially grateful that I was blessed to have such great examples of strong wise women, all very real and practical and loving, to guide me as I continue becoming the woman I am becoming.
And this appears to be showing up on my current canvases as well! :)