Yesterday would have been the 99th birthday of my paternal grandmother whom I am named after. Mary. She and my mother were the dearest women of my life and now they are both gone. Gram died 7 years ago, mom 5 months ago. Sometimes I feel such a longing for the past, when we were all together enjoying a meal or celebrating a birthday or whatever, I touch an ache that quickly shoots me back to the present moment because I don’t want to let myself go there. In time, all dissolves. There is no getting around it. Everything you love will change form. Including yourself. Still, it hurts, even though it is the inevitable.
When Gram died, I made a shadowbox to process my grief. Same thing I did with mom. In some way it feels trite, to think I can put all those memories and love into a box, make it a mere shadow of what it once was. And in another way, it comforts me to sit with these images and remember, daydream, and feel their presence.
I have heard it said that you have 3 deaths. The first is when you leave your earthly body. The second is when your name is no longer spoken. The third is when you are completely forgotten by anyone living on earth. How long will you be remembered once you’re gone? Quite humbling to think upon. I know very little about my ancestors, past my great-grandparents. But every morning I greet them, with a prayer of gratitude, for my life and all the hardships and celebrations they experienced that allowed me to be here now. Maybe you do this too?
What is your relationship with your ancestors? There is so much healing to be done with/in our ancestral lines. How do you become a good ancestor? How are you being a good ancestor? Many people are exploring this work, including myself. It is a lifetime journey.