I come from a beautiful line of women...on both sides of my family. My grandmother, on my mom's side, was a strong-willed, admirable woman. Her mother was even stronger-willed...a lovely human being who prayed, loved and nurtured intensely. Both of them died the same year, months apart...the year I got married, the same year my father retired in. I can't even begin to tell you how much stronger my mother is.
In April of that year I travelled to the city I was moving to after getting married to find an apartment. I bought a plane ticket, packed a weekend bag and went to see my great-grandma before leaving. She was 93 years old. I spent a couple of hours with her attempting conversation, but mostly we just held hands, in silence. As I kissed her goodbye she asked Would you let me die? I smiled and said, Grandma, you go ahead and die as soon as you are ready. I did not know why I said what I said. I was 20 years old. Not old enough to know enough. This answer came spontaneously and from a deep and wise place I didn't recognize. When I returned three days later, she had died.
I miss her. I miss her terribly. I miss her smell, the way she loved me, the way she said my name. Losing her hurt until, but only until, I let her go. Grieving her took its time, yet letting her go has allowed me to enjoy her all over again.
When we lose someone, letting them go is difficult. We fear letting go. We are afraid we didn't say all we could say, that we didn't love them enough while we could, we fear being alone, we fear going on not knowing what comes next. Yet letting someone we love go, transcend, helps us heal and have a closer relationship with them. We live in a world of spirit. We are spirits housed in flesh. Once our bodies die, we go on. We relate in spirit.
I remember my great-grandma–what she taught me, the stories she told, her character, her worrisome personality, her cooking, her tender touch. I dream of her. My memories of her are alive. I remember her joyfully and I honor her. This is how our relationship continues. I have let go of my need to have her here physically. I have let her go, but she is not gone. I feel her love. I have let her go, but not my love for her, for love never dies.
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