My mother’s mother is an Ancestor

Literature / Jun. 26th, 2022

 

 

Life is so profound, I found out my grandmother transitioned some days ago and immediately I started having so many feelings. Feeling a sense of relief, pain, agony, confusion, asking myself if I did enough? Could I have done enough? It’s all a confusing dynamic and one moment again I find myself judging the people who didn’t do enough for her and these are people I love and then I am reminded that no one truly owes anybody anything. For years I have been navigating what it means to truly live in a world with a mother who has transitioned and while navigating this, I cultivated a relationship with the mother of my mother. This is even more confusing, navigating a relationship with a mother whose daughter has transitioned and her child “me” is a strong reminder of her. I have always wondered how much presence am I permitted with her?

In recent times we developed a language of transparency where she was very open about her death, pain, insecurities, regrets, depression, spirituality and all she wanted was for me to bring a child to this world, what a pressure to put on someone but luckily I have never in recent times allowed people transfer their fears or desires on me, so I took it as just another sweet endearing conversation. The way I am responding to this current situation is showing me that I am aligned at my core and I am beginning to even more stop trying to understand the world, she is gone and that’s life, nothing sad or happy about it even if I am feeling feelings, these don’t remove the fact that she came here and lived a life, which is making me truly understand that people only react to transitions in response to our assumption of the type of life the people who transitioned lived.

As I took care of her in my own little way, I was taking care of my mother, I felt like it was at least one of the ways of keeping that line active, indeed this woman birthed my mother and now without her child here, I was laboring to develop a relationship, one as just people. She taught me so much within this time even in our distance, she made me realise that this body can indeed take so much pain, she made me reevaluate my perspective on pain, because sometimes I questioned why she was still here and whenever I did something clicked, the living is the living and this isn’t in anyway restricted to their living conditions.

 

I personally feel that she suffered so much and I used to wonder why death didn’t come, which is making really appreciate and normalise death in its layers, complication and simplicity but then how do I reconcile everything that has led up to this moment, so many experiences that I can’t share now which completely explain, this year in particular, I have been prepped for this very moment, I am becoming more and more complex and simple at my core, finding new language and understanding for the feelings and life being lived, letting go of this idea of a pursuit to fully understand, which in turn is giving me life-changing understandings, because most times our bodies are having experiences we don’t understand and we don’t understand it because language doesn’t understand it and so when we catch up with certain language like I am doing now and then mirroring those experiences, it’s like, “oh wow” this is how I felt, this is what that feeling meant.

The statement “this person lived a life” is most times very much attached to a material success, but for a person who has lived way above 80, they have indeed lived a life, it’s not in what we assume is rich, it is embedded in their experience and for my grandmother it is in her struggles, her glory, pain, joy, sadness, the boredom, the waiting, the heart, the heartless, the strong and the weakness, it is in all of these components which makes up the tenet for this woman’s life.

When I was told the new of her transition, I began to have flashes of all our conversations, her worries, fears, desires and all, but the picture that kept on flashing the most was her as a four year old and then I imagined her current body, broken and very fragile and then I realised that she indeed used to be a kid, full of life, grudge with people, jumping on tables, she used to have the energy to mark territory and gradually all of that started leaving as she developed. So I am becoming more and more grateful for women, specifically women who have had babies, in a way I have never really been, because I started to think about women who have become mothers or gone through miscarriages and I wonder if they even desired to carry children and become parents? Do they have the freedom to truly just live as they want without all of the pressures of being parents? So I appreciate her for having my mother truly.

 

As much as I was ready for this, as much as I knew the pain she was in, as much as I even felt she should leave at anytime and accepted it, the call was still shocking, the space of having an understanding on death seems to still be expansive, I know she feels free, not trapped anymore and yet what I feel isn’t just pain, I am just in a state of nothing, I truly appreciate this level of grief that I am experiencing, this grief wouldn’t be possible without the 20+ years of trying to understand grief through my mother, her daughter, I was too young to understand it truly when my mother transitioned but with time I have and with my grandmother now, I truly understand and I am grateful that I can truly sit on it without being rushed or told how to grief. Silently for a few days I have been grieving my grandmother and mother in a way that is so beautiful and peaceful. There is value in harnessing relationships with yourself and those you care for, nothing in life is too special, just do you.

In a profound way this has happened while I am in Berlin where I don’t really have to pander to no one, I have been given the gift of time and space to feel my feelings without stopping for no one. May her journey into the ancestral plane be guided.

Nene, thank you.

1 comment

  1. Melissa says:

    Dear Omonblanks! I hear you in this journey of grief. When my Grandmother past I was in Berlin and could not come to the funeral, like with my Grandfather I wrote her a letter to be laid with him in his resting place. There is so much attached to this women giving birth to a whole family! 6 kids!! Having those conversations so important – I know my Mother was able to have peace. When my father died – I was in the air on my way to him
    When he passed I was not there and did not have my goodbye – it was a grief beyond what I could have imagined – those ties of being someones child were cut and I mourned for that child too. Grief is so individual, and so necessary. For the 1st year I was quite raw, it had affected me and then came celebration, i began the rituals of remembrance ,of celebration of being there in that moment. I try snd use this energy now to let my kids know who I am ,-and that we are still here and see them – we can talk to them .. bless you and your Grandmother spirit! Until soon Melissa

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For The TAC Newsletter

Catch up on the latest headlines and unique TAC stories.

    By subscribing, you agree to TAC’s terms of use and privacy policy.

    X