Today is the second anniversary of my maternal grandmother's passing into the Summerlands. I am
taking some time this evening to reflect and remember her; several times over the course of the day, I have felt her near, and even smelled her trademark scent ~ a mix of a variety of Avon soaps and lotions, dried flowers and the faintest hint of Pine-Sol floor cleaner. As odd as that may sound, it's actually quite a wonderful smell. It was a comfort, and although it can be painful to work through the grief, I am reminded, once again, that the wheel is always turning.
Everything is a cycle in life, and we will revisit experiences over and over again, finding opportunities to dive deeper into our shadow work. Healing loss is a life-long process. There will never, ever be a day when you wake up and realize that you no longer miss someone dear to your heart. You will not climb out of bed on a distant morning and find that you've reached the "end" of the grief. No... it is something that will cycle through the rest of your life. The reality is that, in most cases, we learn to live with the pain, and (if we're very lucky) we find the beauty in the fact that we loved (and were loved) in such a way that the physical absence of that person has had a profound and life-altering effect on us.
So here I sit, enjoying the silence of the night, and being conscious and accepting of the pain and grief. In doing so, I am finding myself accessing memories that I had long-forgotten about my Grandmother. Winter days spent baking a chocolate Yule log cake for Christmas dinner with the family. Sweet, angel-themed gifts that she always seemed to have on hand, just for me. The morning when she was making me breakfast during a visit when I was about 7 years old, and I had no idea what "porridge" meant (I had only known it as oatmeal). The day that she visited me for tea, and helped me fold a load of freshly washed towels, and shared some homemaking tips that she learned from her mother. The day that she and I plucked dried Silver Dollar sprigs, because they were her absolute favorite. Dropping in to visit with her at work when my eldest daughter was brand new. The countless hours we spent together when I volunteered at the charity thrift store she managed ~ it was my grandmother who sparked my love for tea dates with girlfriends, which occurred during breaks that all the staff took together.
My Grandmother was also the woman who gifted me my very first deck of Oracle Cards. It was Doreen Virtue's Messages from your Angels deck. I really had no idea what they were, but had struggled since childhood to find a path that spoke to my heart. I was not like most of the other kids I knew, because I felt an overwhelming connection to the Earth, could sense the emotions of others, and knew information that seemed to come out of nowhere. The moment I opened those cards, something clicked, and I have been on a wonderful and epic journey of self-discovery ever since. I am so grateful that my Grandmother, for whatever reason, felt the desire to give me that deck of cards. It's hard to imagine that such a small, seemingly trivial thing could change my entire life. But it did.
The more I rest in reflection, the more these past experiences with her come to the surface. There are so many fond memories to be enjoyed, but I wasn't able to access them until I sat down with the weight of sadness squarely on my shoulders, and moved through it. Instead of packing it into a closet in a forgotten corner of my mind, I embraced it, and found that there were a lifetime's worth of memories to enjoy, akin to finding a trunk of old photos in the attic.
So, Grandma... my cup is nearly empty, and it's getting late. Thanks for this lovely tea date, and walk down memory lane ~ what do you say? Same time next year?