My maternal grandmother died at the age of 54 in 1955, nine years before I was born.
She exists in my consciousness as a collection of stories about minor events which peppered her short life, which was defined by a loving marriage, several live births and several still births, her faith, her community, her humble nature.
My mother told me that shortly before she died, she started to tell people who came to visit her as she lay dying, the ways in which they had upset her and the effect their perceived unkindness had affected her.
A settling of scores at the end of a fulfilling but hard short life.
This little anecdote does not define her life, but strangely it connects me to her with a love I can hardly explain which feels so very deep for a person I never knew in life.
Her need to express her inner-self, parts of her which she had suppressed and tolerated for the sake of family; for the sake of community; for the sake of her place in the world suddenly found a voice through her spoken words which were released from deep within her suffering soul.
I like to think, that her settling of scores brought her healing, love and forgiveness because I know for sure, that it ultimately brought her peace and rest.
I pray to her each day as if she was a saint:-
“God Bless you my dear Grandma, may you rest in peace gentle, kind and faithful soul who gave life to so many through your frail body”
I believe that our connections are maintained after death with those whom we love, and it is through her courage to find her voice and speak her truth, that I have been inspired in some small part, to find and speak mine.
My next blog will be: Side by Side