I just got back (to my residence) from the hardest thing I have ever done-burying my (grand) mother. I know you see grand in parenthesis again; I will explain later. I am sooo over funerals, as I have been to many in my short 37 years of living-and those are just the ones I attended….add 4 to the close loved ones I didn’t. Death is often seen as a sad occasion because you realize that you will never see that person again, you have regrets/guilt, or you’re just plain hurt. I remember my first loss when I was a pre-teen and it still sits with me to this day. Some of my family members passed and I remember feeling at ease because they were at a state of suffering that needed to end. This one hit a little differently though.
Since I was born, I always lived with my mother, grandmother and grandfather (and sibling). So she was a witness to all of my firsts, and was the reason for many of them. She was my mother’s mother and my other mother. Even my great aunt called her my “mama.” Losing her 14 days ago hit like no other-even though we knew for months it was coming. For the sake of not turning a blog post into a book (lol), I will get right to it. She led a life that included hurt, pain, racism, and love…no matter what, she loved. Her soul, to this day, is the most purest I have ever met. This lady did not even know what petty meant!! I learned so much from her and I want to just share with you a few of them.
- Unconditional Love- My grandmother always loved in spite of. She never loved thinking there was a time where not loving was an option. She always gave her full self. This could be considered not just an amazing trait, but also a weakness by some. Regardless, she loved despite. When you love unconditionally, it means that you love with every bit of you.. It does not mean, however, you overlook red flags (abuse, infidelity) that occurs in your marriage. Love unconditionally, but be wise always.
- It is never to late to try again at love- My grandmother’s first husband was abusive. I am not sure for how long, but I do know the marriage was short lived. Then came my grandfather, who she was “common law” married to (for over 20 years) until his death. My grandfather was good to me and my other siblings. After his death, she never entered into another relationship. Which leads me to my last nugget.
- Love Yourself More!! If there is nothing you get from this message, please get this! If my grandmother longed for a relationship after my grandfather died, we never knew it. She never stopped living once her marital relationships ceased, and never let herself go. She loved herself enough to know that she was enough. She never presented to us that a relationship was the end all be all. Relationships are lovely, don’t get me wrong. When you have them, nurture them, but do not let define you.
Question: What have you learned the most, about relationships, from your loved ones?