Greetings. The Unleashed One here. I hope that everyone has been doing well and that all have been staying safe. If you are thrown off by the attire, please reference the highlighted link.
The day of Grandma's homegoing was fraught with rain. It was gentle initially, but by the time the viewing and the funeral had concluded, the rain accelerated into a downpour. I am unsure how many people drove in the weather conditions to arrive at the burial site. I managed to get there in time to see Grandma's casket lowered but didn't linger after.
At that moment, it occurred to me that where I sat in the church was the exact same place I sat when Grandpa had his homegoing.
The same feelings rushed through me as they pertained to attending the repast.
When Grandpa was laid to rest, Grandma just wanted to be alone. She didn't have an appetite, and I respected it.
I now felt similar to Grandma. I had no appetite. I just wanted to be alone. I respected my feelings. I got out of the rain and returned to my lodging. I hoped others would understand, but I'd be very lousy company.
Besides, all of the interaction I'd done during the wake and the funeral pushed me to my limit, and from an empath's perspective, I was absolutely drained.
I took solace in that I did Grandma proud.
It wasn't just in showing up and greeting people (although that level of engagement is out of the norm for me). For the people who meant the most to Grandma, I wanted them to know how much she appreciated them and that she would speak kindly and highly of them to me in our conversations.
It wasn't just in being able to read her tribute, which I couldn't do for Grandpa. With Grandpa, I was just overcome with the shock of things, along with being so aware of everyone else's sadness.
Some things needed conveyance and closure. Some tasks needed to be carried out, and from that perspective, I succeeded in my mission. It is up to those remaining to navigate from here.
The lessons that Grandma and Grandpa instilled resonate more profoundly. When I think of them, it puts me in the mind of a garden. Grandpa was wonderful with fruits and vegetables; Grandma was wonderful with flowers. Even though the seeds are different, the steps to making them grow are the same. The seeds need soil, the proper nutrients, and adequate care to prosper.
The beginning stages of development are delicate and vital. If the soil is not handled properly, then the seed's growth can be impacted.
Even if the soil is in good condition, one must be mindful of the seed's care. It doesn't take much for a promising crop to take an unexpected turn. When that occurs, one has to decide if one wants to invest in that crop again or try one's hand at a different one.
I believe we are all components of a Universal garden.
Some of us came into a space where the foundation (soil) was already full of preparation. All they had to do was follow the blueprint to produce consistently. It appeared simple, but humanity has a way of inserting complications, putting a sure thing in peril.
Yet, in more cases than not, others arrived where the soil was already tainted. For the latter, they had to fight harder to obtain the nutrients needed to grow and prosper. Perhaps they were already counted out before it was time to harvest. Or, other farmers teased the farmer who still believed in his crop.
From an outsider's perspective, I am a statistic.
The product of a sixteen-year-old girl. The other half of the equation ... nowhere to be seen. The girl moves to another state three years later, leaving said product to be raised by her maternal grandparents in one of the poorest states in the US.
Adding another statistic: Daughters of teenage mothers are three times more likely to become teenage mothers themselves.
My grandparents provided more than food, clothing, and shelter. They saw something special in me that wanted to be more than my circumstances. I wanted to write my own story, and in doing so, I was the exception to every negative statistic thrown at me due to my origins.
Some of us may have had a rocky start, but I believe it doesn't have to remain that way. One just needs the proper nutrients on hand to help us navigate through it all.
I expanded my mind and heart to accept that love and family don't have to only be through blood. Some of my closest connections have been with others I've met through many walks of life.
Love, in all forms, is limitless.
It was wonderful that Grandma got an opportunity to meet my best friend, an individual that has emerged as my Spirit Sista. Grandma deciphered our connection right away and took to Jazz immediately, and Grandma rarely (if ever) does that with anyone.
Grandma was a straight shooter. If she liked you, she liked you, and you remained in favor until you didn't. If she didn't like you, she didn't, and it was not too much you could do to shift her opinion.
In my previous post, I scribed these lines:
Death can serve as the cohesion for fractures among the living. That is what the heads of households would want. Harmony among their children. That is the most positive outcome.
The flip side of one's passing is that wounds cut deeper. New fractures are created. The struggle on how to process grief and move forward, causing further distance for those who remain.
I sit back and observe the effort of people in the aftermath. Some will continue to do what they've always done. Yet, with others, there has been a shift. Whether it's temporary or permanent, that is too soon to tell, but movement is there.
I am not immune to the shifts. There have been individuals who re-emerged in the midst of this tragedy. Even people I did not think I would communicate again in life ... I opted for openness. I realize that time and the presence of others can have an impact on people's behaviors. Whether they stick isn't up to me, but up to that person and Spirit. I take things day-by-day, one moment at a time, and only time will tell if that person and others will remain.
Other people I recognize they were just peeking their heads out and that's cool. Their disappearing into the ether doesn't impact me one way or the other. Only they know why they did the outreach, and if that is what they needed to feel better, have their own closure, or self-assurance I wasn't feeling a way (and I wasn't), then I wish them well.
Gardens can always be rejuvenated; it's up to the components involved. There can be space for multiple thoughts and feelings; the presence of one doesn't cancel the other.
I can recognize the travesties of the past, forgive them, and utilize them as lessons while making the decision whether I want to establish new bonds or just walk away. I have the power to dictate access, outreach, and boundaries which I had little to no control over as a child.
There are many ways to love and connect, and the way I love one person doesn't have to cause offense to another person. Some may not adopt this philosophy, but through my life, the previous statement is how situations have played out.
Although I did not adopt my grandparents' green thumbs, I should hope that I picked up enough tools to continue growing in all the ways of my life.