Remembering the dead & feeling my ancestors love.
My maternal grandmother, Helen Aherns Berger, was the elder most present in my young life. What I remember most about her was the feeling of being accepted. I knew she was rooting for me to be myself. In retrospect, it seems like she wanted to see who I was & know what I was about by observing & being there, not just by asking questions. She took pleasure in my presence. I felt her love like sunshine on my skin. I see her sitting peacefully in a chair on the deck of the house I grew up in absorbing the warmth of the day & commenting on my summer tan, “You’re just as brown as a berry.” I didn’t know of any brown berries…but it felt good to be seen by her.
I have good memories of all my grandparents, I love their human quirks & characteristics. As a child, I remember instinctively understanding which elders expected me to behave a certain way to ensure their comfort. I was sensitive to that & tried to oblige. I saw it as a win to be liked for being an easy/good child. I respected my elders & mostly listened to what they had to say. It’s a whole other kind of nourishment when you come across an elder who takes an interest in observing & allowing you to be you. This can be done quietly & is felt deeply. It’s an energetic exchange rooted in love & acceptance. It can be a lifeline when passed down to future generations. My Grandmother Helen taught me this without ever saying a word. She was herself & allowed me to be myself in her presence & radiated love in a way that was easy & safe for me to feel.
What feels true for me is that our family members & loved ones who die leave their bodies behind & become part of the spirit world. Once relieved of their human bodies & personalities, their suffering ceases & they become a healed version of themselves merged into Great Spirit, all that is. The energy of my ancestors feels like sunshine in my heart; pure love.
All my ancestors, thousands of them, exude the unconditional positive regard & love that my Grandmother Helen had for me in real-time. They are all rooting for me.
Thank you, ancestors. I love you & am grateful for your love.