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The Last

Yesterday, June 10, 2018, I was driving back from a rejuvenating day at the hot springs. I was feeling relaxed and receptive and I suddenly became aware that my grandmother had passed away. It was 7:13 p.m. About an hour later, my mom called to tell me the news. I have been blessed with many grandmothers in this life and she was the last.


She was the quintessential mother archetype.


Margery was the mother of my step father and has been in my life since I was about 9 years old. She always treated me as if I were her blood relative and was the quintessential mother archetype. She raised seven boys and one girl. She was grandmother to dozens of children and great grandchildren and she knew every one of their birthdays. She lost two husbands and nursed her second husband for several years before his death. She was the sole wage-earner for the last 20 years of her marriage. At one point, she was a postmaster.

Margery was active in her church and she always had enough food to feed an army. She was not content unless she was doing something to help or meeting new people. A few years ago, Margery was diagnosed with dementia and then Alzheimer’s disease. She slowly began to lose her ability to remember the birthdays. She always treated people as if they were family, so it wasn’t hard for her to feel comfortable doing that even if she wasn’t sure who someone was. On a few occasions she insisted she knew someone while they stood there with a puzzled look on their face. Somehow, she always remembered I was her granddaughter even if she couldn’t remember my name. Perhaps all women my age were granddaughter.


In the wake of death, coexisting can be comforting in one moment, stifling in the next.


I have witnessed over the past few years that one of the blessings and challenges of death is that it brings the rest of the family together. My mom and step dad are currently hosting a houseful of people and my mom wonders how she will feed everyone. Perhaps Grandma will come to the rescue and lend a hand from her new vantage point. I hope that, without her presence and role as peacemaker, her children and grandchildren will be able to work together peacefully to grieve and remember her. Like every family, there are conflicts that have been carried through the years. In the midst of death, emotions and moods are fragile. Coexisting can be comforting in one moment, stifling in the next.


I returned to Montana in 2011 to spend time with my aging grandparents before they passed away. Since that time, five of them have passed and now I contemplate what this means for my location. I can take my work anywhere and wonder if I will be called to move now that I have been present to usher my loved ones into their next phase. It has been nice to serve as a support to my parents who have done the big work for their parents when previously I have lived thousands of miles away. I no longer see coincidence when I consider that 2011 marked the call to be present in my grandparents’ deaths. As I #WatchLifeUnfold, I see it as a natural progression into my calling to help others cope with illness and dying.


I #PayAttention for directions toward my calling. I #AllowAllPossibilities about what shape my calling takes. I #SeePerfection in this moment. I breathe and am grateful for all the gifts I have received from grandparents. I remember Margery and invite her to continue to guide me.


Please share, ask questions, leave comments, suggest topics, and tell stories! I want to hear about your moments of magic, miracles, and synchronicity.


Dare to be immortal.

Jamie


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