The other day my Grandmother aka Gran left this Terran ?Building? aka Earth. Shortly after finding out this news my car would die, much in the same fashion that one I had previously, her former car, did as well while driving, engine just went down. Gran, knowing that I had Roadside Assistance, just wanted to say goodbye, as a friend put it, and it was a reminded me alot of a story that a Mentor once shared with me about a visit from her Father after he left.
The end of a Life happens but only once. I reflect on that greatly, it is in fact what I consider a huge part of my Writing, and with each passing that occurs, I am reminded once more how momentary, this experience of Flesh, Blood, Bones, & Spirit woven in between is.
Funny things happen when people go. We talk to them as if they are here, I can?t even count how many times I have thought or said aloud, “Oh Gran.” We recall memories, such rich vivid experiences of books, oranges, and hugs from my Gran, at lunch in the school I attended where she worked, and then after school after that.
We also have the opportunity to connect dots…
Everyone who has ever entered my Life, whether we part ways in the burning of bridges, the shaking of heads, in handshakes or with hugs, has taught me, has helped me to be who I am. As I connect dots surrounding this recent exit stage Out of Here, I realize how much of me is because of this woman who is now Free.
Death is Freedom. It is Freedom when realization occurs that Death can and will come for each and every one of us, so just Live, as best as can. It is Freedom because then the Soul once more meets the Beloved, as Mystic Poets refer to the Creator, whoever, however S/He may be, in the Ether.
In a biological sense, parts of my genetics, my ancestry, and my physical relation to this Hawaii that I Love so much is because of that. There?s some largely emotional elements that follow the biology because as handsome as I may be (wink), when you look like this here, a “F*** You Haole” is not far behind it. I tend to, prefer to, strive to see beyond skin, to look at the Soul for this is ignorance regardless or race, color, creed, the same as their is beauty for the same reasons. There is also emotional recollection of Love and acceptance, for though we were each different, Gran Love us All in her way and that was cool for a kid who grew up with imagination and numinous musing to keep him company.
Intellectually I am greatly impacted. Though I?m not a card carrying member of MENSA, I read, I write so much because of both Grandmothers, who would make sure I got to the Library every week as a kid, either in Kaneohe or in Hilo. Gran would also totally Grammar Nazi it along the way to all of us and make sure that we spoke properly. Really glad she didn?t get to see my Hawaii Creole English Poetry years…
Spiritually, well, Ole JMAW could talk about Spirit related things for eons so let?s see where this goes.
When my Grandfather, Old said peace out a few years back, he gave me a great gift of words and told me, “You Remember, Young, You Remember.”
Remember each day do I of how short, so ever fast this experience is. Gran told me many things and I find as I reflect on it, I find one stand out piece of wisdom that I will share here.
We spent some time, just she and I, talking last year about Life and Death, she told me she was ready, she talked about her Love for my Grandfather, for all her now grown children, even if/as they shook their heads at one another (Note: She was able to say great things about all of you), and she started to tell me why she didn?t want a service. My Grandfather(s) was(were) the same, didn?t want anything because then people who don?t really know you show up and say whatever it is that they say about who did what and why. Why?d you work so hard, I asked her, not sure why I was asking, but as I write today, perhaps that is a bit clearer.
“You know, Jason. I didn?t do it for them. I did it all for the Grace and Glory of God.”
I think about all the crafts and toys that her and my Grandfather made, how she sewed quilts and donated those, all the time she worked at and helped in making a low-budget Catholic school run and to serve the community. All the things I didn?t see as but heard about as well.
Whether one believes in God or not, whether we can find proof of what is next or not is inconsequential in my opinion. What matters is to do it all for such grace, such glory, for if God is truly real, I have to believe that God as they say is quite simply, Love. The phrase in Hawaiian is ?Aloha ke Akua? and Love, like God, are experiences that cannot be truly explained, only felt, and I believe we each have our relationship and experience of/with that, which many dub as the ?Spiritual Journey.?
You know what else? Spiritual or not, I do not even think that really matters because Spiritual people die just like people who do not believe in anything do. That?s not morbid, well perhaps it is, LOL, but with Death, it?s about finding ways to Be Authentic and Give.
I think if you do something, anything, no matter how big or small to find more ways of being Kind each day, that is what matters. If that?s for the Grace and Glory of something Greater than just Humankind, then that?s a mark in the plus column and another step towards tipping the scale and making this a healthier world.
That?s worth working hard. And I have so many examples of that from you, Gran. I will reflect back on all the people who walked through my trek, some briefly, and others, for a large portion like You, who is now not so much gone, but is finally set Free.
Goodbye Gran. You kept it Real. From your Kolohe/Rascal style of breaking your Christmas ornaments to stealing silverware as a kid to raising a big family and just giving so much as an adult, you were truly an authentic presence.