When my maternal grandmother died, I was sad. She was the one that took both me and my sister under her granny wings and told us stories over and over.
My parents sent us to my grandparents’ every summer. The house smelled grandparents like peace of mind and permission to do things mom and dad did not approve. And there was always a little bit of money given to us to buy snacks, ice-cream and candy, lots of it. And unlimited playtime. And just before afternoon naps or before we went to sleep at night, we would get under a blanket with grandma and her voice would change; she was becoming the once upon a time story that was to follow. None of them was coming out of books; all of them were grandma’s originals!
I don’t remember any of them; but I do remember her face when she was becoming another character and I think I can still feel in me how I reacted at one of her stories; I was totally hooked in awe and my curiosity made me more awake than my grandma wanted me since she was hoping to calm down my enthusiasm and put me to sleep.
She was not well for years and it was a matter of time for her to pass over. But it was one of those things that you see them coming to you as an avalanche and you know you cannot run away or step aside. This thing is going to pass all over you and you don’t know how you will be after that. Things will be irrevocably different and this is a major part of the anxiety of seeing it coming straight at you.
I had said my finals goodbyes to other members of the family before. I was not new to this aspect of death. But then she was the last one, the very last one of my grandparents. The day she died I ceased being a granddaughter for life. I am not a granddaughter anymore; I am now simply a daughter. And that’s about the only title in my life now; I am a woman and a daughter.
Dealing with my grief I had to face a double loss. My beloved grandma, the only person in my family that told me stories, and my position in life as a granddaughter.
It never occurred to me that this is actually one of my precious-born-into-titles in life; I have never included them to my curriculum vitae; I have never studied, or passed exams or given a certificate for those. They were handed over to me after aeons and aeons of ancestral succession, through rough battles to survive everything; lethal wars, the unsparing twists of fate and the evanescent nature of human life.
Because of their success I am also another victorious proof of their will for life under the blessings of the sun and the moon. And I am gifted to know that I come from somewhere, I have roots in the world, I belong here, in this life, with these people all around me, before me, even if I won’t be able to see them ever again.
Never before have I even considered my titles; so precious now I see, so precious they were.
When she died, I said it out loud over and over to accompany my mourning with the living voice of my gone ancestors, as a self-reminder of the life force that brought all of us here, into the sacred privilege of life-titles: initiations come from life; no power, no authority other than life in its eminent wisdom and compassion make you a daughter, a son, a cousin, a grandparent, a human with these accolades.
I meet people full of anxiety for their other titles. They crave so much to take on degrees of initiation or diplomas and certificates from prestigious organizations and renowned Teachers. All is good and there is a place for everything in this life. But the level of these initiations is always a limited human level of acknowledgement of proficiency of skills, dexterity, intellectual performance or hours of participation. The substantial titles come as Grace of the living force of this matter that nourishes, sustain and foster us.
This intelligence of Grace is not bestowed unquestionably to people; it can be perceived and described up to the point that its qualities are reflected into human languages, but it cannot be enclosed into words and it does not produce papers of certification. The titles that we use to describe the various forms of this Grace are not made public or attributed to us by our own hungry ambition but by the candid soul of others, acting as the objective and pure messengers of gifts unexplained in nature and precious.
None of my Teachers call themselves a teacher; I came to call them like that one day, in my peace, overflown by gratitude, after the many thousands of days that I have received their generous spirit as a guidance of light and intelligence into my obscurity. None of the true, inspirational world leaders were ever appointed as ones. But people recognize them as such because they feel and they can perceive their excellence as active contribution to the evolution of their daily life.
Life initiate us to here below realms. Initiations come from life. These titles can be felt and touched and they always have a reference to our life, to our very days and nights; we feel our roots growing, our support system enhanced, freed from limitations, with joy for the unknown journey forward in life. We long to be in the presence of the initiated people and we hold true sentiments of universal love for them. We honour them generously, especially once we sense with our wise perception the depth of their gifts and the scope of their work in the world.
I celebrate my meetings with the few wise people I meet, with the true leaders of this world, with my Teachers and my fellow alike initiates into the unknown. And I miss my grandparents more now that I know by knowing how unbearably dear these life titles are.