coming to life

With Death

Death, I am only recently acknowledging, has been a consistent part of my life. Each experience so painful on their own; it took me until losing what I considered everything to acknowledge and face death in life head on.

“When the pain of your current experience exceeds the fear of the unknown, that’s when you change.” – Mahina Alexander

A few hours before I was born, my mom unexpectedly lost her father. My whole life, we never really spoke of this; there was an underlying knowing that it was way too painful… for both of us honestly. It was as though words were not necessary, the pain memory spoke for itself, and we had been through it all together, and we remembered. I was my mom’s first baby, and even more so to this day, I feel so much for my mom and her resiliency. She experienced the profound joy of delivering life to this earth and shortly after received the devastating and, at the time, entirely unbearable news of her father passing. Everything I knew and felt about death unknowingly stemmed from my experience supporting my mom through painful grief as a baby; for most of my life, that translated to an immense fear of death. I was terrified to revisit anything close to what my mom and I had already been through.

Growing up, I held on to this personal superpower that I kept to my self. I believed my grandfather was always looking out for me, and I liked to imagine him knowing me even though I couldn’t see him. This was my way as a child to soothe the sorrow and regret I know my mom felt around us not getting the chance to meet each other here and that his death was preventable. To me we formed our own relationship and he brought me confidence.