I felt the need to take trips to visit the grave sights of my family. I’m not sure why but I needed to go there and talk to them. My grandmother lived in the Northwest part of the state. I hadn’t been to her grave since her funeral several years earlier yet it became important for me to make the trip. Both of my parents are buried in a military cemetery on the East side of the state. I have never been to see them without Mike so I knew that would be a tough trip. But I also knew that taking these trips was necessary. I hoped that visiting their grave sites they would somehow impart some wisdom and guidance that I was desperately needing.
At the time I believed, as do a lot of people, that if I wanted to talk to my people I had to go to their grave. I have since learned that is not true, we can talk to them anywhere and they will hear. I decided to go see my grandmother first. As I said it had been quite some time, but I still felt drawn. She is buried in a small town so I booked a hotel about 40 minutes away in a larger city. I could probably drive home after my visit but I never know how emotional my day is going to be and you all know emotion can be exhausting!
I once again packed my overnight bag and started my 3 hour drive. Once I got to town I realized it had been such a long time since I had been there I had forgotten where the cemetery was and had to google for a map. I did however manage to find her house which was still as cute and cozy as I remembered. Once I found the cemetery I located the directory and wandered around trying to find her. She has one of those flat stones that you can’t see the name until you ae right on top of it. It took me almost 30 minutes to find her and when I did I apologized to her for taking so long to find it. Then I laughed out loud and thought “Does she really care that I couldn’t find her?”. Then I wondered if she was mad at me for not coming to see her sooner. I apologized for not being there in so many years and felt a wave of guilt. I was after all standing in the Catholic section of the cemetery so guilt has to be kind of a given, right??
I sat down in the grass and talked to my grandmother. We didn’t have a particularly close relationship, we only saw her a few times a year, but she did the best she could with the time we had. She was not one to give a lot of hugs and kisses and tell us how much we were loved. That was not how she was raised so that was all she knew. She wasn’t unkind, simply different than the experiences some of my friends had described. Which is why I was so surprised by the emotions I felt when I sat down and started to speak to her. I knew she was aware of everything I had been through but I told her about it anyway. I cried and tried to explain to her how much pain I was feeling and how lost I was. I told her I didn’t know how I was going to survived and asked if she could help. I closed my eyes and sat quietly picturing my grandma in my mind. A wave washed over me that was different than anything I had ever felt. It was a wave of calm that immediately dried my tears. She was doing what she could, showing me that I was going to be okay, that I was going to survive. I could almost feel her hand on top of my head sending her love through me in a way I didn’t feel when she was alive. It was both bizarre and comforting.
I’m not even sure how long I sat there with her but I know it wasn’t more than 15 minutes. In that time she managed to take a lot of weight off me, I felt like I could breathe and that the heaviness of my grief was much less than when I started my journey that day. This was my first experience feeling the presence of someone other than Mike. I expected I would feel him around me, he was my husband, but I never thought about others who had crossed to the other side being able to share their energy with me. It was exhilarating, unnerving and intriguing. This was a lot to process!
I told grandma goodbye, that I couldn’t promise I would be back anytime soon, but I knew she was fine with that. I drove the hour to my hotel and slept though the night for the first time in a long time.
Thanks Grandma Tillie!