Different manifestations of grief

‘What good did it do, after all, to remember, she said, to hold on to the past, if the most crucial events in life could not be changed? What good did memory do if one could never make amends?’ -Certainty, Madeleine Thien.

We were sitting down for breakfast when my mum told us she had dreamed of my grandma, her mother. In this dream, grandma was as old and frail as before she passed away, except her eyesight was functioning very well. My mum was walking towards her and grandma was so happy to see her, held her arms open and hugged her daughter.

Five months ago, my mother nearly missed the nailing of my ¬†grandmother’s coffin. She touched down at the airport during the funeral mass, and according to a cultural ritual, the coffin has to be nailed shut before noon. We left the church halfway to pick my mum up, and when we came back, everyone witnessed how my mum came out of the car and practically ran into the church to the coffin. There are a few heartbreaking memories that embed themselves in your head, and the picture of my mum running to touch my grandmother for the last time, of her caressing my grandmother in the coffin, is something that will always render me to tears.

My mum is an extremely strong woman. Practical and objective, she has hardly let her guard down throughout my whole life. She had, for a few years, come to terms with my grandma’s illness and old age, she had always told me that she’s prepared for death. But, no matter what you say and what you do, you can never really let go of someone you love. Our lives will always be connected by an invisible thread, even if one has passed on. Some sadness and regret will still linger on.

Maybe dreams are there to also help you to come to terms with grief.

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