The loss of a grandmother is never an easy one to deal with. In light of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, I am reminded of the passing of my own grandmother and the importance of grandmothers all across the globe.
In many ways, I still have not found rest in the fact that my grandmother is gone—and for people who have lost their grandmothers, I’m sure you can relate.
Related: How to deal with loss of grandmother
I saw how deeply many across the world began to mourn when Queen Elizabeth II passed away—and in a way, it resurfaced the ache of the loss of my own grandmother that I have been trying to avoid for so long.
The world seemingly stops for just a moment when the matriarch of our family passes. And when it starts to move again, it never orbits the same.
It’s as if I have tried and tried to regain my footing after her loss. Yet the grief fills and surrounds me—and I have never been the same. The world has never been the same.
Because grandmothers are the anchors of families. They are the ones who hold everything together, who remind us of the names that we carry and of where we come from.
Grandmothers are the ones who make us draw near to our lineage and find glory in the blood that runs through our veins. They keep family at the center of their lives—and their hearts—and stand true to the precious and cherished bonds of kin.
The love that grandmothers hold is deeper and fuller than anything we have ever known—and we are drawn into their orbit of love, laughter and light.
So when we lose a grandmother, it feels like we lose a monumental piece of ourselves. The world seemingly stops for just a moment when the matriarch of our family passes. And when it starts to move again, it never orbits the same.
But the reassuring and warming thing for me is that I get to honor my grandmother in living the wisdom she so often instilled in me. In her days on this Earth, she lived a full and meaningful life.
Every day I am reminded of her embrace, of her grace and her beauty and her poise.
I am reminded of how her aura warmed every person that she came in contact with and how her presence commanded every space that she walked into.
She walked the path before us—my mother, my aunts, my sisters, me—and she reached back to guide us on our individual journeys. In many ways, her spirit still guides us.
Even though their passings bring an unbearable burden of grief, we now have the baton to carry.
And I know that one day, I want to be that woman. The matriarch of my family. The woman who my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren come to seek wisdom from. The woman who reminds them of their lineage, of their purpose.
One day, I will be that woman, and I am sure of it because my grandmother taught me so many valuable things. And though I have spent many days in mourning since her passing, I am reminded of the morning she carried all the days of her life. Those recollections ease my weeping heart in times like these and remind me that there is still work to be done. Now a deeper purpose is awaiting me—and that is to carry on the legacy that my grandmother sowed into all the women that she raised.
So if you are reading this, take a moment to honor your grandmother—living or passed away. Honor the grandmothers who gave us our heritage. Honor the grandmothers who sacrificed so that we could be the women we are today. Honor the grandmothers who walked the path before us. Honor the grandmothers who are the glue that binds us all together.
A coworker of mine mentioned the loss of a grandmother as the sentiment of a loss of generations of elders, of a moving up of generations. And I find that sentiment to be achingly true, but also reassuring.
Because grandmothers have shaped generations of women and mothers—and even though their passings bring an unbearable burden of grief, we now have the baton to carry.