Going West

My grandmother passed away earlier this week.

When we were first discussing the visit to see her, we had planned to wait until April, when things were a little simpler. Going in March was a lot more effort in terms of logistics and also somewhat more expensive, but once I had the thought that I should go in March, I couldn’t shake it. I’m not psychic, but I think every life has a few moments like that in it.

Now I light candles for her, and I watch and re-watch the videos I took when we were there. It’s not much, but my child will know she met her great grandmother. I took the little cat figures she gave me away from the shelf they were on, and put them up with my other grandparents’ funeral cards, with my other grandmother’s buttons and my grandfather’s army knife.

While I was definitely pagan when my mom’s parents passed (fifteen or so years ago now) I didn’t have any kind of ancestor practice at the time. I had a basic one when my cousin Rachel passed a few years ago, but her death was difficult for me to process in ways that made it difficult to reach out to her as an ancestor. This is the first time I’ve had to navigate the idea of it while actively mourning.

I kept wanting to think about the mechanics of it during March, and then pushing it aside. I’m a planner, so it’s normal for me to go ‘okay, if X then Y’ but this felt morbid. And then the time finally came and I was too numb to do anything but the most basic things.

It’ll be some time anyway, before I’m ready for an ancestor relationship. Right now it’s just about honoring her life and what she taught me. I expect there’s a period of transition? I’m honestly not sure of the mechanics. Time is meaningless, so maybe it doesn’t matter, but I feel like it does. Anybody have any suggestions based on experience?

In the meantime, I’ll talk to Hekate and Persephone, and keep myself busy, and work on… well, I have quite a few things to work on. I’m still numb sometimes, and sad sometimes. It’s getting better, I think, and I know it’s normal. I’ll get there.

If you’re going through hell, keep going. So here I go.

6 thoughts on “Going West”

  1. A synchronicity that you post about the passing of your grandmother on the day that I re-find the page for my grandmother from 2007. I too have had some ‘growing pains’ as it were with integrating people I have known in this life into my understanding and practice of ancestor relationship. It has helped me to take the approach that while I have experiences with that person primarily manifesting at the time as an individual, their current manifestation as I perceive it partakes more of a collective nature, of the Other, of Many, rather than simply “my grandmother so-and-so”. Hope that might help you some. Blessings on you and your family.


  2. <3 I am so very sorry for your loss. I think that you knew her best and you will know when it's "time" whatever that means, to start an ancestor relationship. I'm beyond happy that you guys got to take your wee one up to see her, even if she doesn't quite understand now, I am pretty sure it meant the world to your Grandmother.

    Again, I'm so sorry. I love you all, take care of yourselves.

  3. This reminds me of how Kemetics give the soul at least 70 days to travel through the Duat so that the soul could get settled down in the afterlife. Perhaps a settling down period is needed for both of you?

    I’m sorry for your loss and I hope you figure something out.

  4. I’m so glad you got to see her one last time and that you have so much of her to keep with you. And that you were able to share with us what she meant to you which.
    I know you’ll get there too. The right thing is waiting and on the day you find it everything will be so damn close to perfect. Thank you so much for telling all of us about your journey.

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