Our first month in Europe has been one of excitement, exhaustion, celebration, and mourning. In the same week, both René and I bid long-distance farewells to our grandmothers. The heartbreaking, yet enlightening, truth that I can not forever share my grandparents, people who have loved me most, with my child, whom I love most, struck me like a ray of sun on a clear cold day – painfully blinding yet warm.
Without Maw Maw Marion, there would be no me, and without her death, Rainier would have no future. I question death, and naturally, life; the made-up words in which we try to contain them, suck. I think of Alan Watts’s description of our skin as tiny holes that connect us to the rest of the universe.
And with that feeling of connectivity, I celebrated my 33rd birthday in Amsterdam with René and Rainier, and new friends from around the world, and Maw Maw Marion, and her grandmother too. And I smile knowing that she would not have had it any other way – with big pieces of her in a canal-filled city.