It’s The Year Of Pearls: A Eulogy
(originally written for Elephant Journal)
Wisdom, puppies, jewels. These are the pearls that have made there way into my life and have come to a convergence a little over 90 days into the new year.
Pearl the puppy belongs to a super cute supplanted urbane couple. They are smart, funny, motivated, and are super hero’s on a mission to save the world (and earn titles of best honest awesome couple of the century). This particular Pearl, their very new and sweet puppy, is a bursting ball of energy that is not quiet contained; or civilized, but entirely irresistible and it’s a good thing too cause you’d kick her in the teeth if she wasn’t so damn cute. An object lesson in surrender and patience that only these two friends of mine are fit for.
The baubles are set in gold and in leather. Separately they make up a strand for my wrist constructed and gifted to me by a woman of the community who is the picture of bright and warm. The other is in a band of gold on my hand procured as an engagement ring for my sweet dear, piss funny, sometimes lush, studied, extremely curious, well-read and peaceful Grandma Keta.
“Hey Gran, It’s Shelley! Hey Shelley, It’s Grandma!” (insert smiley face across the phone line here) These are the words we shared each time I called, ever since I can remember.
Today she died.
Transitioned after a full and long life filled with many hardships and many joys. I was fortunate enough to say goodbye this Christmas. Per my mothers request I ventured home to Texas for a family holiday. This, a first, in many many years. The task was clear. Say Goodbye.
I did. We laughed and talked about boys. We shared a meal and opened gifts. There was cake. I received silk scarves, a pearl ring, a necklace that reads “Live, Love Laugh” and the instructions to “Have A Good Life.” Pretty much sums it up. Have A Good Life.
I Say Thank You Grandma.
Such a wise and wonderful thing to bestow. I am such a fortunate soul to have been blessed by knowing and experiencing you. Bright, ever practical, imaginative, sweet, honest, kind. I am bowled over in awe and your ability to go with the flow, leave room for all of my questions, to live a full life where you experienced so much. I remember the stories of Singapore and your deep affection for books. Only once did you ever chide me for cussing and it was that time I did it just to get under my mothers skin.
“Use your words well, Shelley.”
I’m thinking of you today, Gran; I dropped off my teacher at the airport after a long workshop weekend. It came as no surprise that the news of your passing comes on the day I have set aside now to think on all that has happened. So many threads are coming together and I think I understand now more of this thing we call Life.
Tantra, my teacher tells me is a custom that is expansive, backed by experience and should bring an increased sense of Joy to my life. There is a payoff you see, in my understanding so far, to ones spiritual journey.
You taught me the same thing:
Investigate. Read. Look at the roses and the hummingbirds. Enjoy the sun in the sky. The written word has power and value. Take it all in stride.
As I sit and ponder, I come to realize that an exuberance of life can be seen in a puppy, the ring on my hand, and the familiar yet no longer accessible voice of a woman I love.
Tantra has taught me that there is Beauty in everything.
I salute you, Grandma, for showing me a way. I am thankful for this new understanding and I am excited to see what your transitioning energy has made space for next!