Anniversary – to be Con’t

Yesterday was the anniversary of my adopted mom’s death. I’ll be posting more about that over the weekend, when I will be making some ancestral observances and ritual. I did not want it to go unremarked here, however, and this is the first access i’ve had to my computer since very early yesterday.

Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza 1950-2010 came into my life like a miracle from the Gods. She preserved and nourished me, and loved me dearly in all ways but the most obviously literal, my mother. It’s cliche to say of someone who has died that there isn’t a day that goes by that one doesn’t think about them, but it’s true and even being a shaman and ancestor worker didn’t soften the blow of her death. (You’d think working with the dead, and having that access to the Gods and spirits would make such a thing easier, more comprehensible, common place but it didn’t. Not in the least).

The first few years after her death i found myself wanting to collect everything that she had touched, every picture, every item, ever tiny scrap of paper. I realized early on i was trying to summon the corporeal sense of her presence but…it doesn’t work. When her partner died she burned almost everything that he owned. At the time she told me this, i was appalled. I tend to use things as mnemonic devices and there’s a comfort in being able to pick up a trinket and unroll a complicated memory. She told me then that they wouldn’t bring him back and that it was somehow obscene that these things existed when he no longer did. While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.

For me, telling stories about all our adventures and how we met and sharing her letters (I have reams and reams of them), and hauling out her pictures (oh how she hated to have her picture taken) to and with my partner, who never met her in life, has been very healing. I worry that I will forget the ins and outs of our time together. I worry that one day I won’t remember what her culture Basel accent sounded like, or how she moved, or what we did when we went to that little town outside of Montreux that time when we were in Switzerland, or what it was like when we were together, what it was like to be so deeply loved by one’s mother, what it was like to have a mother who was also one’s best friend.

Grief still weighs me down and i know that when she died she took a part of my soul with her. There is a part of me that is emptied out of life, because she is not here to anchor me to living anymore. There is a part of me that went with her across that chasm of life into death. There is a part of me that will never find its way back and that’s ok. It’s fitting. I would rather that connection be shared still than to live whole with no part of my heart marked by her passing.

I will write more about this later.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on February 4, 2015, in Ancestor Work, Memento mori and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is really beautiful and I share so many of those same feelings regarding my husband who passed. Fears about forgetting, feeling like half of my heart is in the underworld already… and the weight of his loss that is sometimes so heavy yet feeling like I can’t let go because I’m not willing to release one ounce of the love or significance of what we shared.

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  2. ‘While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.’

    Thank you, Galina, for this reminder. I cling to such tidbits of my Parents. It is so hard to unclench my fingers and raise my hands in prayers to them and for them. As you say, Ancestor Work and Memory is the best we have…and a Setting of Lights in their honor.

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  3. Very beautiful, Galina. Fuensanta Arismendi Plaza sounded like an amazing women and a great mother.

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  4. I never met Fuensanta, but I’ve heard about her, and read some of her writings about Sigyn, and she sounds like she was a amazing woman. ❤

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  5. Reblogged this on Ironwood Witch and commented:
    “The first few years after her death i found myself wanting to collect everything that she had touched, every picture, every item, ever tiny scrap of paper. I realized early on i was trying to summon the corporeal sense of her presence but…it doesn’t work. When her partner died she burned almost everything that he owned. At the time she told me this, i was appalled. I tend to use things as mnemonic devices and there’s a comfort in being able to pick up a trinket and unroll a complicated memory. She told me then that they wouldn’t bring him back and that it was somehow obscene that these things existed when he no longer did. While I still cherish the things that she gave me, she’s right. They do not create that conduit. They do not evoke that presence. They do not in any way create the corporeal sense of presence here and now. Memory and ancestor work is the best we have.”

    Like

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