She pushed through chemo in the hopes to see a cure to a progressive rapid growing cancer, before she died July 15, 2011 at 6:20pm. When the Dr.'s quoted us 6 month's [for her to live] back in December of 2008 our hearts broke. However we joined together to celebrate her, when she survived past the 6 month mark into another year, as a hopeful cancer survivor.
Being able to treasure more time with her has been a godsend. My dearest Grandmother has taught me so many amazing things about how to live and be in this world. In the final moments of her life we had some of the most potent and frank dialogs. She let me in, in a way that showed me her vulnerability, her strength and the fragile majesty of death. How sacred this life is and how temporary our time is on this planet.
Being with her every month and then every day, it was in those moments that something awoke in me. Something that had been in deep slumber. She said, "Tatiana, you are stronger then you think you are!" Mostly she lipped it, because her voice was gone, but I could certainly hear her. Those words strung together, as a necklace of pearls, pearls of wisdom. Now when I look in the mirror, to look for the part of me that is her, I find my self lip syncing those exact words to myself and now to you dear reader.
She gave me an incredible gift, because of her pearls of wisdom I am able to push through the grief and hold up high her standard of being inclusive to a family being tested, by their loss of a great Matriarch. I listen more keenly. I am fierce with my love, but unconditional - every member in my family knows I LOVE them, each and everyone of them.
Too keep this a useful Florentina Craft (Craft being my Matriarical family name, from my Grandmother who just passed) I will share with you a few herbs that helped with the grief and loss of my Grandmother.
During Hospice, I lived with my Grandmother, it was a 24/7 ordeal. In order to sleep I made a sleep formula, for her caregivers and myself.
- Vervain [Verbena officinalis], a strong bitter nervine that quiets an anxious over active mind.
- Chamomile [Matricaria recutita], a gentle bitter nervine that gently smooths a worried mind and upset stomach.
- Milky Oats [Avena sativa], a nutritive nervine that helps rebuild the myelin sheath of an over stressed nervous system.
My dear friends the Community Cup, a group of herbalist got together with me a day after her passing. We hiked up into the Bay Area wilderness, sat and honored my Grandmothers passing. Marina Storm put together a grief herbal smoke blend, to honor the release of my Grandmother:
- Rabbit Tobacco [Gnaphalium species], to release shaken energy.
- Juniper [Juniperus species] for protection.
- Sage Brush [Artemesia tridentata], to release electric energy.
- Traditional Tobacco, that had been prayed over by a Native Elders [Nicotiana species], to connect with the ancestors
- White Sage [Salvia Apiana] to cleanse the energy.
Marina and Robin of the Village Farm offered a bushel of Rabbit Tobacco for me to take home. So, I have been sleeping with and smoking this herb often. This lovely plant has been a great companion during my release, through my grieving process. I couldn't have asked for a better plant ally
A death of a loved one is a deep experience, so many layers are still being uncovered. Thank you for sharing in this experience with me.