The reality of not having any ties to the family who preceded me is tangible. With the passing of grandparents, a generation of wisdom and stories was lost to me. This was followed by another generation marked by the passing of favourite aunts and uncles. With my father’s passing, this chapter is now complete.
My father imprinted the importance of generational dialogue on me. I may not have done it justice, yet with the opportunity lost, I see my future differently. In considering this change, I realise it echoes the situation described centuries ago, albeit in a different context; “A wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free.” (Romans 7.2). I am free of the bonds to the generations before me while picking up a silent calling to live their best.
The wonder and awe of each at her/his best can live on. I can let go of their weaknesses and failings while embracing the beauty they brought to life and living. There is nothing to resolve. There is, in every moment, an opportunity for me to regift their acts of kindness and caring to another. In knowing their best, I have an opportunity to embrace this with my heart while recreating it for those sharing my journey.
The gift of generational dialogue I found with them can be reborn in my conversations. In remembering, I find threads of patience, understanding, and unconditional love. These and more form a tapestry I can pick up and wear with pride and confidence. I know how important it has been to me over time. The pearls of wisdom gifted to me, the examples of how to live fully and completely in the moment, are unforgettable. They can be available to those who follow if I am willing to be bold and just a little crazy.
My best goodbye will be revealed in the ways of wonder, awe, and conversation gifted to me when I was young continues until it is time for the next generation to pick up the mantle.