What I Learned from Losing 2 Grandmothers in 3 Days

Grandma Keers

It has been a pretty crazy two weeks over here. Last weekend, both of my grandmothers died. My Grandma Keers slipped into a coma after having a stroke that the doctors had been unable to catch. Her death caught all of us by surprise. Two days later, my mother, sister, and I were at her assisted living center gathering her burial clothes. While there, my other grandma, Nana, collapsed in the dining hall just steps away and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. These past two weeks have been a little like living in my own dramedy.

We buried my Grandma Keers on Thursday. My two siblings and I felt called to do the eulogy as we had a very deep relationship with her. Our Grandma was a very very special woman. She was a loving, nurturing, deep, wise, intuitive and immensely talented artist. My mother tells me that when I was a baby, my Grandma would sit me in the middle of a large sheet of butcher paper and put paint brushes in my hands. Grandma was the first person to introduce me to art. She truly saw me and loved me in ways no one else could. My Grandma Keers was (and continues to be) one of my true great loves.

Her sudden death impacted me greatly. I felt shocked by how quickly it happened, immensely sad to be losing my grandma, happy she was free of her body, and joyful that she was going to be reunited with her own mother, whom she adored. As I stood at the lectern delivering her eulogy three days ago, I could feel all of these emotions, and other deep feelings happening all in the same moment.

Nana McKillip
Nana McKillip

I felt the absolute grief and sadness of losing the physical presence of one of my soulmates. While trying to speak my part of the eulogy, the little girl inside of me who adored her grandmother broke down into tears and I could feel her just wanting her grandma back. At the very same time, the conscious adult inside of me knew I needed to deliver my speech and convey to the crowd the essence of my beloved grandmother, and then go say thank you to everyone who had shown up in support of us. Some higher part of me knew that Grandma’s death was ok, that is was perfectly timed, and that this is exactly what should have been happening. My spirit felt happy that my grandma was released from the physical density of life here on earth.  All of these feelings happened at the same instant, and indeed, that is how this entire grief process has felt.

I have felt very acutely this week that we are multidimensional beings who experience events on many different levels. Different parts inside of me, my very human parts, have had to wrestle with the loss of a person who adored me completely, and whom I adored in return. Other parts of me, who see the bigger picture and have a different perspective, see the perfection, beauty, and joy of my grandmother’s passing and celebrate it. I can feel the perfection in her passing AND I am sometimes overwhelmed by tears of longing for her presence.

We all are composed of many different parts and we are always experiencing a multitude of emotions and deep feelings on different levels. We are human AND we are spirit. We are sad AND we are happy. We are confused AND we have perfect clarity.

It is ok. It is ok to feel it all. It is ok to be happy, sad, confused, angry, and deeply at peace at the very same time. It is ok to feel grief. It is ok to be everything that you are. Every single one of these parts of us are valuable and worthy. You don’t have to transcend the child part who feels sad and scared and alone, and you don’t have to transcend the part of you that feels loss. You don’t have to live in just the Higher Self, who sees the perfection in all things. You just have to love and embrace all parts of you. We are human and we are Spirit. We understand the perfection of all things, and we grieve when we lose those we love.

With time, love, gentleness, and nurturing the young part of me that is sad to lose her grandma, will heal. As life calms down and I am able to sit in quiet moments, my Spirit and intuition will help the very human aspects understand. Indeed, this is a very natural process. Grief is how we move emotion and wisdom through. The less I judge what comes up inside of me, the quicker it can move through and heal.

We are so divinely human.