Heal Through Story

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A part of my journey is intertwined with my grandmother’s. I lay beside her small fragile moon1frame and listen to her tell animated stories. Her hands are always moving, outlining placements of tables, of people, of actions. Today she told me of her baby sister Ruth who died shortly after she was born and of her mother that left the world with her baby sister. She rocked the memory of the child as I laid beside her, told me that she did not know that she had died and attempted to feed the baby.

Baby, baby eat… grandma cooed as she rocked the memory of the baby in her arms.

Nothing. So I rock her more. Still nothing. No one told me… her voice trails off.

I hold her age weathered hands in mine and kiss the back of them softly when she is done speaking. We share tears together.

My grandmother does not know this, but she is a phenomenal storyteller. Her body becomes the story and her ability to transport herself to story transports you to another place and time. You can see crows hopping as she mimics their movement with her hand. You can imagine the landscape that she was raised in as she carves the dips and peaks into the air. My grandmother is an ancient story.

Her blood is my blood. Her memory is in my blood. A part of my healing is me laying beside her and visiting ghosts that dared take pieces of her spirit from her. A part of my healing is loving her where she is, for who she is, for all that she is and accepting that she also accepts how she is.

“it’s too late my girl,” she said to me as I cried beside her years ago and urged her to see a counsellor and heal the wounds she has been holding for over half a century.

” I am too old, and this is just the way that it is,” she said without resentment but with tears flowing down her face.

My grandmother has taught me about unconditional love. When I was an alcoholic and looked down upon by a lot of my family for what I was doing, my grandmother would hold my face in her hands and look into my soul until I could feel the love that she had for me. My tears would flow down cheek and over her fingers as her eyes cradled my spirit. Now I will love her where she is at and my eyes will greet her with the same love that she has always given me.

All I know is that I must continue to heal because that brings medicine back to me, back to my son, back to my mother, back to my grandmother, and back to my people.

I heal through story.

all my relations,

Helen K

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