My grandmother passed away in her sleep yesterday after over 90 years of blasting through life with passion, generosity and unbounded love. She supported every interest I had (buying my first piano and saying bravo loudly...if...and only if I had finally reached my goal and played it well). That's the kind of encouragement you need. The same goes with my studies, sports, love for travel and my intellectual interests. She was cheap with the little things and price didn't matter for the big important ones. This was an example of her every day ying-yang that everyone loved. I owe my confidence in myself, my incapacity to take shit from anyone and my analytical mind from her...as well as my inability to sit around and waste time...manifesting most in my unending love of exploring the world.
She was barely religious...and was in it only for the songs...which she taught me. She barely went to church for the last 25 years of her life and came to be incredibly open minded about nearly everything. She didn't care in the least that I was an atheist. It's a moment like this that you are tested with your resolve...that there is no reason to believe in an after life. I know that eventually her ashes will fly in the wind and circle the earth a dozen times and land here and there and everywhere...and will become part of oceans, creatures, green things and peaceful dessert and tundra. A few will even escape into outer space and for the distant future...who knows. In a sense...each grain of ash will start a chain reaction in a million places that will come to directly and indirectly effect nearly everything...which will not fail to continue for eons and eons. More importantly...her values, fierceness, joy of life and generosity will live on in those who took lessons from her...without a doubt with I and the people I influence and so on. These will also pass on through generations as long as people pass on their values. I have no reason to believe this influence will dilute over time to such a point where her way of living life doesn't somehow effect others...even centuries from now...even in the smallest way. This is the afterlife...her unconscious footprints. That gives me all the peace I need.