Last weekend I went to Montréal for the burial of my grandmother, who passed away in March. It was a remarkable day to celebrate life and family, and it was a great experience for me to reflect on my life. I've therefore decided to write a more personal post, one that explores the grieving process.
The past six months of my life has been marked with numerous transitions, graduating from my masters, moving to Québec, and starting a career in teaching. In the midst of all those changes my grandmother went from being autonomous and healthy to her life coming to an end. During this time I battled with confusion, anger, stress, and sadness; much like anyone who experiences the loss of a loved one and time freezes. Like all the other new elements of my life, this one was simultaneously thrust upon me and painfully slow.
While the funeral offered some closure to me, I wasn't emotionally ready to handle what seemed like one in a long train of transitions. I had felt like I was able to take the changes, but given the tumultuous nature of my life at the time, it was a challenge, and one that I couldn't do while surrounded by family.
Between March and June my life has changed dramatically, and in that I have become more resilient and more focused. Heading to Montréal this time was so different. Standing in the warm sun on Mount Royal's Notre-dame-des-neiges cemetery, I realised that my life was centred and that while we all grieved the loss of an important person in our lives, we were all happy and ready to move forward as a family, which is exactly what grandma would have wanted.
That was powerful enough, but a long afternoon ride, where I joined four family members, embodied the state of my life and my grandmother's death. We rode from the West Island, out to Laval, around the Lake of Two Mountains, to Vaudreuil-Dorion, and back to Montréal. I thought about my grandmother and how her life was centred around Montréal. We had all come back to mark her death at the burial, but riding through the region allowed us to get together and celebrate her life.
I'm comforted that my grandmother's life was centred around Montréal, and while I've never lived there, my life has always revolved around it to a large degree. I'm excited about making decisions in the coming month about where I'm going to be living next, and it may very well be Montréal. My grandma would be proud.