visit my moms’ grave





1 h



A hen chose my moms’ grave to make home for her nest.

Several times a year, she lays egg in the middle of the luxurious pelargonium that covers the tomb.

This plant, with its powerful and unique fragrance, takes me to childhood memories of the cemetery where my grand-parents are.

While my mom is whispering verses of the Koran with the Fqih, I’m playing around her, before laying on the huge and smooth rocks overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Tangiers. Pine trees, an ardent sun and the chant of crickets keep me company.

Before or after, I can’t remember, we wash the tomb, and the fragrant pelargonium releases its specific smell, forever synonym of peace and childhood idleness.

Yesterday, I couldn’t get that feeling back because I was too worried to damage the nest over my moms’ grave by watering the plant.

Instead, I was able to witness other things.

Broken eggshells on the floor, slowly disintegrating.

Ants frenetically working around them, meticulously cutting, loading, carrying the broken pieces.

A couple feet away, a fig tree that was majestic last year, is cut. Last year, you could sit under it, next to a water spot and look at the graves.

Yesterday there was no more fig tree, no more shadow.

Instead, there were new graves.

My heart was broken.

But another couple feet away, baby fig and olive trees had been planted. 

I’m here, holding Duderino who’s crying because all he wants is to be carried.

My moms’ grave is a sanctuary for the hen’s nest.

A fig tree is gone but the shadows of others are coming.

Small olives, not ripe yet for being harvested, are on their way.

Eggshells feed ants.

And in this transient clarity, I’m here, momentarily accepting that nothing really dies.

WHY IS IT SELF-CARE?  Visiting a parent’s grave is part of a long, painful grieving and healing process. When I go to the cemetery where my mom is, I usually cry, release my tensions, my sadness or my anger. Sometimes I don’t and this peaceful place reminds me to enjoy here and now as much as I can. #justlife


My dear friends, I’m not always serene about my mom’s death.

Some days, the pain is unbearable and I miss her deeply in my body. The pain is as sharp as if she were gone yesterday.

Time and friends who’ve been through the same loss before me taught me 3 learnings I want to share with you:

  1. Pain comes and goes. You never totally recover. Some days, the scar reopens and the pain is unbearable. But most of the time, it’s here, you see it, you can remember it but you don’t feel it. With time, the scar becomes a part of you and your story.
  2. The interval between each scar reopening is longer as time goes. If the wound is wide open at first, it heals and then, it reopens less and less often.
  3. People who leave never really leave. They’re always here. Their presence is different from the one they used to hold in their physical life. They’re a part of you that’s always with you.

At first, I hard a time understanding this last point, how could my mom be present while  not being physically here? Now, I’m able to feel this.

And that’s one of the interesting things in life: the end is known but the learning is not.

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