goodbye, mama brown

me and mama brown, 2 dec 2019

“Grief expressed out loud for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses.” — Martin Prechtel, The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

on wed, 20 oct, around 3a (311a so i heard), edna marie brown transitioned out of her earthly body. she died in a nursing home near jacksonville, florida at 86 (85?) years of age.

edna, known by me and my family as mama brown, has been my chosen grandma since i was 8 or so years old. my parents met her and her husband, james brown, popi, around 1980. she was the last grandma i have from my days in florida. she was a lovely little human and i spent more nights with her as grandma than any of my other grandparents. we visited her often when me and my brother were kids. and when i moved to gainesville for 2 years to take time away from undergrad, i visited her as often as i could (in hindsight, i certainly could have visited her more but i was young and didn’t know what i had lol).

i am mostly writing this to let you know, dear reader, that i am doing ok. i had two good last visits with her in december 2019 (before covid hit). on one of those trips i got a good selfie and even sneakily recorded her singing in the kitchen by herself. we’ve had a few phone calls since then, but dementia came on strong and the mama brown we knew began to slip away. since about mid-2020, she hasn’t been the person i/we knew her as. it has been interesting getting to know this other person but, by the end, the person who was here was not at all the person we knew. because of that long process, i have been grieving the loss of her for almost 2 years now. this just felt like the final step where her heart stopped beating.

i got calls from both my parents within 12h of her passing which felt good. i spent wed evening having dinner with my chosen family here in cambridge and then went for river walk and bedroom romp with a lover. thursday morning was spent with my beloved, luana, floating, giving each other books, and luxuriating at our fav spot, juicy greens (missed you, eroc). i have had a few other friends reach out and make lovely offers of support and i’ve taken a few of them up on it (go me!). thanks, yall.

at this moment, today, friday, i am on a flight to florida to be with everyone for the service on saturday morning. i am grateful she held on long enough for me to feel safe enough to fly.

i am feeling well, grounded, supported, and grateful. i am looking forward to being with family and moving this grief and these tears. some are arising now. tomorrow is going to be lots of them. hopefully i remember to hydrate.

that’s all for now. thanks for listening.

and to you, mama brown: may your memory continue to be a blessing.

words / writing / post-processing
464w / 25min / 3min