I am the sum total of my ancestors.
I carry their DNA.
We are representatives of a long line of people
And we carry them around everywhere
This long line of people that goes back to the beginning of time
And when we meet, they meet other lines of people
They say, 
Bring together the lines of men

The last of my grandparents died at the weekend. She had a very long life and died at home with family, so while there is sadness, there is also definitely a celebration of life and love. What matters most is that we loved at all…and a lot of people loved her.

The passing of an entire generation of my family of course causes thoughts of lineage – the many, many people who have come before whom you directly owe your existence to. As the lyrics above note – each of us represent a line of people that goes all the way back to the beginning of humanity. It’s a thought almost incomprehensible in its enormity. I think it’s impossible to think about that without feeling a sense of responsibility; without wanting to do them proud, so to speak. It causes you to ask questions about who you are as a person and who you are going to be. How you treat people around you. How you treat your family.

In the end, perhaps the best way we can honour those to whom we owe everything is to just…try. Yesterday I read some graffiti which said, ‘You are as beautiful now as you have ever wished you could be.’ God knows what the writer intended but it made me think about all of the excuses we make for ourselves and how we all have the capacity to be and do better right now. That isn’t to say that we don’t have faults and frailties and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about that. Not as long as we’re reaching towards something. Then, hopefully, when our time comes we will be able to look back and know that we tried to be good, to be beautiful. We loved and deserved to be loved. That sounds like a pretty decent and respectful life to look back on. Rest in Peace, Gran x

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