I started tracing my family tree two years ago. At a time when my world was really falling apart, it saved me in some way. It gave me something to focus on each night instead of thinking about how lonely I felt. I’d spend hour upon hour replacing the emptiness in my soul with hunting down ancestors. Nothing pleased me more than finding them on the censuses or locating church records for their births or marriages. I became obsessed with getting to know my deeper history. I found a wealth of female ancestors that had come from really hard times and later flourished. They inspired me to go on with my ancestral search as well as my own personal search for happiness, hoping that I too had inherited some of that feminine strength and determination.
And now I’m back there. Except all I can focus on right now is death. I want to know how people died, how old they were, what caused their deaths, who they left behind and how that impacted their families. I’m scouring records constantly searching for answers to questions I don’t even have. Yesterday and today I went one step further and spent some time at the cemetery visiting my ancestors’ graves. My determination to find them in death and in the grave is taking over me. Death is surrounding me right now.