Lineage Ancestry: The Relationship Between the Living and the Dead
Welcome to My Research Blog!
Hi readers, my name is Asia Hanon, and I am a graphite artist based in North Carolina. In this blog, I will be sharing my research on life after death and the inspirations that fuel the concept behind my work. I hope to answer some lingering questions about the afterlife, the ancestors, and the spiritual connection that fuels the relationship between the living and the dead. I hope to create a safe space to speak on this connection without fear.
As a little girl growing up in the South, I have always believed in the paranormal. More specifically, Spirits. The existence of Spirits has neither been a strange, weird, nor crazy concept for me to grasp. My family has never shied away from the existence of spirits and has raised their children to be open to their presence. Now and then, my family would break out with a ghost story about an encounter that had stuck with them throughout their life—most of these stories taking place when they were little kids, some more recent than others.
There was one story that my grandma would tell the family whenever we spoke on the "visits from the other side." The story went something like this. When my grandma was a teen, her mother suffered a stroke that left her face paralyzed on one side. One day my grandma goes into her mother's room to check on her and notices that her mother is not breathing. She has passed away. A few days after burying her mother, my grandma sits in front of her mother's old room. She asks her mother to give her a sign that she is okay. After a few minutes go by without a sign, my grandma walks away and goes to her room positioned across from her mother's old room. There, my grandma sits and waits for her mother to give her a sign from the other side.
As my grandma sits on her bed, she hears a loud thud from her mother's room. She makes her way to the room and sees a glimpse of what she described as a shadow darting from one side of the room to the other. My grandma quickly runs into the room to see if she can get a glimpse of the shadow. There, on the same side that the shadow disappeared, is a pure white rat crawling across the floor.
Now, some of you may not see the significance of the shadow and the appearance of a white rat. Still, for my grandma, who had a strong connection with her mother in life, this showed the existence of life after death. Every time my grandma retails this story, her eyes glisten with tears. The white rat was a sign that her mother was okay in the afterlife. Not only that but white in African Spirituality symbolizes the ancestors, so it was not a coincidence that a white rat appeared at my grandma's request.
*Image Above: Great Grandma Josie Lucille Smith Ross
Great Uncle Victor and Dreams
There have been other stories in my family dealing with passed loved ones visiting them in their sleep. I believe that when we are sleeping, we are the most open to receiving messages from the other side.
Growing up in a family that has always accepted the existence of spirits, dreams were talked about a lot. Many of my family members would speak about loved ones who had passed on, visiting them in their dreams. Sometimes, my grandma would talk about seeing her sister, Mary Ann, my great aunt Cooda, as I knew her, in her dreams.
As the years passed by, I noticed that there was one dream that most of my family members would speak about. The dream always dealt with my great uncle Victor, who had passed before I was born, and me. Uncle Victor is seen holding me as a baby in this dream. At first, I thought this was weird, but as I grew older and my spiritual connection with my ancestors grew, I understood that this was not weird. It is believed that Ancestors come to guide and protect the family when needed.
I started to question Uncle Victor's presence in the dreams. I wondered if he was somehow protecting me from something I was unaware of. Maybe he is a spirit guide? or is he a family protector? Is he letting us know that he is happy in the afterlife?
I also began to question my existence in the dreams. Why was I seen as a baby in Uncle Victor's arms? Is there a connection between us that I am not aware of? Are we somehow linked?
I am still in search of the answers to these questions. The closest I have gotten to understanding the dreams is talking with my mom. My mom and Uncle Victor were very close in life. She always referred to him as her favorite uncle because he was fun, loving, and a big ball of light. Whenever she talked about Uncle Victor, she would reminisce about her memories of going to her uncle's house. Which often ended with laughter from talking about how much Uncle Victor cussed.
*Image Above: Great Uncle Victor Ross
After repeated conversations with my mom and other family members about Uncle Victor, I am still left with the same questions, but more have been added. Are the dreams of Uncle Victor holding me as a baby somehow linked to the connection he had with my mom? Is the baby me or someone else? And if it is someone else, could the baby be my mom?
Throughout this blog, I plan to find the answer to these questions and take my readers on the journey with me.