I recently finished the book The Last Story of Mina Lee, by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. This book got me with it’s story of immigrantion to the US (reminded me in so many ways of my own family), loss, the unknown, and most of all: finding yourself in the story that is never told.
I often grieve the things I’ll never know.
Especially, and particularly, about my ancestors.
All that is lost in the unknown and then buried underground with their bodies – how do we reclaim that knowledge?
One way, like was done in The Last Story of Mina Lee, is in asking the people that knew your relatives. Another way is to do your own research through public archives.
As I’ve uncovered in my ancestry research, there is a type of reclaiming of self that feels like a bolt of electricity. I found a my maternal-paternal lineage all the way back to the 1600s Scotland.
Within these records I found that in some time, my people’s occupation had to do with the sea. It started to make sense of why, over and over, I draw and paint ships.
Then, there was a lot of grief that arose from this uncovering. I grieved all I would never know. All that was lost or hidden with time and circumstance.
I had no idea that grief would arise from gaining knowledge.
Tell me, dear one, do you know your ancestry? What feelings and emotions have surged through you as you’ve researched where you come from?
If you need a bit of help researching your family line, reach out to me. I offer genealogy tracing as part of my research services.