Stories My Mama Told Me After She Was Gone


"Stories My Mama Told Me After She Was Gone"

Excerpts from the book by Bryonie Wise


I am in the country that you were born into, in my own body, my rocky spine a ghost memory of my own.

My bones have shaped my structure kind of like yours and kind of like something that was made just for me to house my parts created from stardust.

I am every bit your blood and I am every bit the keeper of my own heart. 

I am the future you will never have and I am the imagination that you whispered like a spell into your womb that consistently vibrates through my cells as I eat, sleep, pray and breathe.

I am yesterday, today, tomorrow, and someday, too.

I am in this bath with the light streaming in a window that is so cute and quaint (much like the many parts of this English cottage in the countryside that I would like take home with me) given thanks for the water and for the gift of being here as my voice starts to rise and I sing like I have not done for far too long.

The words come and I don't pay attention although I sense a feeling of liberation but I am hooked so I just sing and sing and I realize that the creativity is in my blood and runs like rivers through my veins, so much so that even when I don't realize its happening, its happening and I see it like a bolt of lightening flash a split second later the understanding that I always want to pay attention to the making and creating because this is so much of who I am and what I'm here for this time around.

I flew across the world to remember where I came from and I am so grateful to be home.


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Every now and then I create mini-stories around old pictures of you that I find stashed away in the places I hide them.  

Especially on days like today, when my heart feels the way she does; complicated, frustrated and something else beyond my reach that cannot be named. 

I know I wasn't with you in this moment, here; the one where the sun shines his rays on you and you soak them in like medicine--I know you must be in Algonquin Park and I have an inkling of who you might be with, for this moment was the pause in-between your greatest love and the moment you reunited.

But I am not there and you are not here and neither of that stops your impossibly long legs or your implausibly broad rib cage and the warmth you would fill yourself up with so that you could let it shine out.



Here is the thing: with death, our relationship with the ones we love who love us doesn't end, ever.

I didn't know this is in the days and weeks and months and years after my mama died...I couldn't see-feel anything beyond the trauma of her goneness.

A silent void opened up, swallowing the space that was once full of our constant cosmic chatter and I felt so alone here on earth, without her.

Time is the only remedy for the tell-tale heart, whether it's a broken or lost heart...time, space, practice, feeling, speaking, sharing, flubbing up this whole human thing and discovering a deeper well of forgiveness within.

And they are with us the whole time, our dead, because thats what love does.

It stays, even when the people are gone.



I hereby break all contracts I made

unconsciously and consciously

before I knew the depth of my own Spirit;

the silent ones, the ones I inherited,

passed down and accepted 

as my own from generation to generation.


I hereby sever all ties

with that which holds me down and back,

unable to see the glimmer of what I know

to be true, whether by my own creation

or by expectations tied like weights

around my ankles by others

lost in the sea of their own confused hearts.


I hereby reclaim my right 

to choose how my story unfolds,

armed with creativity,

a heart made of gold and reverent humility.


I hereby fully accept all of this living and

what-is-yet-to-come with brash integrity

and loving determination.


And, I hereby swear to use

my superpowers for the love

of all beings and I return anything

that no longer serves my Higher and Lower Self

(and any of the ones Caught-in-Between)

with gratitude and consciousness.


I do this all with love,

from the great source of it

found in my very own beating heart.


I declare myself alive.


Bryonie Wise is an alchemist of the heart and believes that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera & her dog, Winston, living her yoga.  Find her and her books at


Jessica Salgueiro