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The Mothers Grimm} ?> I have heard it said many times that, until you become a mother, you can’t imagine the love that you are capable of for your child. Sure, you love your spouse a ton—obviously enough to decide to spend the rest of your lives together, but the love a mother has for her child is fierce. Fierce because of the intensity, fierce because it changes who you are and the way you experience the world, and fierce because you would do anything to protect that little thing even if you had to face the very gates of hell to do it.
And speaking of the very gates of hell… the TV series, Grimm, just had its finale a few weeks ago. True to what the name suggests, the show’s faerie tales are dark, gruesome, and highly entertaining. The premise of Grimm is that the creatures from the faerie stories we all love are real—and they live among us. We’re talking werewolves, talking foxes, mice, lizard creatures, the Krampus—all manner of “monsters.” They’re called Wesen. Most of the time, they look like us, but when they become frightened, or angry, or want to be in their natural element they “woge,” and take on their animalistic appearance. The Grimm family has, for centuries, been hunting, killing and recording the stories of these creatures.
The finale revolves around a Portland police detective named Nick Burkhardt and he only discovered that he was a Grimm in his adulthood. It had been hidden from him for his own protection. Unlike many others, Nick’s more open to judging Wesen by their actions rather than by their genetics. He befriends several Wesen, and seeks justice for and protects good ones.
Nick was raised by his Aunt and believed for a long time that his mother, Kelly, was dead until she came to him for a short time and helped him on his adventures. Nick’s fiancé, Juliette, was a normal human, but became a hexenbiest in order to try and save Nick from another storyline that’s not important right now. Hexenbiests are fairly evil, and Juliette lobbed off Nick’s mom’s head. The whole thing was very unfortunate. The couple broke up.
The final episode culminates in a battle for the fate of the world that relied on the Grimm. A prophecy that had been made within the Wesen community in the Middle Ages said that, in order to defeat a great evil, the Grimm must use “the strength of his blood.” Nobody knew what that meant.
After watching most of his friends get killed by the demon who was the great evil prophesied, Nick and his third cousin, Trubel, fight with all of their strength, but are failing. The two of them can’t defeat the enemy alone. We soon discover that the meaning of the prophecy was that the Grimm could only win with the help of his blood—his family. His dead mother and aunt (she died, too) come to him and Trubel in battle and with the strength of the Grimm blood that courses through their veins, they defeat the demon. A mother’s love cannot be restrained. In this case, not even having one’s head lobbed off could prevent a mother from caring for her child in his time of need.
As a Catholic, I believe that my kin continue to help me even in death. Our funeral ritual says that the relationship between us and the deceased is “changed, not ended.” I believe that while they’re in the presence of God, they can still have a profound effect on my life here by praying for me. The intercession of my deceased loved ones is real help. There are times when I’m facing difficulties and I can feel my grandmothers supporting me. If I should find myself in battle, I don’t expect them to grab an axe and join in… well, maybe my great-grandmother—that would probably be right up her alley—but, their prayers, the things they taught me when they were alive, and the love I know they still carry for me give me the strength to get through whatever battles I might face. Just as I would storm the gates of hell to protect my boys, I know my heavenly family would storm it for me.
As a mother, I can tell you that mothers make many sacrifices for their kids out of their unconditional love for them. From the moment pregnancy takes hold, our bodies become something of a living sacrifice. My two sons each leached half of my brain from me when I was carrying them, and most of the time it feels like the mush they left behind is just keeping my skull from caving in. The most difficult sacrifice, though, is a mother’s heart. You might as well stick it on an altar of sacrifice and set it on fire when you have a child, because that’s what it feels like. A mother’s heart moves from inside the protection of her rib cage to the walking, breathing beings who take her heart with them. I feel every hurt, every scrape, every sadness, every uncertainty that my boys feel. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now that my boys are teens and beginning to strike out on their own, their problems and mistakes get bigger. It’s crucial for me to allow them to have their own adventures, to get into their own scrapes, to take some risks and to be there to love and support them through their pain when they fail. The strength of my blood is in them, and nothing could prevent me from standing with them if real trouble visits—not even death.