Part memoir, part theoretical reflection, this essay offers one answer to the question “How do Palestinians grieve?” In this narration of the author’s mother’s relationship to death, her multiple displacements, and her plan for her life, the term proactive grief is used to theorize how and why her mother’s life trajectory was shaped by her strife to have a dignified death, in other words, to be able to die in Palestine. To illuminate the significance of her mother’s approach to death and its relationship to being Palestinian, being refugee, and living under colonial war conditions, this essay also reflects on the difficulty of writing about grief while being personally entangled in its complicated emotions. Ultimately, her mother’s proactiveness and commitment to home within and beyond life present an intimate narrative and a family history that could show readers what it means to be Palestinian, to live colonization, to love home, and to face constant threat with dignity.

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