Even after the mother has died, she protects her child as drops of blood on a handkerchief, as a juniper tree or singing bird. But when the daughter is in trouble, the mother will offer the advice or solace so desperately needed. And in many tales, she returns once more when she's needed on earth. Thus goddess symbols are the snake, symbolizing rebirth as it shreds its skin, and the frog, symbol of transformation. She is winged, or surrounded by wide-seeing owls and other birds, representing the spirit.
Death is not the final ending, but a step in the cycle. After death comes the other world, the spirit world, a resting place of learning before rebirth.
Those who are dead are never gone:
they are there in the thickening shadow .
The dead are not under the earth
they are there in the tree that rustles,
they are in the wood that groans,
they are in the water that runs…
--African Traditional. Biiraago Diop, Mali Poem
in World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, ed. Andrew Wilson (USA: International Religious Foundation, 1991), 234.