Death is but a gateway, to where to, I am not exactly sure. As someone who talks to spirits, I only get tidbits of information from the other side. I try to comfort my Mother with reassurances of what I know from talking to the dead and from others who had experiences of connecting through the veil. My Mother and I have had some unusual conversations. From what happens to her soul when she take her last breath, to funeral arrangements and how she will send me a sign from the other side. She says she is ok with her ashes being buried with my dad, even if they didn’t always get along in this life!
My mother is almost 92 and in the past few months and it has been very difficult to watch a rapid deterioration of someone I love deeply. She spends all her time at the nursing home in bed with undiagnosed stomach pain. More tests to be done to find the source but she says, she is ready to die. She says, she has no fear of death.
I know that she is not totally tethered to this world anymore. I quietly walk into her room and sense the changes from last time I was there, before announcing myself. She is blind and hard of hearing. She always responds with “What’s new?” She just wants to hear a familiar voice and is happy someone came to visit. She is forgetful sometimes and repeats a lot, but I have learned patience.
Instead of thinking of this as a burden, I think of it as a gift. I learned to slow down, breathe, listen and be fully present, like being in a contemplative pray full state, when I’m with her. Soon I know, all I will have is memories. With that in mind, I try to go as often as I can. As a medium, I know our loved ones are always watching over us, but its not same as someone physically with us. A hold to hold or a smile to brighten our days. Even a medium grieves as someone they love, slips away.
“of all the mysteries of life, perhaps death is the strangest reality of the human experience” Song lyric by switchfoot called- Slipping away.
We are approaching the darkest days of the year. The winter solstice, historically celebrated by pagans and Christians when darkness descends on us. We decorate with vibrant Christmas colors and the smell of evergreens trees and green wreaths fills the home. It’s a lovely way to bring more cheer inside while waiting for the sun’s return.
I like the idea of a tree planting ceremony at a wedding. The bride and groom together fills a pot with soil from some place meaningful to each of them. It can then be planted at their home to mark the beginning of a new life together.
Trees can be planted to celebrate the birth of a baby or adoption. Wonderful way to watch them grow together and someday the child can climb and hide under the canopy of foliage on thick branches.
To commemorate the death of a pet or our loved ones. Sprinkling their ashes in the soil of a sapling bought just for the them. Maybe they were fond of certain kind of tree or one that has significant meaning to you. Burying a beloved pet under a tree, children get a chance to say goodbye in their own way. They can create their own ritual, especially if this was the first death they had experienced.
If you don’t have space to plant, there are places like the Guelph Arboretum where you can have a specific tree dedicated with an engraved plaque. A bit more costly than a funeral home like Wall-Custance in Guelph. They have a memorial forest project at the arboretum and donations can made in honor of your friends and loved ones, with a group ceremony planting in spring-fall. So many wonderful possibilities to explore.
I’m going out today to refill my bird feeder that hangs on an old maple tree. I love to see the hungry chickadees, nuthatches and the little woodpecker who come to visit this time of year. I want to cut cedar to make a door wreath on this gloomy day to bring in some holiday happiness. Without trees, the landscape would be dull indeed.
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life. Albert Einstein
Happy holidays and abundant blessings in the new year to come.
I recently went to a home funeral workshop and it gave me new ideas and insights into the non traditional funeral options. Strange as it sounds, I was excited about the possibilities of how we can honor our loved ones with rituals to celebrate their life while dying and after they are gone.
When my son passed away unexpectedly several years ago, no one in the family was prepared for it. We stumbled through, as grief assaulted us. Looking back now, I don’t know how we managed not to fall completely apart. Fortunately we were surrounded by wonderful people who lifted us up when we needed it most.
My mother is almost 91 and I am more prepared for what is to come. What I did learn from my son’s death, was that it needs to be talked about. My mother has told me what her wishes are. Until last weekend I had not written anything down. Writing a ‘death plan’ is not pleasant. My mom wants a card board casket and to be cremated right away. No fancy fanfare and her ashes to put in the grave with my father.
I have known people who do not want to talk about death. It’s not a typical topic of conversation. If time allows, I feel being prepared is good way to help everyone to accept the inevitable. My mother’s mind is slowly slipping away. She can’t remember yesterday, but can describe a Christmas ornament she purchased 40 years ago in detail. I see the decline and it breaks my heart. I want to honor her wishes. I want to record some of her stories before her mind slips away, because you never know how much time any of us really have.