Tag Archive | death

2016, you’ve broken my heart

2016 just sucks between Donald “It’s all about ME” Trump and the loss of so many icons of my generation. 2016! No More! Two in one day is more than enough between Richard Adams and Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher hurts the most I think of all 2016. She was two years younger than me and the selling point my brother used to lure me into going to see it with him. It had a girl as one of the heroes. I was not a Disney Princess kind of girl. Disney Princesses weren’t a thing when I was growing up. There was Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty and my favourite characters from those were Malificent and Flora, Fauna and Meriwether, the Dwarves and Gus Gus not the Princesses who had to be rescued.

In books if I had a heroine it was Ozma of Oz or Mary Poppins both of which could kick butt if they needed to do it. So when Princess Leia finally came along it was a revelation even though by then I was in my early 20s.

Star Wars was amazing for its time and the next two movies that followed were just as good. She may have had to wear a brass bikini as a slave girl but she still killed Jabba the Hutt when the boys couldn’t get it done.

Added to the fact that my little brother who died from brain cancer is the one that introduced me to the wonder of Star Wars, it only breaks my heart more.

And in the Force Awakens to see her as a general, still kicking butt as a mature woman, just wow!

She wasn’t afraid in real life either to show her struggles with mental health issues and that took more bravery than she had to show on the screen as a 19 year old.

I’m not someone that personally goes nuts over celebrities. I’ve been seeing them all my life in church or at the grocery store or just out and about, it’s just part of growing up here, but I’m afraid if I’d ever seen her at Gelson’s I would have just stopped cold and been a fan girl for a brief moment. A lot of my friends lost it over Bowie and some of the other icons we’ve lost this year and even though George Michael was the sound track of my lesbian disco days. Losing Carrie Fisher breaks my heart.

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Oh Hecate

Hecate

Now is your time

You walk among us as the veil thins

Please be with your Priestesses

Wherever they may be

They are called to ease the loved ones

The ones that are choosing this time

To pass through the veil

Let them know what is needed

Be with their hearts

They are breaking

Be with the ones leaving

Ease open the curtain

Let them pass easily

Surrounded by those that love them

Let them know that love awaits them on the other side

Comfort those left behind.

Stand with them

Hold their broken hearts

Let them know that love lasts

And is not gone

It’s never gone

Only harder to see

Hecate

Be with us at this time

We turn our faces to the veil

It is not our time

Heal our hearts

Let us know peace

Let us know there is no end

Only endless beginnings

Be with us and to the hour of our passing

Be here now,

Grief before someone dies is natural and nothing to be guilty about

What most people never talk about is the grieving you do before someone who is ill dies. I suspect most people feel guilty for grieving before but it’s real and it hurts just as much to watch someone die as after, sometimes more. More, because you feel alone because you don’t want to burden the person who is sick or the other family and friends.

Grief before can feel like a never ending tunnel that is only going to get worse. And it isn’t just the grief, it’s the tasks you are performing too. If you can get yourself into a head space of service it’s wonderful but sometimes you just can’t get there. Watching someone deteriorate before your eyes is hard and the physical things you have to do can make you resentful and grossed out and then you feel guilty for that and the losses mount up.

You think if you have to change one more diaper or change the bed one more time that you are going to run screaming down the hall and you get mad at them and at yourself. If you have to listen to one more delusion from someone in dementia or one more whine, you are just going to yell shut up!

You worry every time they bruise and they bruise at the slightest touch that you have done terrible harm even if the nurse or doctor tells you it just comes with it, you see the spread of purple and red and worry. They will stop eating and you want to try and make them even when told that it is a sign of their loosening of the ties to their physical body. And you go some place like your car and cry or just stare at the sky trying to gather yourself for another round.

I’ve been there now way too many times, now. This is your tax for loving. This is your tax for living and unless you are terribly narcississtic and selfish you do it and you keep on doing it. There is no reward for it except love. You have become a priestess of Hecate and no one asked you if you wanted to be a priestess of Hecate.

Hecate stands at the crossroads and waits for your loved one and you are one of the midwives that will hand your loved one to her. Brighid stand with you too and you are wrapped in her cloak ready to help you heal your heart.

It is natural and human to grieve before. Reach out and grab hands and hearts with people who are there to catch you. You may think you are alone but many people have been there before you and can be a light in the tunnel you see before you. Death is healing as much as any medicine. It is the end of pain for the person you love. It is not the end of your pain unfortunately but it can be shared. Let people help, Let people love you. And know that it is alright to grieve before and to keep going and you don’t have to be strong, you already are because you are there. You are not alone.

 

 

The Littlest Druid gets ready for Am-Foghar (Autumn)

Aisling sat on the stone step outside the healer’s cottage. It was late in the afternoon and for once no one was in any of the healer’s cottages. The cottage next door where they kept the herbs and the medicines was still. The Herbalist was out on the moors collecting plants and everything that could be cleaned or mixed was done at the moment. The last grain harvest would start in a few days when the moon was full.

Aisling had nothing she was supposed to be doing. Lessons would start again after the harvest and the village was quiet, something that didn’t happen very often. Aisling was thinking about harvests and the different kinds of harvests. The year would be ending soon and food being gathered for the winter. The weavers were busy weaving and knitting warm woolen and linen cloth to be made into winter clothes and yarns of different weights and colours to be used for knitting by the fire when the snows came. They had just finished dying the wools. Aisling had enjoyed creating the dyes with the herbalist. She thought it was rather magical when something that was green like yarrow could create a yellow dye or how some crushed bugs could make a rich red. She had learned a lot in this year. She had been there when babies were born and when the new lambs entered the world. She was there when her friend, the priestess had gone into the West. She learned about healing herbs and how to make teas and medicines. She learned some new divination techniques with the Ogham sticks. She’d learned to interpret the flights of birds and the patterns of clouds. She’d learned poem after poem and lots of new songs. Her friend the Raven had taught her so much about birds and things like how to go quietly and how to laugh at herself.

The harvest would start on the day of equal day and equal night that also happened to be the full moon this year so they could have the feast that followed the first day of harvest when the sun set and the moon rose.

Aisling was missing the priestess who had gone to the West. Aisling thought she had learned more from her than when she was supposed to be in class or with her mentors. She missed their cream teas. The priestess always managed to charm Cook into a plate of s’gons and some cream or freshly churned butter. The Priestess had become a favourite with everyone in the Druid village even the Chief Druid spent long hours comparing notes about their villages and how they did things. She had been a truly wise woman and when she passed over the water the last time the whole village had sung her home. The priestess had left almost as big a hole as her Anam Cara had when she had left. She knew Anann, the bean sidhe had said they were both fine and that death was a part of life but it didn’t make the harvest of loss any easier when you wanted to share a secret or what you had learned during the day. It didn’t make thinking you saw them in the distance and realizing it was someone else, any easier when you knew it wasn’t them and that you’re heart had fooled you again. She did wonder when she smelled the scent of lavender when there was no lavender anywhere nearby if someone was visiting so she had started saying hello and chatting when there was no one around to hear the conversation.

The cottage faced west and the sun was starting to set. Aisling closed her eyes and let the last warm rays of the sun bathe her in the warmth when someone sat down beside her. Aisling was almost afraid to open her eyes because so many big and strange people had sat down beside her to talk. Who was it this time? She sniffed the air and knew who it was and laughed.

“Why are you laughing, Aisling.” The Chief Druid chuckled softly because he knew why, he just had to ask.

“You know,” Aisling said, “I’ve had some pretty interesting people sit by me when I least expect it.”

The Chief Druid laughed, “So what were you thinking about so solemnly?”

“Everything I’ve learned this year. It’s almost Samhain and we’ll start over again before winter. I’ve learned so much but I’ve also lost things I didn’t expect to lose.”

“Like your Anam Cara and your friend, the priestess? You know, Latharn, thought you were something very special.”

“She did?” asked Aisling.

“She did, and I miss her too.” Said the Chief Druid. “She taught me a lot too.”

Aisling looked at the Chief Druid in astonishment. “She did. She taught me to face death with a full heart. She taught me to say when people mean something to them. She taught me to count my blessings.”

“I thought you knew all those things” Aisling looked at the Chief Druid with big eyes.

“I knew them but I didn’t KNOW them. Does that make sense?” Aisling thought about it and nodded her head.

“I think so.” Aisling said slowly.

“Latharn thought that someday you will be a great druid because you have an open heart and an open mind and because you love so completely.”

Aisling sat in stunned silence. Latharn had really thought that about her!

“She thought I should start teaching you some things that the others in your class aren’t ready for yet.”

Aisling was looking at the Chief Druid like an owlet that had been woken up suddenly. “Wwwhhyyy? Did she want you to do that?”

“Well, no one else your age or even among the other druids have had conversations with Brighid or Lugh or the Green Man or any of the others that have befriended you since you’ve been here.” Aisling was just staring.

“Think that would be a good thing to start after Samhain” asked the Druid in a teasing voice.

“Really? You want to teach just me? No one else?”

“Just you and maybe some of your friends will help sometimes.” He smiled to himself. This was going to be an interesting winter.

“I’ll let you digest that for awhile. I’ll see you at ritual. Would you recite a poem at ritual about what you are thankful for this year?”

Aisling nodded. She didn’t feel able to speak yet. She looked to the West just as the sun was setting over the far hills. She felt like someone far away had just smiled at her and maybe they had.

Say my name that I may live – Laura Janesdaughter

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For those gone too soon:

I give thanks for those who have gone beyond the veil.

Say my name that I may live!

I give thanks that they have touched my life

Say my name that I may live!

I remember the beauty of a face

Say my name that I may live!

I remember that they laughed

Say my name that I may live!

I remember that they cried

Say my name that I may live!

I remember that they were afraid

Say my name that I may live!

I remember that they were brave

Say my name that I may live!

I remember their smile

Say my name that I may live!

I remember the good about them

Say my name that I may live!

I remember their love

Say my name that I may live!

I remember them!

Say my name that I may live!

©Kat Robb

Today’s reading

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 Death

It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. 

A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required. 

Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm. 

You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort. 

When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.

A Samhain blessing and journey

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This weekend was hard, it was beautiful, it was chaotic, it was terrifying, it was so painful and sometimes so loving it’s hard to describe.

Mary is gone now and off to whatever adventures we can’t follow on. She is no longer in pain but we are because she left a huge hole in our hearts.

She smiled at each of us before we sent her on her journey and I will treasure that smile for the rest of my life. I was honoured to spend time with her Friday just holding her hand and being with her. She was going in and out of being present but she knew I was there and that was enough.

Saturday we gathered the family and said our goodbyes. We decorated the altar and her bed. We covered her with her green cloak and the wings of Isis I brought along with BunniHoTep sitting on the end of the bed. It made her smile. We brought her favourite ritual tools and goddess images and the Brighid’s cross from the living room. She was surrounded with love and when we started the rite she was paying attention. Di, S, her step daughter, although I hate to call her step, she was her daughter and I did the rite that Caroline had written for us so beautifully. It was so hard to read it. I’m glad I wasn’t doing to alone. Denise had asked me to do it since she knew she couldn’t and I was supposed to do it alone originally since we had no idea that the others would come but they did.

It’s one thing to priestess for a stranger or someone you don’t know well but for someone you consider your sister, it’s sooo hard. Mary, Denise and I began the Grove together with Laura. We’ve taken every step along the path together from Grove creation to Companion to Bard and then to Druid and finally, Arch Druidess. Along the way we added our sister Diana who is now our Bard and we have Companions in the Grove but for the three of us, it was our dream and we created it together. You don’t get to create many dreams with people you love so much and I’m so lucky that we did.

It was a gift to do the rite and it was a gift to sing her way home to the Summerlands. Talking later after it was over we all saw the same thing but from different angles. I know I saw Laura and Lady Olivia reach out to her and take her hands and then she was gone. It took a small interval that felt like an eternity for her body to stop fighting to breathe but we all knew the instant she was gone and her body was no longer the Mary we loved but an empty vessel.

So on that holiest of days of the Druid calendar, Mary passed from our sight. We will be together again. We’ve all been together many times. We will play together and sing together. We will have ritual together and who knows maybe we will create other Groves together. But the love will always remain and the love will always bind us together. All we need to do is follow the ribbons of love that bind our hearts together. For only love remains.

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