Tag Archive | love

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.

 

 

Music alone shall live

All things shall perish from under the sun,

Music alone shall live

Music alone shall live

Music alone shall live, never to die.

Sing when you’re sorrowful

Sing when you’re gay

Sing with the rising sun

Sing when the day is done

Singing is happiness

Sing everyone

 

Himmel und Erde müssen vergeh’n,

Aber die Musici,

Aber die Musici,

Aber die Musici bleiben besteh’n.

 

This has always been one of my favourite rounds. I don’t remember learning it, just that I was very young and I learned it in German before I learned it in English. I learned the English when I started to working at camps.

As I grow older the words mean more. What do I leave behind? When I’m gone will my songs live on?

Music alone shall live? Hopefully, my stories will live on but my oldest friends and a lot of my newer ones will remember singing together. I remember the soaring of mingled voices on a mountain hillside as night falls. I remember singing at campfires on the last night filled with hugs and love and tears. I remember singing on long backpacks or as we did the dishes around tables after eating. I remember singing at Scout’s Own or in chapel when the bats would fly overhead or as the sun rose over the trees.

Music alone shall live.

Does it still echo through the canyons when the girls and staff are long gone? Do the mountains remember the songs and the love?

Sing when you’re sorrowful

Sing when you’re gay

Music is always there, it’s the thing that my heart will always cling to. It’s a gift you share with people and is gone if not recorded, on the wind, its ephemeral grace lasts only as long as it hangs in the air.

Sing with the rising sun

Sing when the day is done

Will we remember singing “Annie’s song” in 8 part or more harmony and the joy we had at singing at Kelly’s wedding as a gift to her that only we could give? Will those of us who sang as Women With Cakes remember the joy we had in singing and playing together in ritual and at Faire? Will we remember the joy that went with every song we sang at camp even if it was a very silly one like “Wasn’t it a bit of luck the I was born a baby duck” or “if I was a little mosquito there was love and hope?” Will we remember the joy in the sounds of us singing “jubilate Deo” as grace for Sunday dinner? I remember.

Singing is happiness

Sing everyone

 

Heart Town

Once upon a time there was town where the people were all made of very strong crystal and if they fell down they didn’t break. They were a very beautiful people and the most beautiful thing about them was their hearts. Their hearts were made of red crystal and looked like Valentine hearts. And one of the many unique things about this very special town is that they were all well loved and every one knew just how loved they were.

How did they know how loved they were? When some one was loved in this town their heart would have a lovely ribbon tied around it with a bow because love leaves a mark on your heart. Everyone always made sure that their ribbons were tied with a bow so that everyone was free to walk around. Because everyone in this small town had a different colour ribbon the hearts were full and amazingly colourful. And in this lucky town no one ever tried to see how many ribbons were on the hearts they just enjoyed their beauty.

One day a new person moved into the town. She changed the balance of things. When she met people she liked she put her ribbon on like every one else but because she was afraid of losing people she held on to the ribbon and tied a knot instead. She was afraid of losing the love she had collected.

Pretty soon people in town were falling down because she hadn’t let go of the ribbons. For the first time in their lives they were showing cracks. It was terrible. The ribbons trailed all over the street and got tangled around street lamps and cats played with them, dogs tried to bury them and birds tried to carry them off to make nests.

The town’s people got together and decided something had to be done. Their children would never make it to adulthood if they started having cracks like this. Some day they might break. So they decided to do something for the witch, for a witch she was. They normally liked witches. Witches did a lot of good work in town but this one needed help badly. She just had the wrong idea about things. So they went to the witch with a pair of big scissors.

“Dear Miss Witch,” they said, for they were always polite to each other in this town. “Would you let us cut the ribbons you are holding and tie you some beautiful bows?”

“No!” said the witch. “How will I know who loves me and who I love if I cut the ribbon and don’t hold on tight?”

“You will just have to trust like the rest of us that you are well loved.” said the town’s people.

“But that’s not right. What if someone doesn’t love me? What will I do?” wailed the witch.

“Not everyone is always loved by everyone. We all leave marks on people’s hearts. We just always try here to make a beautiful mark. We let go and let people come back and tie a bow on our heart when we are ready for them. And if they are never ready to do that we find other people in town who will love us. Tripping people and holding on to their heart ribbons is wrong and makes people like horses on reins in other towns. Even our horses here don’t have reins. You need to let go and trust and I as Mayor of the town will tie the first bow.” He picked up his ribbon and followed it back to the lonely witch and as she cried and shivered he tied a beautiful bow. One by one the people who had met her and cared for her tied bows on their ribbons. She was shivering so hard they thought she might crack herself. Not every one tied a bow, some people didn’t know her well enough and some people didn’t like her very much so they cut their ribbon. This made the witch cry with the loss but not everyone as the Mayor had said is loved by all. Some people just don’t like being held on to so tightly. You just have to grow up and accept this as fact.

The witch looked down when they were done and stopped crying. There were simple bows and frilly bows and silly bows but still there were enough bows to show that she was loved and liked. The town’s people had made their point and she was just going to have to trust that she was loved as much as her heart showed. And from then on there were no more cracked crystal people in town from tripping on ribbons and this made all the town and the witch happy.

A prayer for the grieving

Sometimes I have to remember that I wouldn’t grieve if I didn’t love

Grief is the price of loving

Sometimes the price seems awfully high

And at the time when grief hurts the most

The price can be beyond what I want to pay

The price of being alive and awake to love

It’s the price we pay for being here

It’s the price for being able to wish on stars

It’s the price for seeing your love reflected in another’s eyes

It’s a price paid in hugs and smiles

It’s a price paid in tears and priceless words

It’s a price paid in the pain of losing and the pain of loss

I thank the Goddess for gifts of friendship

I thank the Goddess reflected in the faces of those I love

I thank the Goddess for grieving even in the midst of pain

Because it means I love.

Kat 2014

My heart is broken

Yesterday at Faire, I was reading my stories to everyone and this was the next one I had picked to read and standing there I just couldn’t read it. Now I wonder if I should have. So here it is,  and it’s dedicated to my gay brothers and sisters who died because of someone’s hate celebrating their pride and love.

The Littlest Druid finds the good in the bad.

Aisling looked around at what was left of the tiny village, everywhere around her the building’s roofs smoked. Household goods were strewn over the landscape. People lay where they had been slain. The marks of the weapons clear to be seen. There was nothing here for a healer to do.

She looked at the other druids around her. Some were in tears, some were in shock, some were angry. Aisling wasn’t sure how she felt, numb?

In the middle of the night a young boy had come yelling into the Druid village about the sea raiders that had come to his village up the coast to the north. The Chief Druid had quickly roused all the people old enough to help and they had come as fast as their ponies would go but it wasn’t in time. It looked like the boy was the last one left from his village.

Aisling looked at a loom in pieces on the ground and the half finished wool blanket in slashed hunks around it. She could see it would have been beautiful when it was finished with all the colours of sea and sky in brilliant hues. It made her sad. What made people think that they could come and harm a small village? Aisling’s heart hurt.

She could see an abandoned butter churn milk and butter left to curdle on its own. Ravens and crows gathered in the trees above some of the cottages as if waiting for a meal and she was glad her Raven was back home and not here. She couldn’t stand the thought of her being part of this.

The blacksmith must have run to his forge and laid about with his big hammer but it had done no good but she could see he had taken some of the raiders with him to the Summerland.

The older men went to build a pyre to burn the dead. The ravens and crows would get no meal here today. She wondered if the raiders had taken anything of value or if the reason the devastation was so bad was because the village was so poor. It made no sense at all to her and the tears ran down her face.

What made some people do this? No one in this village had done any harm. They had lived quiet lives. They sometimes sold their extra crops to the Druid village. The Chief Druid put his arm around Aisling and gave her a hug.

“Why? Why do people do this?” she asked him. The Chief Druid looked around and shook his head.

“I don’t understand it myself.” He said. “But it makes me cling to the good I can see. Some people want what others have. Some people think they have the only way. Some people just enjoy doing evil.”

“But what’s the good in this?” Aisling asked. She couldn’t see anything good at all.

“Hamish is alive, he’ll have a broken heart but he is alive. People came to help even though there was nothing they could do about the raiders. People will rebuild this village together and new people will help Hamish rebuild the village and his life. This village will be able to show its best hospitality again as is our way.”

People were now starting the clean up around them. Stacking timbers, collecting the things that were spread around the village. Someone was herding the sheep that had been on the hill above the village. One of the women was getting ready to milk the village’s last living cow. The cow was not happy, She should have been milked hours ago. The cow had blood on her horns and none of it was hers. The cow had obviously fought in the battle. Aisling wondered if it was one of Brighid’s cows since it was red and white.

Aisling went to start help collecting the goods left around the village. Maybe they could collect enough to put one household back together for Hamish. Someone had said his grandparents and an aunt and uncle had been sent a messenger. Would they want to settle here?

She looked towards the fields that appeared to be untouched. The oats were just starting to grow and the fields were aglow with the green of new growth. Would Hamish’s family tend them? It was strange to see such a strong symbol of life when she knew if she turned around she would see the blacks and grays of destruction.

Aisling collected a set of wooden bowls, some linens from where they had been dumped. She found someone’s prized bronze pin of a wild boar. It had a broken clasp but she thought it could be mended again and worn with pride. As the day went on the village started to look more like it would have life again.

Men were up on the thatched roofs pulling down the old straw and the burnt parts so they could be re-thatched. They had found the village thatcher’s store of straw and reed in an outside shed.

Some women from the next village were washing out the cottages and mixing white wash. Soon the cottages wouldn’t show any burn marks.

Aisling was near the back of one of the cottages when she heard a soft cry. She looked around to see where the noise was coming from. There was a pile of old abandoned clothes she guessed wasn’t good enough to steal and gently went over to sort through when she heard it again. This time she could hear that it was a mew. And she dug through the pile. Nestled under someone’s old tunic was a tiny black kitten. Its eyes were barely open. Aisling looked around quickly to see if there were any more but this one was alone.

Aisling cradled the kitten to her chest, it crawled up to her shoulder and nestled into one of her long red braids. So there was still life in the village, she thought. The kitten purred into her ear as she gently stroked its back and she wondered how long it had been since it ate. She headed over to where the woman was taking care of the cow, she had tied it to the outside of the pig sty.

Aisling had grabbed a napkin and fashioned into the shape of a nipple. Maire took one look at the kitten and grabbed the napkin. “I see someone needs to be fed here at least,” and dipped the napkin in the bucket of milk and handed it back to Aisling. “Are you ready to be a mathair?”

Aisling nodded and looked at the kitten as it greedily sucked on the napkin, at least one good thing had happened this day. She looked at the kitten. The Chief Druid was right, it had felt good to help even when she wished it hadn’t been necessary, but there is always some good with the horrid. It just can be hard to find.

“I’m naming ‘Nuadh Bheath’. ‘New life’ seems a good name, Beo for short? Do you like that?” Aisling looked down at the purring sleepy kitten and smiled for the first time that day.

Grief is the price of love and I will pay it

Sometimes I have to remember that I wouldn’t grieve if I didn’t love

Grief is the price of loving

Sometimes the price seems awfully high

And at the time when grief hurts the most

The price can be beyond what I want to pay

The price of being alive and awake to love

It’s the price we pay for being here

It’s the price for being able to wish on stars

It’s the price for seeing your love reflected in another’s eyes

It’s a price paid in hugs and smiles

It’s a price paid in tears and priceless words

It’s a price paid in the pain of losing and the pain of loss

I thank the Goddess for gifts of friendship

I thank the Goddess reflected in the faces of those I love

I thank the Goddess for grieving even in the midst of pain

Because it means I love.

Kat 2014

A thought on September 11

On September 11, 2001 in this country, Buddhists got up to go to work, Hindus got up to go to work, Jews got up to go to work, Muslims got up to got to work, Pagans got up to go to work and Christians got up to go to work and by the end of that day, one religion would be demonized and one religion would be out for blood. I will leave you to decided which was which. All I know is that the world changed forever that day and not for the better.

We have lost freedom in so many ways because a few men decided to hurt people they had never met and never broken bread with and never looked in the eye to see their humanity. This was an evil deed.

But the revenge of another set of religious fanatics caused just as much harm and set into position that most of us could not even imagine before that day of the Tower card of the tarot deck.

The Tower card is about catastrophic change that you are supposed to learn from? I’m afraid the US just learned how to hurt people more and for a few people it created enormous wealth, and all of them believing their Book is the real one and that their Book was the truth and all of them wrong.

There are many truths and no one person has the right to tell another there is only one truth and only one book or only one god and I can’t remember anywhere in that book where it says there is only one god, it doesn’t. It says it’s god is the right one among many.

Thou shalt have no other god before me for I am a jealous god – it flat out says there are other gods and that you must choose the Abrahamic god not that he is the only one.

In my father’s house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for  you – there are many gods and Jesus went to clear a place for his followers, it doesn’t say that heaven is only for his followers.

I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the father but by me. Again it doesn’t say there is only one god just that you should choose his father over others.

Now, fourteen years after that fateful world changing day. We live in a polarized world where one selfish bunch of twits say they are being persecuted while they persecute everyone they don’t agree with and call it freedom.

Another bunch of selfish twits across the ocean force their followers to kill everyone they don’t agree is practicing their religion in the RIGHT way. This leads to little three year olds dying on a beach instead of gleefully playing in those waves.

I hurt for the world I see now. I hurt for the children to come who may never know a peaceful world. I hurt for the world where people think it’s more important to kill their neighbor than love them. I hurt for the world that lives in fear of another fateful day instead of living this one for all it’s worth. We are never promised more than today and the people who died on September 11 and all those since then who have died learned that.

We have only today and really only the minute and hour we are living in. Nothing more and nothing less. Make this minute count. Can we live it in love? Can we live it in peace? Can we live it free from want or pain? Can we ease another’s want or pain? Can we live?