Reflections

Category: Grief

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Altar of Remembering

On Saturday a wonderful package arrived in the mail. It was a commission I ordered from artist Marcy Hall (see her Sacred Artist Interview) of my two beloved animal companions — Duke who died over two years ago and Tune who is of course alive and well.  When I discovered Marcy’s delightful art, I knew she would be the right person to create an icon to honor the role that canine wisdom plays in my life.  I also adore the tree of life in the center with crows and the full moon. In front of the altar are various seasonal symbols I have gathered

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What Endures

Today is the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death. My time away on retreat the last few days was a time of ritual and remembering.  I will post more about the retreat itself in the next couple of days. Thank you for all of your beautiful blessings in comments and emails. Last night after I returned home we went to a friend’s house for Sukkot.  It is a 7-day festival that comes after the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and during it, celebrants build sukkahs or tents and live in them as a remembrance of the Israelites time of wandering.  As my rabbi friend reflected, it

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Landscapes, Maps, and Pilgrimages

Tomorrow is my birthday and lately I have been longing for some retreat time.  I was wise enough to block off the next few days to rest in some stillness at home while my dear husband is away.  This time of retreat is partly in preparation for a much larger pilgrimage I will be taking in just a couple of weeks and partly because I find birthdays invite reflection as I celebrate the anniversary of my own birth and sit in vigil waiting for what needs to be revealed for this next phase of my journey. This past week I wrote about the need to be willing to

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Feast of All Souls

Today in the Christian church is the Feast of All Souls, the day when we remember our loved ones who have died.  I did not write a post about this today, perhaps because I have been talking a lot about grief and darkness lately and that felt like enough. But then I read Rachelle’s achingly beautiful post about remembering her own lost son and I knew I had to mention this day’s significance and urge you to go read over at Magpie Girl.  And while you’re there you might also hop over to her Etsy store and pick up one of

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The Thinnest Veil

Last Saturday I attended a concert of the Seattle Choral Company called “Celtic Nights” which marked the upcoming feast of Samhain on November 1st.  Samhain is the beginning of a new year in Celtic tradition and is primarily a celebration of ancestors and harvest.  It is considered one of the great doorways of the Celtic year which is divided into the seasons of dark and light and is connected to the holidays we may celebrate today — Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.  The music was sublime and one piece in particular moved me deeply called An Caoineadh, which is

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Ache and Delight

The week before last was the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death and I shared here before that I have been feeling called to walk willingly into some dark places.   It turns out that the anniversary was also the day I had to end a friendship.  Friendship to me has always been sacramental and so not something I treat lightly. This friendship had actually been over for some time, but it took until now for us to realize that we each still have old wounds that have never been healed, despite our previous efforts.  It feels good to have some closure, but it was a

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Perilous Dark Path of True Prayer

“We seldom go freely into the belly of the beast. Unless we face a major disaster like the death of a friend or spouse or loss of a marriage or job, we usually will not go there. As a culture, we have to be taught the language of descent. That is the great language of religion. It teaches us to enter willingly, trustingly into the dark periods of life. These dark periods are good teachers. Religious energy is in the dark questions, seldom in the answers. Answers are the way out, but that is not what we are here for.

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