Well, I’m not sure I’ve ever done a double post before, but here we are! Doing a double post!! So what’s new? Aside from the earlier post talking about my new health and body changes (which I really am jazzed about, trust me, I’ve never been more excited about the prospect of doing something so healthy in forever!!) It’s awesome! I encourage everyone to check out my links and give the Shakeology a try, that stuff is bad ass, trust me, you will not come across anything quite like it. Drop me a line if you want to know more, too.
Moving on!! So Samhain is coming up around the corner, and believe you me, I can feel it. It’s been an insane year thus far, and we’ve lost one family member over the Spring. Great-Gramma Ross was 83 years old, though tired, and frail, she was active and happy up until one Friday where she suffered a massive stroke. She fell into a coma and the doctor said she might wake up, but I heard the Boat Man that night. I heard him calling for her and I knew it was her time. Her children kept her on life support for a couple of days to allow family from out-of-state to come and give their farewells, and when I finally had my moment alone with her, I stuck 2 coins in her hands for the Boat Man. She died the next day. I guess no one in the family noticed, but a nurse asked me if the coins where for what she thought they were for and I said “yes”. They cremated her with those 2 coins.
Death is such a frightening thing for the living. We fear it, we fear the unknown. We all secretly fear that there is nothing after this life, and once we die, that’s it! As a pagan, and a Witch, I refuse to let myself think that way, and having experienced some crazy things over the years, I FIRMLY believe that there IS life after this one. That all who are born will die. All who die will be born again. The family took Great-Gramma Ross’ death hard. Especially her daughters, and grandchildren. I found myself being the strong one for them, the rock of support and understanding. I said over and over that we all grieve in different ways, and allowed them to feel how they needed to feel. Steve was angry, so very, very angry. Ryan was broken and angry. Fran was devastated (it was her mother, after all) and my boys, well they didn’t know what to think.
Aiden told me he felt bad because he felt nothing. He wasn’t sad, or angry, or anything like that… he just accepted it and moved on. I told him that it was okay. He might or might not feel that way later down the road, but it was okay because they were his feelings to feel.
We had a bit of a difficult time deciding whether to allow Finn to visit her in the hospital while she was in the coma on life support. Do we allow him to see her, and have that be his last image of her forever? Or do we refuse and have him resent us and angry for the rest of his life for denying him that chance to say goodbye? In the end, he chose to not go. The night before she died, he had a dream that he was in the hospital with her, and she was sitting up. He told her that he loved her and was going to miss her, and in his dream, she held his hand and squeezed it, saying “goodbye.” And then he woke up. I have no doubts in my mind that it was her spirit come to see him one last time.
Finally, there’s Dylan. Who didn’t understand at all. He asked what happened and I told him that Great Gramma was very sick and in the hospital. He asked “is she sleeping?” And I said yes, she was. He asked with such innocence “is she sleeping forever?” and I said yes one more time. And he said “But we’ll still see her at Christmas.” Oh wow. His faith in that concept that he knows she’ll still be there is amazing. I don’t think he understands yet that her physical body is gone, but he’s getting there. He still asks sometimes when he’s going to visit Gramma Ross’ house. And I have to remind him that she died, and that her physical body isn’t alive anymore.
I made the memorial slide show, and literally went through hundreds of photos. Of her in her youth, with her siblings. Her and her husband, with her children, and then grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. There were pictures of her on her many adventures around the country, she was an avid hiker and adventurer. I sat for days and decided on music for the slide show. I worked on this when no one was home, because it was the only time I could grieve myself. I spent a lot of time helping the family with their grief, giving hugs and holding them while they cried. I’m a private person when it comes to grief, I never show it when people are around. In fact, the only memorial where I cried in public was when James died. The rest, I just took comfort in the fact that they no longer were in pain. One thing that helped me with Gramma Ross’ death was the knowledge that with her death, she was finally reunited with her beloved husband, who passed over 30 years ago. She told her children back then, the only reason she didn’t follow him in death was because she wanted to meet her grandchildren first, and then it was her great-grandchildren she wanted to see. She was such a wonderful, genuinely kind, beautiful woman. I am blessed that she considered me like a grand-daughter, too.
So I made this beautiful slide-show, worked on it like a mad woman for a full week straight, getting it just right, perfect to honor this amazing soul. I cried a lot. When the time came for her memorial, I was numb. I’d seen it so many times by then, that aside from the feeling of pride for such a fitting tribute, I couldn’t cry anymore. I made copies on DVD for everyone in the family and they were so very grateful, and touched that I spent so much time working on the tribute for her. So that’s that!
Some other stuff I’m working on is a redesign of the Wheel of the Year website, and it’s coming along nicely. The Samhain section is really cool in my opinion and there’s a couple new additions, one new story in the Stories section and a couple new rituals added to the rituals section. I still feel like something is missing, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon enough.
My Witchcraft 4 (Temple of High Witchcraft) course is coming along nicely as well. I’m about half-way through the course, so that’s pretty awesome. LOTS of information and things I’ve never been exposed to before. Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true, I’ve KNOWN about some of the exercises, just never put them into practice. Like the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram (LBRH for short). Whoa is that ever an intense experience. As many times as I’ve done the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP for short), I’ve never done the LBRH before, and the energy is so different. The LBRP just sort of flatlines the energy of the circle, adds a level of protection and prepares the space, and the LBRH charges the energy and opens the space for the work to come. It’s different, stronger. Both rituals together remove all traces of previous energies and leaves the space clean, like a blank slate, ready for the work ahead. I like doing them before meditations now. So I’m working my way through the Tree of Life, this month focusing on Tiphereth, which has some pretty powerful connections to the nature of sacrifice and what it actually means. It’s crazy, but in such an amazing and eye-opening way, that I just can’t help but feel awed by it all. I’m loving this course, challenges and all. And believe you me, I have been challenged, big time. I like it though, being challenged, gets my mind working and helps me learn what my Will is. What my purpose is. Where am I going and How am I going to get there? But I guess that’s the whole point in life, right? We all want to know where we’re going, how we’re getting there, and who is going with us? It’ll be okay in the end… the Gods have a funny way of making sure that we always end up where we need to be when the time is right. Even if we don’t exactly realize it.
Well, I guess this is all for now, I’ll be back in a couple of days to update everyone on my fitness and health progress, as well as have more things to share on Samhain, I’ve got some great stuff in the works, so woohoo!!
Many Blessings everyone!