Some spiritual teachers and advisors, understanding that no one actually ever dies, will espouse that any mourning should not occur when a loved one dies.
Although, I understand where they are coming from in the greater philosophical sense that no one ever truly dies, they just lose their physical body. Who they are, their soul and spirit continue on.
I get this. I do.
However to purport that someone shouldn’t feel the loss or mourn is ridiculous.
In our physical existence, there is a loss. And we, living in the physical realm feel this. And sometimes, we feel it immensely.
There is also an emotional withdrawal as well. This is mostly because we are only accustomed to placing the heaviest weight of reality on the physical. Now, the relationship is altered. We only have to transform our end, to access the relationship again. This is an opportunity for us to grow and develop our inner world.
So, the feelings of loss are real, pet or person, because the loved one has left the physical environment. However, if you look back on it, you can easily see that the relationship mainly occurred in the non-physical, in the realms of the heart, the emotions, the spirit, no?
Though, it is the physical is where we mostly put our conscious focus. Even though the other realms exist, just as equally as strong, we are not as attuned to them. If we can open up to this, it can help lead us to exploring developing our inner relationship with our loved one to a stronger and more real and conscious relationship with them.
Honoring Ceremonies are here to help us with that. They provide a bridge to helping us connect with our eternal relationship with our loved ones.
Book Notes on The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality
This book overviews the spiritual qualities and gifts of the four directions in connection to life: East, South, West and North.
One of my favorite quotes in this book is:
“It will not be until we journey from the East to the far North of the medicine wheel, to the place of wisdom, that we will realize that within every one of us is hidden the potential to guide others on some part of the journey of the four directions.”
This truly helps remind us that, the journey is best shared, and that we all can play an intregal part in another’s development. We all are divine. We all matter. Just a moment of reflection on this can help us feel greater value for ourselves and each other.
I was out of town on business and after work, strolled down to the local park which has active wild life. This time in particular, I was looking to let others feed the ducks while I shared with the beaver couple. I call them Mr. and Mrs. I sat by the edge of the pond waiting for the Mrs. to show up, letting the ducks pass. A few cute mallards walked by. We exchanged greetings. They were followed by a different species of duck.
These ducks were white with a mass of beet-red gnarly bumps of tumor-looking skin surrounding their beak. At first I was visually taken aback and in an instant, out I thought, “hmm. That’s kinda ugly.”
That thought surprised me because quite frankly, I hang out with toads. It was a fleeting thought and trying to be gentle with myself had to remember that I cannot completely escape my societal influcences, which values more than anything a smooth, wrinkleless tan appearance. I laughed. Besides, I know what is in my heart. So, I looked up at the lovely lady duck.
However, as if having heard that thought about her being ugly, the lady duck stopped still in front of me. She poignantly blinked once and then stretched her head a little higher, turned and waddled on. She had chosen to gracefully ‘ignore’ the comment.
Her boyfriend, however, well… he rushed forward, stopped, looked me square in the eyes and proceeded to let me have it.
It sounded something like this:
“Waack weraaaakk Rwarkkk! Rwreerkck! Wreireck ererck requeck er awrecht! Waearck. BPpthepeft!”
And translated emotionally into something like this:
“THAT was rude! She is BEAUTIFUL! She is absolutely beautiful. YOU are the one who is UGLY.”
And ended with giving me a raspberry:
He then did a fast waddling stomp to further make his point and to catch up with his woman.
I paused and thought, “Wow. I just got told off by a duck.”
I was greatly impressed at that and what a great boyfriend he was being, defending his woman and all. It was quite touching.
In addition, he was right. And he had no qualms telling off a human. I like that in a duck.
I said to him what was in my heart, “You are right. I am sorry. She IS beautiful. She is absolutely beautiful.”
My 12-year-old black lab and companion, Kelsey, had recently passed. I was trying to distract myself with work in the office. Mattie, my 1-year-old lab, somehow conveyed to me that she was missing Kelsey. I stopped what I was doing and took some time to be with her.
I hugged her in consoling efforts…maybe I was projecting. I don’t know. I tried to convey to Mattie that I missed Kelsey too but, that she was still here in spirit and that she loved us. I started to cry.
I sat there for a while with her, hugging Mattie, missing my girl, Kelsey.
Then at some point I took a deep breath and I turned back to my work.
There on my pants leg was a ladybug that was not there moments before. I greeted the Ladybug with a ‘Hello’. The ladybug proceeded to crawl on my hand. She crawled and crawled and crawled. I tried to keep it on my hand to take it outside, as I do with most insects.
This was a particularly cute ladybug and I went outside and sat with it for a moment to get some comfort in my sadness. I am always looking to connect with an insect. I was missing Kelsey. I was remembering the black butterfly encounters, happy for them but wishing there had been more.
The ladybug kept crawling and would occasionally fly down to other fingers on my hand and crawl back up them…. crawl back down…fly back…crawl down…. fly back up. She did not fly away. She was very affectionate. She flew on my shirt and crawled up it, then back on my hand.
She was playful in way that I knew intimately. I thought in a brief moment of my sadness, wouldn’t be nice if she sat over my heart. No sooner did the thoughts float out of my head, that the ladybug did just that. She sat there several minutes facing me, sitting still on my chest….just as I had wished.
And then I knew.
I knew like I knew I was breathing.
It was my girl. It was my Kelsey.
We had a nice visit and I wept. I was painfully thankful.
She said ‘I came like this because you used to call me ‘Ladybug’.
I wept hard, and even harder still, but in a happy, deep, thankful way. A way that stretched my depth of understanding, love and connection.
I love her and her gentle, sweet, tender, playful influence and guidance in my life.
This story is for anyone who has ever felt different.
I went to visit with a toad friend of mine, where the water is set out for him.
He was not there.
I called for him and reached out for a stone in the water.
I held the stone in my hand closely, speaking with my heart.
The stone became warm.
I felt a heartbeat, mine or its , I do not know.
Then I noticed crawling on the brick, a roly-poly…
an albino roly-poly.
I said ‘Hello’,
‘You are an albino’.
She said “yes.”
“You are different from all of the other roly polies.
She said ‘yes.”
“I feel different from all of the humans.”
She said ‘yes.”
I wondered how she dealt with it. I mean, being a part of something, yet being so different.
All of the other roly-polies are the same.
“How? How do I say I am different, yet the same?”
“Yes, you have special talents and gifts to share. Yet, your being different does not take away from their being unique.”
Each are different and unique, in different and unique ways. Some are more externally obvious than others, some not.
“As well, your being different does not erase your commonness.”
There is always a common thread amongst you… all of us, really.
“I am drastically unique in my expression of a roly-poly, yet I am still undoubtedly a roly-poly.”
My message to all is:
‘Delight in your uniqueness, in a foundation of your similarities.”
For those that wish, please join in this Wolf Honoring Ceremony by taking a moment to say a loving prayer and hold sacred space for our wolf family.
Wolf Honoring, Loving and Protection prayer
Loving wolves, we honor your spirit and send you great love.
Thank you for being here and sharing your wisdom and strength.
Thank you for your love of Mother Earth and all her creatures.
We ask Divine protection to be with you,
and for you feel our love and appreciation.
We honor your presence here on Earth.
We ask for light and love to surround you
and to be in the hearts of all humans.
Please help ease the anger,
and for all to feel the grace of love and compassion.
Help us all to feel your love.
Help us to know our own divinity and for us to shine bright.
Bless the wolves, and bless the humans.
Bless our life in harmony with all.
We ask for love, comfort and protection for all in need.