when someone you love is dying

In the Druid tradition, each of the great “rites of passage” is marked in the calendar by one of the fire-festivals: death, or Parting, is marked by Samhuinn, 31 October to 2 November, when the old Celtic year ends and there are three days of No-Time before the new year begins. Birth, and consequently Naming, is marked by Imbolc on 1/2 February—the time when the snowdrops appear and we can sense the first stirrings of spring. Mating, the Great Rite of making love, is marked by Bealteinne on 1 May, when the forces of spring are in full flood. Marriage, the formal recognition of having found a long term partner after the explorations of the spring time of one's life, is marked by Lughnasadh on 1 August. This forum is for discussing the ceremonies and customs associated with each festival and for all of the rites of passage in our lives.
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babblebeth
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when someone you love is dying

Postby babblebeth » 09 Jun 2015, 13:44

I recently found out my uncle has been given three years to live.

I love both my uncles but he was always my favourite. He never spoke down to me and made it a point to speak to me as if I was an equal. He is funny, kind, and brave.

He was alcoholic for a long time and no one knew despite us being a close family. When it came out it was because he put himself into rehab. That was 10 years ago and he has been dry since. That courage to step up and say "I have something in my life I need to fix" was my inspiration when I needed to look into myself for strength to ask for help. I kept saying to myself if he could do it for his problems I could do it for mine and that helped me fix my life.

And in a very short time he will be gone...and I'm 10,000 miles away. I can't see him and even if I was there there wouldn't be anything I could do to help. I just feel...helpless. He's an atheist pretty much and he is cracking jokes about it because that's how he is....but i don't know what to do or how to deal with it. When people I love have died in my home town I haven't been able to accept it really because it's so far away it doesn't feel real.

I just feel...helpless.
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Illustr8d1
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Re: when someone you love is dying

Postby Illustr8d1 » 09 Jun 2015, 18:00

Nobby,

In my experience with loved one passing, it can be great just to be present in whichever way you are able to even if you don't know what to do or say. Sometimes even telling them that is great, however I try not to place it as a burden on them to figure out or make them feel like they have to comfort me instead.

I recently had a friend pass away from brain cancer and it made some people stay away because they didn't know what to do or they felt really awkward. Since you're not able to physically be present maybe there are other ways you can do this through phone calls or letters. I'm not sure what your spiritual practice is like or if you feel comfortable talking about it with your uncle but you could always say something like, I know you may not believe in god/goddess/spirit, etc... but I would like to perform a ritual/meditation/prayer/... with the intention of giving you healing, peace etc...would that be okay? Or maybe you just do something anyways and decide if you are comfortable telling him.

Just a few thoughts.

Many thanks,
Steven
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” - Gary Snyder

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Illustr8d1
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Re: when someone you love is dying

Postby Illustr8d1 » 10 Jun 2015, 20:02

Just wanted to add that I really got a lot out of Druidcast episode 76 regarding death. The talkie bit is Kristoffer Hughes talking about death. http://druidcast.libsyn.com/druid-cast- ... episode-76 What he says about grieving is very powerful.

Kristoffer Hughes has also written a book titled "The Journey Into Spirit: A Pagan's Perspective on Death, Dying & Bereavement", the podcast ends up being a synopsis/preview of the book. I'm about half way through the book and it is very good.

Many thanks,
Steven
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” - Gary Snyder

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babblebeth
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Re: when someone you love is dying

Postby babblebeth » 11 Jun 2015, 11:20

I personally don't believe in the afterlife and take great comfort in the fact that when we die we return to the great cycle of nature, everything from our body decaying into the earth and our individual atoms returning to the universe....I also feel we live on in the lessons we taught and the people whose lives we've touched. My uncle's lessons of bravery and the importance of asking for help when needed and of treating others - especially children - as equals, will stay with me and are things I am already passing on to my son. Just like the lessons my grandfather taught me of - How patriotism doesn't mean agreeing blindly with your government and includes criticizing them when necessary, of constant learning, of humour, of kindness, of confidence in yourself are again things that have stayed with me and I'm teaching to my son.

It's the letting go, accepting the death I find so difficult, probably because I am so far removed from the event. When my grandfather died I was of course grief stricken (the one thing I am very glad about is he knew I had named my son after him before he died), but at the same time I couldn't accept it as real until I visited America again and he wasn't there.

Also it's my mother's little brother and I can't help her through this because I don't know how. I'm on the other end of the phone...we're such a close family and I knew moving so far away would make me more removed and distant from that close knit family but it still hurts? Even if I had the money to fly over (2000 quid) I wouldn't use it for that I would use it to help my uncle stay in his home. Gah....I suppose the only thing I can do is write to him but I just haven't been able to yet.
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Geordon
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Re: when someone you love is dying

Postby Geordon » 01 Sep 2015, 07:54

Kristoffer Hughes has also written a book titled "The Journey Into Spirit: A Pagan's Perspective on Death, Dying & Bereavement", the podcast ends up being a synopsis/preview of the book.
I just listened to the Druidcast, and I wish that I had heard it a little over a year ago, when I was asked to write the funeral service for a dear friend. It would have been a big help in wording things… I'll be buying the book the next time I get paid.

Oh, and another comment: IT sure sounds like something that Dr. Who would be telling to a flock of Earthlings. :old:


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