Commemorating Death

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Tatws
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Commemorating Death

Postby Tatws » 01 Aug 2015, 10:50

I'm not yet a member of OBOD, being at University I wasn't sure whether I could split my attention healthily between two courses (I'm thinking now that I can, however) but as a result of this, my knowledge is still quite fledgling. I am working through my own interpretation of the world, and learning what I can as I go in preparation for more serious study. I haven't yet had chance to really explore the area of death though, and on Wednesday my Grandad, who in so many ways has been my hero throughout life, died. I feel I am handling everything as well as a person could hope to without just trying to shut down, but I feel that I would find more solace, and more connection, if there was any form of ritual or general practice I could engage in, one that acknowledges what has happened. I was hoping maybe a few people could offer opinions on how a novice such as myself could spiritually engage with the situation in lieu of the funeral which we are still trying to organise. Many thanks in advance for your help and advice

Tomos

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Heddwen
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby Heddwen » 01 Aug 2015, 11:33

I'm not yet a member of OBOD, being at University I wasn't sure whether I could split my attention healthily between two courses (I'm thinking now that I can, however) but as a result of this, my knowledge is still quite fledgling. I am working through my own interpretation of the world, and learning what I can as I go in preparation for more serious study. I haven't yet had chance to really explore the area of death though, and on Wednesday my Grandad, who in so many ways has been my hero throughout life, died. I feel I am handling everything as well as a person could hope to without just trying to shut down, but I feel that I would find more solace, and more connection, if there was any form of ritual or general practice I could engage in, one that acknowledges what has happened. I was hoping maybe a few people could offer opinions on how a novice such as myself could spiritually engage with the situation in lieu of the funeral which we are still trying to organise. Many thanks in advance for your help and advice

Tomos
First of all, croeso/welcome to the OBOD message board Tomos. I'd like to offer my condolences for your grandfathers passing to Summerlands. As for the OBOD course, there is no pressure, you go at your own pace. You might want to start it after everything has settled down, then again you may want to let the dust settle completely and start after university. Its really up to you. :)

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Heddwen
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby Heddwen » 02 Aug 2015, 15:45

I hope that this helps. Kristoffer Hughes is a fine author, druid and OBOD member. His book on 'Death' and 'Dying' may help you at this sad time.

http://www.druidry.org/library/book-rev ... kristoffer

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ShadowCat
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby ShadowCat » 04 Aug 2015, 08:00

My sincere condolences Tomos...

I agree with Heddwen that the work of Kris Hughes is very inspiring and insightful.

But just don't fear doing it "wrong" or needing to read books at this point.

As long as your actions come from the heart, there is little to mess up.

A simple powerful way to find solace can be to physically represent your grandfather by a piece of nature that symbolises him (a rock, either a smooth riverrock or a jagged sharp piece, or a branch from a wise old tree, or whatever feels right to you) and keep it with you as a physical rememberance that his lessons and wisdom stay with you, even if his body is gone. Realise he is in you, literally inside your DNA, visualise that. Even if the person he was will be sorely missed, his wisdom and energy will stay with you.

Then, when you feel that a first most raw period of mourning has passed for you, decide wether to keep the piece of nature with you on an altar as a poweritem to honour your ancestor, or to release it back into nature (throwing it in water can be very strong) as a symbol of letting him go while continuing to honour him.
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the whisper of the wind through the leaves
the songs of one's heart
the callings of the universe

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malcolmb
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby malcolmb » 04 Aug 2015, 10:17

...... but I feel that I would find more solace, and more connection, if there was any form of ritual or general practice I could engage in, one that acknowledges what has happened. I was hoping maybe a few people could offer opinions on how a novice such as myself could spiritually engage with the situation in lieu of the funeral which we are still trying to organise. Tomos
Hello Tatws - The passing of a loved one is always a difficult and deeply emotional time and my most sincere condolences to you and all your Grandfather's family and friends. And I fully understand your wish to engage spiritually with your loss. Funerals are very much for those who are left behind both as an opportunity to remember the departed and to share grief at the loss. But there is also a human need to thank the departed for all they have given to you and to bless them on their journey. This is deeply personal and difficult to share.

Shadowcat and Heddwen offer excellent advice. What I would offer is a form of words for a simple ceremony. I met three young people on the fringes of a Grove gathering who had previously scattered the ashes of their father where our Grove met and had returned to the site to remember him. Talking to them, it transpired that he had been a Pagan and I offered to give their father a Druid blessing. This is the Blessing I put together. I make no claim for originality. I simply brought together prayers from a range of sources.

Eternal Lord and Lady who scatter the stars into the blackness of space, who are there with love for the smallest sparrow when it falls, who know the wonder of joy and the agony of despair and who delight in all that they have made, we give our loved one ............... into your care.

..............., we remember you.
At the rising of the sun and at its going down, we remember you.
At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter, we remember you.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember you.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer, we remember you.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember you.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember you.
As long as we live, you too will live; for you are now a part of us, as we remember you.

..............., you came and touched so many hearts in so many different ways.
You gave so much, and asked so little in return.
There is an emptiness as if a part of those you left behind is missing,
But I am sure with time you will show them how to be whole again.
They know you are safe now, and nothing can harm you.
Remember, although you are apart from those who love you,
You will always be together.

Life and death are one, as the river and the sea are one. For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind, and to melt in the sun?
What is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides that it may rise and expand and seek the Goddess unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence, shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountaintop, then shall you begin to climb.
And when the Earth has claimed your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

As the spiral path leads to the centre, closer to the source,
May Spirit embrace you ..............., as its own.
Returned are you to the Fire, to the power of transformation
Returned are you to the Earth, to the comfort of the Mother
Returned are you to the Water, to the realms of Healing
Returned are you to the Air, to the breath of life

Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the shades of night to you
Moon and stars, always giving light to you.
Blessed be.

..............., rest from your travels in this existence and when you are well rested and ready for your new adventure to begin, may you hear our words on fresh breezes, an ancient blessing on your new journey.

May a new road rise to meet your feet,
May a gentle wind be always at your back,
May the Sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall softly upon new fields,
Until we meet again
May Spirit guide you safely to a new land.
So may it be.

..............., may your journey be Blessed.


If you choose to use this Blessing, you can either include it in the funeral or use it as a personal and private Blessing, choosing a quiet and private place surrounded by mementos that have meaning to you and your Grandfather.

Blessings
Malcolm /|\
Isle of Wight Peaceful Earth Grove: https://www.peacefulearthgrove.com/
Isle of Wight Order of Druids: https://peacefulearthgrove.com/Wight-Or ... Druids.php


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https://lylemusic.bandcamp.com/

My original Celtic / Folk / Jazz music at:
http://www.soundclick.com/lylemusic
http://www.soundclick.com/malcolmbrown
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Tatws
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby Tatws » 04 Aug 2015, 21:17

Dearest friends,

Thank you all so much for your kind words and your wonderful advice, it really is invaluable and I will definitely be putting it to use. I cannot thank you enough, it is of great comfort to me.

Blessed be,

Tomos

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Whitemane
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Re: Commemorating Death

Postby Whitemane » 05 Aug 2015, 11:51

Nicely done Malcolm!

Tatws: also look in the "Rites of Passage" forum. Others have posted their ideas, experiences, and prayers there.

My condolences and blessings on the loss of someone who meant so much to you.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.


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