Saying Farewell: the gardening party

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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OBOD Ovate
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Saying Farewell: the gardening party

Post by Whitemane » 20 Nov 2014, 19:24

This is a brief summary of the memorial event I held for my wife
for those of you who do not have access to "Touchstone."

I wanted to make sure that the memorial event was inclusive to as
wide a range of faiths as possible, and I did not want it to be
the miserable sitting around sort of event that too many of us
have been to too many times. I wanted people to be active and
involved and to memorialize my wife in their own ways.

The basic idea was to plant a memorial garden. I hired a
landscaper to design and plant the outline of a bird-friendly
garden. Most of the planting, approximately 50 plants, were left
for guests to plant. So, it was a pleasant Sunday in May
(actually Memorial Day in the US) and food, drink, and trowels
were laid on, for people to eat, drink, be merry and garden.

Planting is an individual act, and as the memorial act, people were free to
memorialize my wife as they planted.

In the morning of the day, I used Breanna's lovely Rite of
Parting at:


to bless the garden.

The actual planting event was blazingly succesful with so much
love and friendship in a joyous atmosphere. Several participants
said they would take the idea with them for the future.

After everybody left in the early evening, I recited the closing
section of the rite. The following morning I planted the ground
cover and scattered my wifes' ashes reciting a blessing as I did
so, and felt her standing at my shoulder smiling her approval.
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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Re: Saying Farewell: the gardening party

Post by PeteBranduir » 21 Nov 2014, 01:50

That sounds like a lovely memorial. I'm sure anyone would be happy to have such a heartfelt tribute. I'm just sorry it was needed. I know you'll have your own way of coping but if you ever feel like you need a chat or rant I'm happy to help.

That goes for anyone going through a hard time, for the record.

I wish your wife and all who knew her peace.
If at first you don't succeed, I hope it wasn't brain surgery.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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OBOD Druid
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Location: Louisiana USA

Re: Saying Farewell: the gardening party

Post by Selene » 21 Nov 2014, 05:20

Beautiful, Whitemane. :hug:
"I've learned so much from my mistakes...I'm thinking of making a few more."



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