Death and Grief

My beautiful father passed away just a few months ago.  It was sudden, completely unexpected, and totally devastating.  He was the centre of our family, our rock to lean on.  He was the first man I ever loved, the man who taught me the value of family, gave me the strength to be who I am today and so much more.

In the weeks that followed I struggled with the grief, it was powerful and all-consuming and like nothing I had ever felt before. I liken it now to a stormy sea. In those first few days the waves rolled and crashed and I felt like I was drowning with no means of escape.  As time has passed the waters have calmed somewhat, though, like the great blue ocean of our magnificent planet, it is never truly still. Often a thought will enter my mind, passing through like a gentle breeze, causing the waves to swell and wash over me, dragging me down as they journey through, whilst I fight to stay afloat.  I know that this grief will never pass, just as the sea can never be calm, I will simply learn to swim amidst the waves.

Before my father’s death I had never really experienced grief.  I had lost grandparents when I was too young to truly understand.  I had lost a few pets, but I had never really felt the heartbreak of losing someone so close to me.  Because of this I had never really given death a thought.  When we lose someone its natural to wonder what happens when we leave the mortal world behind us, does the spirit travel someplace else? Or is that it, the end of the road? I have always believed that our spirit continues. I believe, as the saying goes ‘we are spiritual beings having a human experience’.

In the days that followed, when my world felt like it was crumbling, yet the outside world carried on as if nothing had happened, I found myself sitting quietly in my garden.  Contemplating the place beyond the veil. Wondering if my dad was still there for us in spirit as he had always been in life.  Or was he just gone? As my mind relived fond memories from my childhood, fun filled days spent at the beach, bike rides alongside the river, picnics, fun days, crazy days, lazy days.  The grief would take over, waves rising, threatening, and pulling me down. Yet despite this, something would momentarily catch my attention, my eyes would be drawn to a beautiful butterfly landing on a nearby flower in search of its nectar, or a bird would break into the most delicate of songs, or a gentle breeze would rustle the leaves of the nearby tree.  It was at that moment I knew that my dad was still with me, bringing me back into the present, pulling me from the depths of the stormy waters, giving me strength as he had always done in life.

Here is the poem we read at his funeral (I do not know the Author)

Tis only we who grieve
They do not leave
They are not gone
They look upon us still
They walk among the valleys now
They stride upon the hill
Their smile is in the summer sky
Their grace is in the breeze
Their memories whisper in the grass
Their calm is in the trees
Their light is in the winter snow
Their tears are in the rain
Their merriment runs in the brook
Their laughter in the lane
Their gentleness is in the flowers
They sigh in autumn leaves
They do not leave
They are not gone
Tis only we who grieve
(Anon)

None of us can really know what happens when we die.  Whether we rest in the Summerlands, whether we go to Heaven, or whether we reincarnate. Each of us will have our own personal beliefs.  Like the poem above, I believe we go on.

I have faith that, at a time when I needed him the most, my dad was and is still there for me. And when I opened my mind to the possibility that he was with me, I felt his presence grow stronger and I heard his voice softly on the wind, and from this I draw comfort.

A flowering rose from the rose bush I planted on the day of my dad's funeral.

This is a picture of a flowering rose from the rose bush I planted on the day of my dad’s funeral. A beautiful flower in memory of a beautiful person.

Death is not the end

Quell the tears my friend,
Death is not the end.
All my love I send,
‘Cross this distance.
Listen for my song,
Never truly gone.
Now you must be strong.
Here I will dance.

Upon the hilltops,
Amongst the raindrops,
Agile as the fox.
I am released.
Back to the wild land,
Where the old oaks stand
And sea greets the sand.
I am at peace.

Keep the memories.
Let go of worries.
Enjoy your journeys.
Make life richer.
Hold me in your heart
And we shall not part.
Life’s a work of art,
Paint your picture!

The Morrigan and Altar Decor

For the past few months it has become almost impossible for me to ignore the call of The Morrigan. Her Crows came to me in both meditations and in real life, accompanied by vivid dreams and synchronicities that left me with no doubt that I had to take heed.  

I have always been a pantheist and I didn’t believe in individual deities, so being called to work with a particular Goddess confused me somewhat, and I’m still not entirely sure what I believe any more. 

It was also a bit of a shock to find that a Goddess of Battle had taken an interest in quiet little me, who shies away from confrontation of any kind and is about as brave as a mouse!  I have however learned that there is so much more to her, and surprised myself with my own inner strength and bravery in the last few months. 

I have set up an altar, and alongside my regular meditations, I honour The Morrigan. It is adorned with crow feathers that have mysteriously appeared on my doorstep on occasions when I’ve doubted myself and wondered if I’d lost the plot 🙂 It always felt that it needed something else though, and I couldn’t figure out what, maybe an image of her, or an ornament to represent her.

Crochet is my passion, and when I came across a pattern that I knew I would both love to create, and could create in Her honour, I had to pick up my hook and get started! It is a Celtic Crow, done in Tunisian Crochet, and will be framed and placed on my altar,  so here is the finished piece… 

603145_1456643367924576_5999338051945590113_n

Frack Free Future

She came to me in the dark of the night
With fearsome visions of a future fracked
Battle broke before my eyes 
Not of swords, nor gunshot,
Not of flame, nor bloodshed
They waged war on her land 
War on our land…
Washer at the ford,
But the water was tainted.
Toxic tears from a land fracked.

So together we must stand
Together we must act
For a future free, a future unfracked
We stand not alone
For the Goddess has spoken
Her blessings are with us and Her message is clear
Protect the land that we hold so dear.

Image