Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Sweat Lodge

June 25, 2012

The last official Bridging Worlds Mountain Retreat Center event is about to begin. This is the quiet before the arrival, the spirits of the land and the ancestors are gathering now to welcome the guests, I feel it viscerally.

This event has been on the calendar for a year. A young woman who did a Vision Quest with me some years ago, and who came for a sweat lodge weekend with her then boyfriend some time after that, had the vision and foresight to ask for a 3-day event in which to gather their closest loved ones during this, the week before their wedding. The power has been building, and the poignancy of the timing could not have been anticipated except by the ancient ones.

The bride’s greatly loved grandmother died rather unexpectedly just a couple of weeks ago. Her son, the bride’s father, is grieving as are the bride and her brother. All of them are attending. The family had anticipated that their mother/grandmother might be celebrating at the wedding with them, but now find themselves in some shock and grief over her loss. I just read the bride and her father’s very well-written, heart wrenching reflections about this woman’s rich life and peaceful death that were spoken at the funeral.

So we will gather, listen to each other’s hearts, work on dreams, be held by love, land and ancestral spirits as we prepare for the ancient ceremony of the sweat lodge which we will enter tomorrow evening after a day of fasting and preparation. It is a beautiful miracle that this time to enter sacred space together was already planned. I know it will help the family process events and prepare for the power and joy of a wedding so long anticipated.

And, as it turns out, as these miracles go, today is the 1-year anniversary of the death of my own beloved mother, Kathryn Whitlow. I miss her deeply. The traditional year of mourning ends this day, so possibly a corner is being turned in the journey of our souls. The universe is so precise. Exquisite. I am grateful.

And as it turns out, my daughters left just yesterday after traveling long distances to help me go through the stuff of their childhood and our family life that had been moved from California into my barn 8 years ago, untouched and unprocessed until now. The cleansing and clearing has been enormous, we sat around a big bonfire in which we thoughtfully, conscientiously burned some of it. The spirits must have wanted that done before we sweat tomorrow.

Big blessings to our dear bride and groom. May we be aligned with all of the best intentions of spirit in these days. So far, so good.


September 3, 2010

After my dog’s recent passing, my mother and sister gave me Coco Memorial Gift – to pay for having my carpets cleaned. It is a thoughtful gift inasmuch as Coco, at the end of his life, being deaf and blind, didn’t feel safe outside. He often took care of potty needs inside. I tried to keep up with the cleaning, but it’s very hard with carpet. Thank goodness it has been summer, so doors and windows are regularly open.

I miss Coco so much that I ache all over, and cry often. So whenever the scent of his urine fills my nostrils rather than disgust me I feel better, like he is here, like that something is not really missing. I’m comforted. I have procrastinated on calling the carpet cleaners, and I’m sure that is a large part of it. Grief is a friggen’ weird deal. I hope after they clean the carpets I won’t be spending time on the floor sniffing around to see if I can still find one remaining trace of his scent.