Monday, December 10, 2012

Working with Grief and Spirits

As many of you know our Uncle Stan passed last Saturday. This has been the most difficult week of my life. With this being the first death I have experienced, it has brought it's own new ideas and thoughts that, at times, overwhelm my life. The grief comes in waves. I try not to let the waves knock me down, Stan would not have wanted that. Instead I try to let the waves wash over me, wear me smooth in some places and carve me in others. It doesn't always work, but I try to surrender yet stay standing.

It took some time for me to figure what I needed to write, what I needed to express.

I have spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about my own children, Stan's children, my grandparents, my life, my husband's life. What it all means and if I am making the most of the life I have. I've made some resolutions to tell people I love them more and to spend more time with the one's I love. To do more, to donate more, to BE more. I have also made a resolution to not let this fade into the background as many resolutions do. We often have an experience, making us acutely aware of changes we need to make, only to have that fire fade, returning to the way we were in a week or a month.

Stan's passing affected my thoughts about my work mostly. I felt guilty that the spirits who are in this home and who communicate with me are here and not with their families. Someone, somewhere was a mother or father or sister or brother to those who visit and aid me in my work. Why are they here with me when there is someone desperate and crying to hear from this spirit? How could I do continue to do this? I felt like I was unintentionally robbing others of something sacred. Such a blessing but what a heavy blessing it can be.

I spent a few days thinking about it as I worked, after all, the show must go on.

I wondered if they come here because I welcome them or believe in them or because I was made differently than other people. I decided those were egocentric ideas and abandoned them. I then settled on the idea that maybe others just haven't learned to communicate with spirits yet or they do it other ways I am not aware of. And who's to say a spirit can not be with me and their family in the same day, hour or minute even?

Obviously, I can not find an answer and I am not sure I ever will. I do know that it is their choice to be here. It's not mine and that is as far as my thoughts can go. Paganism teaches that some things are to remain a mystery, and it's understandable and reasonable to not have the answers to everything. There are just some things we can not understand in this realm. Maybe I will understand when I pass over myself.

Stan made me a better person while he was on this earth. He made many people want to be better and want to help others. He taught by example and he taught that you do the right thing because it's right, not because you'll get a reward or a "thank you" at the end of the day. Don't ever expect a thank you.

He is still teaching me. To be a better servant, mother, wife, and friend. To question myself, my work, and my beliefs. Life is a constant balancing act and each circumstance is a chance to reassess and re-think our lives to keep that precious balance. The balance needed to productive and serve others. Though I lost Stan in this world, he has simply moved over to the side of my world that can't be seen with the eye. I know his dynamic energy is making a star burn, a mandolin play, or a couple dance...and I can handle that.


  1. Thank you for this. I am constantly mulling over grief myself. If you ever decide to continue this post, I'd love to hear more about how your spirituality helps you with your grief. xoxo

  2. Your paragraph about spending and enjoying more time with those you love and the things that really matter made me think about something I realized when my life was at its lowest point. I was a serious hypochondriac for years, and it was only in retrospect I realized it was because I loved my life so much, I didn't want to miss out on all the wonderful years awaiting my husband and me. Once that was gone, the hypochondria went with it; sticking around didn't seem all that important anymore. I'm slowly trying to change that mindset, but it's been a long and incredibly difficult struggle. I know I'm lucky, because I've been happier and experienced a better life than many people ever will, but it's hard to remember that when things are at their lowest. The best advice I can give anyone is to enjoy the happiness in your life; believe you're deserving of it, and never take it for granted.