This past week my father passed out of mortal life. I was blessed to be able to attend his bedside, a first in my boomer life. His passing was comfortable and quiet, with his family around him.
A conventional, quietly Christian man, my dad was also open-hearted enough to accept my Pagan ways (after twenty years made it clear that it wasn't a phase...), and he leaves several families the better for his presence.
We also honored the spirit of one of our old coven-mates, scattering some of her ash here on the land where she so often worshipped. Another first for me... hands in corpse-ash...
As we approach this season of the Dead, I'll preach just a little, and remind us all to hold fast to memory, to give honor to your own forebearers, whether of blood or of heart. Heroes or Saints, we give honor to you all.
This year I'll quote a colleague, Rev. Michael Dangler. I love this piece:
When you were born,
The earth became your body,
The stone became your bone,
The sea became your blood,
The sun became your eye,
The moon became your mind,
The wind became your breath.
When you passed to the Otherworld,
Your breath became the wind,
Your mind became the moon,
Your eye became the sun,
Your blood became the sea,
Your bone became the stone,
Your body became the earth.
When we were born, you did the same for us:
You called forth the earth and rocks;
The sea arose and the sun descended;
The moon shone down and the winds sang.
For those who come after, we shall do as you did for us
When we are gone, we shall do as you did before.
Ancestors, we honour you.