The death of my father has changed me forever.
This time of year is a potent season of mass human transition. He chose to transition just prior to Halloween/All soul's day and I manifested to spend this 1 year anniversary of his death in an ancient walled city, Evora, in central Portugal (a country which he loved dearly),with a chapel of bones & souls, dedicated to death. It's helped me to bring in new subtle perspectives of my own grief journey that I was struggling to deal with prior to visiting this place.
I have been around the death of loved ones all my life but this initiation has been beyond anything previously experienced in this life.
The fabric of me has been torn asunder into a type of chaos that my words will never do justice to the energy or collection of events that have transpired in the wake of this enormous loss.
I was propelled into the darkest reservoirs of myself through the shock of this reality this time last year and who am I one year on?
I am evolving into a new person on all levels of my being, with a depth of compassion for life/death that I cannot explain in a linear fashion. I am both hard and soft. Deep and open, to the complexities of this human journey.
Grief is a taskmaster that holds nothing back.
When death finds you or your beloved's, all you can do is let go into it’s all consuming relentless current or you will sink, quick and fast.
Sinking may be the medicine you personally need. Let it unfold naturally.
Grief is a journey unique to each one of us, so please let no one tell you differently in their need to help you “move on”.
I thought I was prepared to meet death head on, having worked in a healing facilitation capacity with others for nearly 10 years now. I smile now at my naive audacity. How could I be prepared for something so unfathomable in actuality?
I prayed ceaselessly; I made countless offerings for peaceful transition for him and our family; I had many out of body powerful visions in the lead up to his death and was mentored by an incredible death doula in the US before returning home to his final transition ~ yet all of this due diligence could never have prepared the child heart within me for the enormity of the loss of him.
All former versions of me are relatively obsolete now in the aftermath, as the loss of dreams; of allies & lovers; of my child self’s unrealised and unspoken dreams/needs that were not met by him in the ways my heart called for, both consciously and unconsciously. These all vie for my immediate attention now which is a huge self love initiation.
As we lose the people in our lives that held the role of an “Authority Figure” or those we loved, our soul is called into a crucial review process of our own incarnation where a whole new template of living is constructed and installed within our psyche.
We are called into a new level of self -government, self- parenting and recommitment to life.
For me, I have never felt so alone in this world after his death. The death of a parent can also completely disband a family for a time as each individual finds their way within the cauldron of grief.
I went deep and in that there was no one who I felt, or allowed to meet me in that space. I became totally disillusioned in humanity for a time in the direct aftermath. Only in that place could I see that I was crossing the divide myself and facing my own mortality of ultimate aloneness in transition from this world to the next. I also followed him home, wanting to ensure he was safe.
This was nothing new to me, having been naturally inclined to such mediumship work of passing souls on from a young age, yet never knowing that was what I was doing.
I am writing this piece to share my own process of death, life and grief firstly to birth a new time for myself but also to provide perhaps a little support or solace to another in a time that is supremely difficult to connect to anyone or anything that genuinely offers support.
Grief can be a time in the absolute wilderness of the soul.
In my grief, I let everything go.
I had no interest in the things that once fuelled my passions. There was a shutting down and dismantling of everything within me I formally loved. I was put on eternal pause.
I could not have foreseen this reaction nor understood the effect loss of this kind would have on me and those closest to me. My ego thought I had it all figured out but it was a spiritual bypassing trick that could not stand up in the raw primal energy of the unpredictable and all-consuming grief that settled within me. I made decisions I perhaps would not have made in a "rational" frame of mind, but I cannot determine the validity of that statement either as this was death and life working through me in tandem with a force I could not control...who was I to attempt to control this eternal flow?
It’s been one year and in this year of walking across the death/life divide, I have met the most heart wrenching loneliness.
I have a pain in my heart for all the places those I thought were allies could not meet me in my time of need nor could they. Grief is a solo journey. The pain is just as deep for myself and the ways I have tried to run from myself to cope with the intense emotions that come like a tsunami taking me down for days at a time. There are whole months I have written off as I travelled the inner realms of loss.
“In some northern European cultures, the season of grieving the loss of someone close was known as a period of living in the ashes. This extended time was an era of descent, a movement into the underworld where the bitter tincture of grief was meant to be churned and metabolized into a medicine for the community. It was a sacred time, a time-out-of-time, in which the primary work was digesting sorrow. We have felt and seen the swirl of ash in the air. We are all being asked to do the sacred work of transmuting loss into wisdom.”
I am no stranger to the fires of extreme alchemy.
This initiation has been my greatest to date.
I hear him constantly in my ear; the way he would say things to me before but now with a higher perspective which is really fun!
He has been orchestrating magic in his wake, of alignments that can only be spirit’s doing.
I am grateful for the teachings that were sorrowfully imparted through this season of human life despite all the pain.
I see the gifts that are blooming in me to help others in similar places.
May all those who have lost loved ones find the way home to themselves in perfect time.
“Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.
Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again. “