Trigger warning—pic of deceased
How I will remember him. Except he’s not in that damn bathrobe. 😉
Ever since I started circling with Bluestar, I started to visualize Pagan’s I knew dying who were ailing from cancers. I knew with Christians it was so quiet, rarely any music, and sometimes the Pastor made it in time to read Psalm 23. Then my mother’s pastor arrived in the last moments of her life, which is rare, he read:
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
And I felt the divine magic that Pagans try to produce with every ritual they do. But somehow, these words were my mother’s chosen words. This was her magic. And it happened. It was like her permission to enter the afterlife. My mom was surrounded by her husband, her two kids, her daughter-in-law, and her best friends, Yvonne and Lynn. I wasn’t able to sing or chant for my mom. I could barely talk. I had no good words for my mother’s passing. Thank goodness for Psalm 23.
However, whenever I knew of a pagan ailing of a disease, I’d hear chanting in my head. Then when I was in the shower or alone in the house, I’d sing:
We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return,
Like a drop of rain
Flowing to the ocean.
Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn
All that dies shall be reborn
Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain
All that falls shall rise again
It was my way of coping with the possibility of their death. Sometimes, I couldn’t get through the first verse without tears. I just imagined this is how they’d want to be surrounded when their time came. Music, hand holding, incense, oils, flowers, tears, laughter, and poetry was my envisionment of my friend’s send off.
So far the only Pagan I’ve known personally who had this for him was Keith. My idea of the perfect dying was inspired by this episode of ER where an elder of a buddhist community dies and she/he is surrounded by monks and nuns chanting. It was years ago, but I thought, “YES! That is how I want to go!” The Catholics inspired me too when my neighbor Linda died in a very similar manner to Keith. Linda’s Catholic church was lit up with incense, candles, an amazing eulogy, and passionate singing, bending on knee, and freely flowing tears. Again, magically uplifting so spiritual you almost thought Linda was floating around the sanctuary like an angel. Or whatever, but you could feel her there because this was her’s
Letters for our dearly departed
I think about 30 people in the Bluestar Tradition, including me, have said in response to Keith’s beautiful send off to the afterlife, “That’s what I want! That’s how I want to pass!”. Quite honestly, I thought that’s what everyone wanted all along, My pagan peeps anyway. In this experience, I’m learning that I need to verbalize my needs.
Sharing pictures of Keith because he’s the most recent passing. Eventually I WILL find the pictures of my mother holding my daughter as a very little baby. I want to post those too because its so important remember.
I like this version of “We All Come from the Goddess”, but some of the photos are a bit corny for me.