No one's died...that I'm aware of right now, but I was thinking about my great grandmother the other day. Usually when I do Spirit Work, I always ask to see if she's around. She never is. She's in her afterlife, possibly moved on to her next life. I'd love to communicate with her again. My earliest memories are of her and they're some of my favorites.
Checkers. We always played checkers together.
Blueberry tea with milk and honey always bring up memories of her. Of visiting her house, picking blueberries, cooking them in cream and honey--it was such a special treat!
When I was a teenager, my cousin and I ran into some vicious elementals and it was her voice that guided us out of the woods.
She's had a strong impact on my life, spiritually. I didn't know a whole lot about her, I was very young when she died. I remember going to her funeral and seeing great grandma asleep in a weird bed. I didn't understand why we were all there, while she was trying to sleep, or what the place was, it wasn't her house. Everyone was sad. My parents told me she was dead, but I didn't understand. But noticed that we stopped going to her house. Stopped playing checkers. Stopped picking blueberries and making cream.
I had a book with a kitten on the cover, who had a bowl of blueberries and cream (The Good Ole Days by Dave Werner, it's a Golden Book. I wish I knew whether or not I still owned it... I just want to read the story and see the illustrations one more time). It was my favorite book because it reminded me of great grandma Minda/y. I didn't understand it until I was older. I had gone to other funerals, but I didn't know those adults, but it didn't have an impact.
I got to thinking about our kids and how to handle death. Be honest, of course. But also try to help them understand. Obviously at a certain age, they're not going to understand, but I wish someone had tried with me. But then would they have been successful? That's the sucky thing about being an adult, I've forgotten what it's like to be a child and to have that innocence. And a child's understanding.
When grandma Hester died in September last year, even though my husband wanted to come and give his respects, it just wasn't appropriate for our children to be present. They're far too young.
My dad had a series of seizures a couple weeks ago. It got me thinking about my kids and death. Right now, Lycan loves his grandparents, but I don't know that he knows them...does that make sense? Like he doesn't tell us that he misses them. He knows them, in terms of seeing them, he gets excited...but if they disappeared from his life right now, I don't know that he'd notice. He's not at the age right now. As for Vin, he's 10-months-old.
Right now, like with Grandma Hester, it just wouldn't be appropriate, especially if Lycan were to see Grandpa "sleeping" in the box. He wouldn't understand and would want to try to wake him up, like I had been tempted to do with my great grandmother. I thought she was just asleep and was missing a family gathering. Someone needed to wake her up.
It's just not appropriate.
I don't know that I would take my kids to a funeral unless they wanted to go.
For me, and I will explain my beliefs to our kids, when the body dies, the soul leaves. That person's no longer there. It's just an empty shell. That body is not my Ancestor. My Ancestor is standing next to me. I feel no connection at all when I go to funerals. I don't cry. I'm not sad. I try to be there for family, while fighting off the fact that I'm being bombarded by others emotions (effin hate being an empath). It's just awkward. But I go to console my family. I go for my Ancestors, too. But I don't have a need to go. I never want to go for my own sake. For my own closure. It's just a body.
I mourn and grieve in my own way. I add their photo to the Ancestral Shrine. I light candles. Make contact. Give offerings. They're not gone until they choose to be.
I don't necessarily hate going to wakes or funerals, because of the family atmosphere. No matter our dramas, the family is there for a purpose. For a moment, they're able to love each other. To bond. To remember the good things, what families' for. It's a sorrowful beauty. Delicate. Yet strong.
I dunno. We're going to share with our kids what we believe happens when someone dies, then allow them to formulate their own ideas and beliefs. I'll let them decide if they want to attend. They should have their own way of mourning and saying see ya later, not just go out of obligation or expectation. Especially if they turn out to be Empaths like mommy and daddy. I don't want to be essentially be under attack by the sadness, ya know?
It's a subject to think about...to theorize about... I what would I do...we're going to find ourselves in this position eventually. How will we handle it? Guess we'll see when the time comes.