There is no time to grieve now, there is no time. There is only time for labor in the cold.
~ Stephen Vincent Benet
We have no time to grieve. We face daily tragic deaths, murders, and many disappointment in our daily lives. We work so hard to keep ourselves and our families afloat. The enormity of loss is overwhelming.
In the last few days, we crossed the one million Americans have died of Covid-19, the Russia Ukraine war, witness a brutal murder of several young children and their teacher to list a few tragedies and death we experience.
The nature of this depth of loss on this scale is that it has affected all of us differently. There are those whose lives have returned to normal with in-person work, school, and social events. But those who have lost loved ones are in the midst of deep grief. We all grieve!
If we don’t create the space to grieve, these deaths will continue to compound in our minds, bodies and spirits.
We all need places to grieve, worship and civic organizations to join in with services of memorial and lament, moments of silence, or ceremonies of remembrance. We have shouldered much grief. There needs to be ritualized and intentional space to acknowledge this together.
Rituals are a deep communal way of remembering and connecting us to the transcendent order, to divinity, to our god or goddess. They link us with our ancestors and with the origins of historical events. Rituals both renew and transform the human spirit into something that is unlike the prior state and serves as an ordering philosophy, giving life, value, and a context by which one can understand the present and the past. Rituals simultaneously express and create the sentiment of reliance on a moral and spiritual power that is thought to transcend the realm of the human body.
We can create ritual in any space.
Here are a couple offerings that may help you ritualize, remember, and honor your ancestors:
- You can begin by writing a “love letter” to the person you are wishing to honor. Find a quiet place — in nature, a quiet room, in front of an alter, or anywhere you can drop into your heart. Read your letter to your loved one with or without others that are present. The expression of your love is a healing balm for your heart.
- The HeartWay invites you to share your love by participating in our eternal online memorial. Honoring and remembering your loved one in this beautiful and heartfelt celebration with this long lasting memory. The Memory Tree is a special online memorial for our loved ones. This tree symbolizes human life, full of hope and strength - with blossoms that represent love and remembrance.
- Patricia Danaher shares insightful wisdom on how rituals heal and grief. Read her article, Rituals To Heal The Grieving. She has also created beautiful ritual kits to help you create a sacred space to honor, love, and remember your children and animals that have passed.
- Taking 5 minutes to breath, light a candle, bring a memory into your heart, pray, and be within your silence.
Please remember there is no wrong way to honor the dead. Find your way! Listen to your heart whispers.