The Lights are on and Somebody IS Home

small christmas tree

The beauty of writing a blog is the free flow of thoughts. Unlike a book where one chapter leads to the next in a logical form, here I will write in no special order. Writing as thoughts light up for me as it were…which leads to today’s blog…

R shared a birthday with Martin Luther King, January 15. We always left the Christmas lights on the tree lit until his birthday. It became a ritual of sorts and always made the often dreary first days of January warmer and brighter for us. Even after we parted, I managed to keep the lights on until then, a quiet remembrance. Since he died, with my husband Richard’s blessings, we keep the lights lit until the 15th each year in memory. And we always will. Each time we remember the dead, the love of our thoughts, feeds them. Rudolf Steiner suggests that our loving thoughts of the dead are not only their food but also their art. They know what we do and they appreciate it….actually need it.

Rituals are important. I can imagine as the Community of Spirits grows, we will create and share rituals to honor the dead in many ways. Based on some of my readings of Steiner, I’ve begun a new ritual to honor R’s crossing of the threshold. I am creating a ritual to honor his death day, July 28. Let me say this, in order to celebrate his death here in the physical, I first had to deeply grieve it. I would never suggest to someone in the early stages of grief that the date of their loved one’s death is cause for celebration. Never. That would be an act of violence to one who suffers. However I have read something of Steiner’s on this that is so beautiful, it makes me weep. Let me try to share it with you here.

Steiner posits that none of us, with perhaps the exception of the highest of initiates, remembers his birth into the physical. (Yogananda asserts that he did for example.) Our memories begin sometime after. However, he states that all of us remember our death, the moment when we cross the threshold from the sensible to the supersensible world. As we travel through the various stages between death and rebirth, we always see behind us that moment when we realized, “My body died and I still exist.” The ecstasy, the ineffable joy, the pure freedom of that realization travels with us throughout our entire time in the unseen world until we reincarnate back into the physical. We know without any doubt whatsoever that there is a part of us that is immortal….that we will always be growing and evolving.

Steiner says that if we only realized how that moment will impact us, time after time, we would never again fear death. It would become the most important, most poignant and one of the happiest days of our lives. One to be celebrated.

So now that enough time has passed and the most agonizing phase of grief and mourning have somewhat settled (for one will cycle through phases of grief and mourning many times, spiraling through hopefully on a higher plane each time, metabolizing the grief and transmuting it into spiritual growth), I begin the celebration of R’s death in the physical and birth into the supersensible. This past July 28th for the first time, I walked along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. We loved the ocean and lived by it for a good part of our lives together. There is something sacred and mysterious about the very place where the ocean meets the shore, the life force, the chi, the prana, the Ruach. The ebb and flow, alpha and omega, inhalation, exhalation, inspiration, expiration…always and forever. I can feel him walking by my side, sharing happy memories and hear him saying, “Thank you.” It is what I hope will become a yearly event.

And now that I’ve shared these beginning thoughts about rituals with you, I can turn off the lights…until next time.

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