Monday, September 24, 2012

R for Remembrance

Samhain is quickly approaching.

One of the major things that happens here at the Hearth of the Hunter (aka my home) is that our family's altar turns into specifically a larger version of our Ancestral Altar which is out all year long but take primary the focus on a much larger scale.

Being sick this past year has made me focus a lot more on when my time comes how I want to be remembered.  These past few years I was blessed by the Goddess to make friends with a wonderful woman I consider a sister.  Her name is Nora Cedarwind Young.  She has been a mentor to me, a friend, and someone who has taught me many things.  One of the things she has taught me is what I am going to share with you know.

Nora Cedarwind Young, ConVocation 2010
Photograph by Crystal T.

You see, Nora is a Death Midwife.  Her business is giving those who want them the tools to learn about dying with dignity within their home.  Teaching their family members what needs to be done to preserve the body, what forms are legally necessary plus many other important and valuable tools.  For more information about what it is she does, please visit her website Thresholds of Life.

One of the main exercises that Nora taught me is how do you want to be remembered?  When I first met her I was no way sick, and never thought about what would happen if I died.  In her class I took at PSG in 2008 when I first met her transformed my life.  Every year, during Samhain, I sit at my dining room table and pull out a notebook that contains my thoughts on what I want done when I die.  This includes many information such as my wishes to be an organ donate, what items I possess to be gifted to those I love, right down to what music I want performed at my burial to whom I want to perform it (you reading this Wayland Raven???).

After I review what I have written in the past, its time to make any corrections in my wishes that may have changed since last year as well as my yearly writing ritual of writing my own Obituary.  Yep you read that right, I write my own Obituary.  Every year things happen in our lives, some good (like the possibility of more children) and some bad (being preceded in death by a loved one).  Accomplishments can happen that one might want to be recognized for should the Goddess call me back into the Earth that we might want others to acknowledge us for when we pass on into the Summerland or while we are gone until we return again.

One of the websites I like to use look at when I prepare for my yearly writing is  There is a section that talks about a life using only six words.
One of the phrases I like is “I coloured outside of the lines.”  There are even a few books about the subject as well on Amazon.

This year for Samhain, I hope you join me in creating a new tradition for yourself if you are not doing it already.  In addition to honoring your Ancestors, write your own Obituary and honor yourself as well.

Blessed Be from,
Crystal T.

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