Our Ancestors

by Ailim

Memories of our loved ones also keep their Spirit alive, as our thoughts ensure that they remain close to us, as we knew them. This aspect of remembering also helps the bereaved overcome their Loss.

Our Ancestors were once like us, walking this Earth, breathing its air, tasting the cool water, feeling the warmth of the Sun, seeing Nature unfold through the seasons. Now they are transformed, their spirits enjoying another level of Life that we, earthbound as we are, cannot yet see. They are still with us, perhaps in the elements or another life form, or perhaps still in the Spirit world which can connect to ours, especially at Samhain when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. This is why we can still sense them at times, especially when we feel vulnerable, or are in danger. Our Ancestors will try and protect us if they can, or guide us with their wisdom, if only we remain open to them.

How do you feel about Death?

This is a question that everyone has, at one time or another, thought about, and most have quickly shut the door in fear of that which they don’t want to face, just yet.
Do you find yourself reluctant or afraid of facing Death? Or are you happy about what is inevitable, accepting that whatever happens, it is the one thing that you cannot escape. Death is part of Life. Once you are born, you begin to die. It is the one thing that cannot be ignored in Life. When you can face Death with a free will, then you will be able to live Life to its fullest; you will be free of Death’s burden.

We should all prepare ourselves for when we reach Death’s doorway. It will help your family if they know what you would like them to do at this time. It is not morbid to consider these things in advance, nor is it distasteful to discuss whether you would like to be buried or cremated. It is something that everyone should consider because it will be the last act in your Life.

When we face Death, is there anything that we should have done in Life? Quarrels to make-up? Saying ‘thank you’ to someone who has done a kindness, or perhaps finishing something to leave behind?

Life today is full of wondrous inventions. Many save lives, others save time. Yet are we better off with all these modern conveniences? Are we friendlier, healthier?
It appears that we eat more than our Ancestors, not because of need but because of greed. Therefore, we are using up our Earth’s resources without thought for the future generations. We are more prone to being over-weight due to our modern life style, where machines have taken over the strenuous exercise of years gone by. We are encouraged to spend money on exercising and new fad diets to reduce our weight. We live in insulated boxes that keep us isolated, not only from each other, but from the very world in which we live and are part of.

Can you smell rain in the air? Can you feel the wind’s breath? Do you see the moon path or just darkness outside your window? Can you sense the change in the weather, or hear the robin above the crow? Can you hear the grunt of a hedgehog in the night, or hear the rustle of the leaves in an autumn breeze?

Death
What is Death? Is it the end, or the door to a new beginning?

Death is all around us: the death of a bird from the scattered feathers on a lawn; the dying breeze as the clouds move onwards; the Death of the sun as it sinks in the West and its re-birth each morning. Seeds are planted to bring new Life, yet they come from the death of the flower or nut. Death is in the seasons, as each gives way to the next. When the snows of winter cover the land, Death is part of Life, as the old gives way to the new, and spring heralds a new beginning.

Think about Death, not in a morbid way, but as a positive beginning that we must all face. Each has a purpose in Life, and each will have a purpose in Death. Live your Life to its fullest because your Ancestors made it possible. And when your time comes, know that it is not the end but the beginning of a new existence.

We should not be afraid of Death, but welcome it and do our best to prepare ourselves, for our family’s sake.

Let grief be a cleansing, let none hide their tears, for it is their loss they are feeling, knowing that they are left without your smile, without your love. Let them know that you will meet again and give them courage to face their future, without you.

Death is but a doorway, and the key lies with the Goddess who turns it at her will.