It has been a full couple of weeks, full meetings with couples who are planning for their summer 2016 weddings, and writing other ceremonies for this summer, emails back and forth with couples who are in their last few months of pre-wedding planning, fine tuning, and getting so excited, and then a few wedding ceremonies – the latest one on a hillside in Banff, with the most spectacular view, and a family that all participated with heartfelt comments and hugs and tears and laughter within the ceremony itself. So much joy, a ton of creativity, and a sense of blossoming hope.
And then there were the conversations with couples who are now a year and two years married. Wonderful, rich conversations about how real marriage is, and how difficult. The absolute need for us to connect at a real level about what is hard, and how to move through the tough bits gracefully.
After that, there was a blessed opportunity to participate in a family gathering at the committal ceremony for a dear friend, who was laid to rest in our local cemetery, next to her mom, dad and sister. It was a beautiful summery day, and we all took part in the most lovely ritual. A basket of dried flower petals, that had been collected in the house over the past year, was passed around our small circle. We each took a handful, and tossed them into the ground, overtop the hand-carved box that held her ashes. A gentle rain of flower petals covered the box until we could hardly see it at all. Beauty, as befitted her most beautiful spirit.
This was the post I wrote on my Facebook page a few weeks ago:
It is a glorious day in the mountains. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, trees are blossoming, and the green leaves of the poplars have unfurled and presented themselves to the spring day. It does not feel like a day to die. Or to think about dying. Or to talk about death. And yet last evening, I attended a “virtual” Death Cafe, via telephone, with my Celebrant colleagues, and so death is on my mind. The phone call left me with such a tender feeling, an openness, and I suspect a clearer appreciation of this blessed day. It was a wonderful opportunity to share time and space with others, to gently explore big ideas. Together we revealed, remembered and re-connected with the naturalness and the inevitability of death, and once again became aware of our one truly common link.
Today I am thinking of those who may be in fact, actively dying this day. On this day, may you know the presence and support of another human being. On this day, may you remember that you are loved. On this day, may you find a place of peace.