I love rituals. We do little rituals all the time. Maybe you call them celebrations, or spells, or morning/evening routines, but our lives are filled with them. We create of the biggest rituals to mark life milestones, like baptisms, birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, quincañeras, graduations, weddings, retirements, and of course, funerals.
Funerals are beautiful rituals where we celebrate someone’s life. They give us a chance to be sad and to grieve, both emotions allow us to say goodbye and let go. But what happens when someone hasn’t yet passed and you have the chance for proper goodbyes? Where the waiting game seems to be a perpetual state of mourning?
In this series of blog posts I want to explore these states, these emotions which we mostly consider dark and unattractive. And I want to see how I can create rituals for myself and my family which let us express our darkest of feelings to transform them into something beautiful that allows us to let go and say goodbye.
The Shadow and Rituals
This dark state I want to call the Shadow. As only in light and happiness can the Shadow exist. And in our earthly world, we all have Shadow. The Shadow isn’t something we need to repress, hide or avoid, we too must see the Shadow for its beauty and for what it can teach us.
For almost a year my family and friends have known my dad was dying. The doctors originally gave him 2 – 4 months and now on month 8, I am so grateful that he is still with us. Alas, I’ve been struggling to be present and grateful for this time. Instead, I’ve been living in an almost constant state of dread and fear, fear of the unknown, fear that I feel from my dad about his transition, fear that I feel from my mom that her life is about to be turned upside down. All this fear for something that hasn’t even happened yet!
Please read along and learn with me as I aim to embrace this Shadow with my family and turn this trial into a triumph.