Is it possible to live through this challenging time, and mourn the death of someone close?
We can and we must.
Historically, we use ceremony, ritual and community gatherings to navigate our losses.
Yet, in the midst of the pandemic we are told not to gather in groups.
However, we can create small personal, homespun rituals to help us grieve.
- Build a shrine to your beloved:
- Place photos, candles, water, stones, and mementos, keep it uncluttered and meaningful. Bring what reminds you of them. Take time to be present, light a candle, sit in peace, talk to them, and cry. It’s your story.
- Set your table for dinner, and invite people to join you, with whatever technology works, then eat at the same time. Set a place for the missing person, talk about them. Light a candle.
- Decorate a box: Fill it with keepsakes: small things that are important and tender. Write a letter and tuck it in.
- Plant something. Place something meaningful into the soil before you add the plant.
- Create a garden or a planter on your windowsill, put their name on it.
- Draw a picture, and hang it in the tree for the breeze to share.
- Write them. Again and again.
- Go outside.
- Take flowers to the ocean, or stones, or leaves, or driftwood. Read a poem, talk to them. Take a friend with you, your pet, or your family. Go alone.
- Share with others who are grieving this loss. Share photographs, stories, share your experience. Cry, laugh, sit in silence.
- Set an intention by lighting a candle, turn off your cellphone, take a deep breath.
Rituals are repetitive (with your plant, you need to keep watering it). They have a beginning and middle and end. They are powerful and they are simple.
You will know what feels right for you. Trust yourself.
Keep doing it.