Friday, December 6, 2013

Celebrating With A Special Group

          Thanks to Ruth Ayres at DiscoverPlayBuild,  for this Saturday tradition of sharing our celebrations.  It's special to read all the posts.  

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Tweet at #celebratelu

           On Thursday, my daughter, son-in-law and I attended a Service of Remembrance given by Vitas, the hospice group who cared for my husband until he died.  At the end of the year, they hold this ceremony with a "reading of the names", in their words, "to remember and honor those who have died and gone before us."  It was bitter cold and only three families were able to come, but others were honored.  We participated in a few readings, listened to some lovely and reassuring words from one of the chaplains, and the names were read.  



           As each name was spoken, a gong sounded and a candle was lit.  We each then introduced ourselves and spoke our own loved one's name, told a little about our journeys.  It was a small celebration that felt good.  I was glad to share this evening with my daughter and son-in-law, and happy to speak with and be hugged by the chaplain who meant so much to us during the months and weeks before Arvie died.  The hospice group keeps me close and has been continually supportive.  It's been a few days more than three months since Arvie left us.  He is always in my thoughts and I miss him in many ways, but especially in the little celebrations of life we had together.  
            The evening closed with the following blessing.  I thought it would be good to share with all of you at this holiday time.  Blessings are good for all of us! A “currach” is a type of Irish boat. The poet wrote these lines for his mother. You can find more information about his life and work here.  


Beannacht (Blessing)” by John O’Donohue


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

       The rest of this blessing is found here.

36 comments:

  1. These lines have already worked their way into my heart: "...may a slow wind work the words of love around you..." Thank you for sharing this lovely poem, Linda. Hugs to you.

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    1. Thanks Catherine. So happy you liked it.

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  2. What a beautiful poem and a wonderful service. Thank you, as always, for sharing. Sending you hugs and prayers.

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    1. Thanks, Katherine. It was a good evening.

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  3. Lots of good comforting visuals in this poem. Thanks for sharing! But I especially liked the description of Service for Remembrance. There was one we could have attended when my mom died, but it was a cold evening, and we didn't go. It sounds like it would have been a good experience.

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    1. I think you would have liked it, Donna. It was a good evening and others seemed to feel the blessing of it, too.

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  4. What a beautiful post. This blessing has so many lines to glean, but I love this one.
    "May a slow wind work these words of love around you." I hope you feel words of love around you as you go through the holidays.

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    1. Thanks Leigh Anne. So happy you found words special to you, too!

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  5. Thinking of you, Linda, and of this ceremony - deep love weaves an invisible cloak around us, doesn't it? It's warmth stays with us always, blessing us even in loss, even in grief. How lucky we are to have loved this way!

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    1. Yes, you're so right, Tara. We are indeed lucky! Hope you're having a cozy time at home this weekend! The weather changed, didn't it? We were lucky in Boston!

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  6. What a special event to share with your family. Prayers and strength to you for this holiday season.

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    1. Thanks Jaana. I appreciate your wishes.

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  7. How wonderful that you were able to attend this service with your daughter and son-in-law. What a beautiful poem that touches the heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thanks Elsie-it was a special evening.

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  8. It sounds like a comforting event....I would have liked this for my dad....
    And so may a slow
    wind work these words
    of love around you,
    an invisible cloak
    to mind your life.
    You always introduce me to such lovely poetry. This one is beautiful and one I am going to keep in my notebook. Hugs to you.

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    1. Thanks Deb. You can take it for yourself, too-love that you will!

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  9. This sounds like a beautiful service. It is so nice that your daughter and son-in-law were able to attend with you. Thank you for sharing that beautiful blessing.

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    1. Thank you Andrea. It was good to share together.

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  10. The poem reminded me of fall and the beautiful colors that surround us. You posted many lovely thoughts that swirl around you. Thank you for sharing and so glad you were able to celebrate Arvie in such a special way with your family.

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    1. Thank you Mary Helen, and for the connection to fall. We've had such a lovely one, haven't we?

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  11. What a beautiful way to remember those who passed away. Christmas is a little bittersweet now ever since my younger sister died. But they're never gone because we keep them as they were in our hearts.

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    1. Thank you Earl. I hope this 'blessing' is one you will carry also. Yes, there will be always an empty place in our holidays, but we do remember!

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  12. Linda, I love this poem. It's a new discovery for me, and like Deb, it will go in my notebook so I can revisit it and share it. My favorite phrases - a flock of colors and a path of yellow moonlight. What a blessing for you and your family to spend this evening together.

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    1. Thank you Ramona. You should look up this poet to see what else he has written. I'm so glad you like it. I do too!

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  13. Linda,
    This poem is so beautiful. This sounds like a really special time of honoring and remembering Arvie. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you walk through this season.

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    1. Thank you Carol. It was indeed a special evening together remembering. I'm so glad we went!

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  14. Linda,
    Thank you for sharing the service for remembering. It is a heartwarming idea, allowing you to continue to speak of your loved one, letting that cloak of love woven about you bring you comfort, hope and a chance to say the name aloud once again. These compassionate caregivers are worth their weight in gold. And they help us to think about what really does matter in daily life. Too soon, our loved ones are gone and we have the memories but we need to hope we have said everything that needed saying. Sometimes the busyness of life carries us on and we don't take precious moments to remember and reflect. Your sharing helps me to think about what really matters.
    Janet F.

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    1. Thanks Janet, it is important to remember and to say the name. I do often, and don't pretend he's still around, but there are important things to tell about Arvie. I am grateful to have the hospice people in my life-a very, very lovely thing to come from the sadness.

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  15. You have such a simple and meaningful way of sharing with us, your virtual friends, that makes me feel like I am one of your most special friends. Thanks. The poem is lovely. When one of my friends was losing her husband, she said colors were dancing in her head. As if God tells the one left behind, all is well.

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    1. Thank you Margaret, I appreciate what you are saying and the words about your friend, too. There are mysteries we might never understand except for faith that they are meaningful personally.

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  16. It sounds like the service would have been difficult, but at the same time another step toward healing. I was really glad to read that you had family with you and that the hospice support has been so positive for you. I will be thinking about you during these holiday seasons.

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    1. Thanks Amanda-many of these things are tough, but still, as you write, healing, and also comforting.

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  17. Your post touched me. I don't have the words to express the emotion it created. Can I just send a hug?

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    1. I'll take a hug anytime, any day! Thank you, Terje! Sending one back, too!

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  18. Dear Linda,
    I got chills as I read your post. What a beautiful way to remember loved ones and how wonderful that the hospice group is still there to support you. Hospice workers are angels on earth. Thank you for sharing this evening and the blessing with us.

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    1. You are welcome Julie. I know that all of us at one time or another will need the comfort of hospice & I guess I wanted others to know how special they are, and how sweet this evening was.

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