Have you recently lost a loved one?
It’s my sense that I’m not alone here, and that many who have lost someone have lacked the usual rituals that were commonplace during pre-Covid times.
Rituals of closure are important for two reasons:
- A ritual allows the living to more fully come to terms with the loss
- It gives the departed one a sense of peace, particularly if the departure was marked by some tragic or traumatic event.
It’s my belief that the recently departed one may be experiencing a sudden shock of being unexpectedly removed from earthly existence.
S/he may also be in a kind of limbo/purgatory state between the early experience and the “settled” non-physical experience.
Even if one does not accept my beliefs, a ritual might help.
That’s particular true for those of us who are for various reasons are “unchurched” or “spiritual but not religious.” For these folks, finding a proper ritual can prove to be a challenge.
In that spirit, here’s a simple ritual my family and I performed:
- Gather close family and friends in sacred space
- Place an image of the loved ones in the center of this sacred space. Optionally, Include relevant artifacts from the beloved’s life
- Begin with a prayer/offering/invocation to mark the passage into sacred space
- Each survivor directly addresses the departed one. These may be things they want to share and may include what’s been unsaid during “life.
- Close with a prayer/invocation/whatever-appropriate asking for the departed one’s peaceful passage.
What rituals have you used or heard about? What has brought you comfort after the recent passage of a loved one?