The Spiral Of Life: In Memory Of My Grandmother Linda (1947 - 11/10/2008)
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Article ID: 12976
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Author: Pall Tryggr Ageirr
Posted: November 16th. 2008
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Some think that life is seen as a linear approach. You are born, live for a predetermined time frame, (either the deity of your choice decides or itís a matter of fate and random chance) you serve your purpose, and then you die. You go into the earth or are cremated (depending on the wishes of your family and the person deceased.) Your friends and Family morn you for a predetermined amount of time, Hours, Days, Months, or even several years. Eventually they get on with their life. Death is a natural process like Birth, love-making, breathing, and eating. Its as inevitable as having to pay taxes. Still, rather it is inevitable or not it hurts a lot when someone you were close to passes on.
Depending on your religious viewpoint, If you are a Christian; when you die, you go to the pearly gates presumably to be judged by the big guy himself. If you are deemed to have lived a righteous and moral life and served Your Lord Jesus Christ well. You will be rewarded paradise in Heaven, a place to rest, to be one with the divine and a chance to catch up with other loved ones long since gone.
If however, you are deemed to have not honored Your God Properly, If you have lived a life that Christians deem ďsinfulĒ in anyway and you had not atoned for such acts. Then you will be condemned to the fiery pits of Hell, where you will spend an eternity atoning for your actions and will never get to taste the sweet fruit of basking in the presence of the Divine Creator God of Christianity. Of course we donít want to think about this unsavory part of the Afterlife, do we? Still other sects hold alternative views, some feel that Hell is only temporary, where you do for a predetermined timeframe until God feels you have paid for your sins and then you will be allowed into Heaven. And still otherís think that after death our souls go into a hibernation of sorts until the Second Coming of Christ. And Then at that time will the souls be judged and allowed into Heaven or not. It just depends on the positions of your Denomination, Church, Pastor, and You and your set of personal beliefs.
Still others of the various religious beliefs hold their own interpretations of the Afterlife.
Some beliefs, such as Wicca believe in the concept of reincarnation, still even among the Wiccans not all believe that. I think even among religious groups it comes down to personal interpretation and belief.
However, it seems we all can agree that the spirit of our loved ones will live on like an eternal candle burning bright in our hearts and memories.
As I stated earlier, some believe that Life is a linear cycle we go from point A to Point B, and that is it. But Others, like The Wiccans I talked about earlier see life as a Cycle, a Cycle of Birth, Life, Death, and Then Rebirth again. We only have to look outside to see these changes. I look outside at the time of this writing and I see the cold depths of Winter set in and take hold of not only our barren land but also our hearts and spirits. However, donít fret because the promise of Spring time and of sunshine, and flowers, and sweet scents in the air is just around the corner.
Fire may burn and destroy but at the same time it can cleanse and purify. Just look at the explosion of Mt. St. Helen, the volcanic eruption destroyed that natural wildlife and scenery roughly twenty some years ago. But now if you look at that same area itís as beautiful as ever. Death can be a bitter pill to swallow, but itís necessary. Just because we know that it is necessary that doesnít make it any easier. But maybe if we can understand death and understand that the Divine has created it to serve its noble purpose, maybe that understanding can help us to heal our emotional wounds that we may be harboring today.
I readily admit that when it comes to the notion of the afterlife that I am a bit Agnostic, in the fact that I donít know what happens to a spirit at the time of death. I really donít think anyone can honestly say for certain what happens to us at the time of death. That is between Us and God, the all knowing divine force. Our best bet is speculation and guess work, and yes Faith. No Matter ones beliefs, they all require a bit of faith.
Donít get me wrong, I have my own set of personal spiritual beliefs, and though I may not exactly know what happens to my soul at the time of death, I have Faith. Faith that the Divine will take care of me and protect me. Maybe Iíll waltz into Heaven and drink some wine with the big guy himself, or maybe Iíll go to Hell for my transgressions. Maybe Iíll be reincarnated as a quaint little butterfly, or a mighty Lion. Maybe Iíll raise a glass in honor of all the fallen brethren I know in the halls of Vahalla, where The Ancient Norse believed that heroís and brave soldiers went when they died in glorious battle. Who knows? Only God knows where I will end up. But no matter what I have Faith.
Why am I talking about Death and the afterlife? Well recently I felt the sting of passing. I found out Monday night that my Grandmother passed away at sixty-one years young. I got off work when I heard the news via a telephone call from my mom and later on from my dad. It hurt me, It still hurts me. Mainly because I had to find out second hand and that I could not be there when she took her final breath.
It hurts because I didnít get to tell her how much I loved her or that I was sorry for not being around much lately because Iíve been too busy working and trying to live my own life and trying to carve out my place and position in life as a man. In fact, it hurts me to think that not only did I not spend enough time with my grandmother, I hardly talk to any of my family, except when I see them at work, or if I need a ride, or if they wanted to find out something from me or whatever the reason may be. It made me come to a realization that all of us, as a whole, the entire human race, in this computer age, of the hussle and bustle, weíre too busy living our own lives, to busy to pick up a phone, or send an e-mail, or a text message to let someone close to us know that we are thinking of them.
It saddens me to think that our culture has de-evolved to such a level that we put family way down on the list of priorities. Iím hoping that by writing this letter/essay/confession whatever you wish to call it. That it may help me to rid my guilt. The guilt I feel for aiding this travesty of not holding the family in high regard, the travesty that we are all guilty of from time to time. I donít know if theyíll get to read this or not. Or if Iíll ever get to tell them this or not. But I hope one day I can muster up the courage and the strength to let them know that I love them, Iím thinking of them, and that Iím sorry that Iím selfish and am too busy doing my own thing to pick up a phone and call just to catch up.
I especially hope that my grandmother will forgive me for not letting her know how much she meant to me, and for her to know how sorry I was I wasnít able to visit her as much as maybe I would have liked toÖor as much as maybe I should have. Of course I know that my grandmother would not want me to feel guilty, or sad. And that I know that she loved me all the same.
Some of the positive things that have came out of this is that I am able to write this and to air my feelings and say the things Iíve always felt like I should have said, that needed to be said.
And also, I know that my grandma is not suffering any more, she had a long list of health problems. Ranging from Diabetes, Neuropathy, Congestive Heart Failure, Repertory Issues, the general aches and pains of getting old, and most recently had kidney trouble and was on dialysis.
When I mentioned Faith earlier, I must also mention that I have Faith in the fact that I know my Grandma was a self-professed Christian and believed that Jesus Christ was her Lord and Savior, and I have comfort that in knowing that, that she is in Heaven with her parents, My Nanny and Pa-paw, smiling down on us now.
Maybe if the Wiccan beliefs are true, her life-cycle will once again come full circle and she will come back to be with us once again. Only God knows, right?
However, I think that she would want us to remember her in the state she is in now, that she is happy, and without suffering wherever her soul may be. She would want us to not mourn her loss, but celebrate her life. And to remember all the positive memories weíve had of her. She would want us to cry her a river, but then, to build a bridge and quickly get over it. Though itís easier said then done, perhaps it is what needs to be done.
We need to be happy and positive and optimistic about all of this. And know that it was her time, that her Lord Jesus called her to be with him and her parents. And to know that she isnít in pain anymore or suffering from her ailments. I know that it will be hard. It will be. Especially difficult with the holidays just around the corner, now who are we going to have to complain to us that weíve left wrapping paper all over the living room floor? Or that someone left the turkey in the oven too long? It will be rough, no one said it wouldnít, and if they did then they are a liar. However, time will soon heal our wounds.
We will Soon step back into the Spiral Dance, and the cycle of life will come full circle. Though we mourn now, soon we will be back to our old selves again, and we will be celebrating this beautiful thing known as life. And you know what? Grandma wouldnít want it any other way. So letís stand up, wipe those tears away, stop mourning, and start celebrating.
In Loving memory of my Grandma: Linda Lou Richards (Odle) 1947- 11/10/2008.
Great Mother Goddess, and Great Father God: Please help guide my grandma and protect her while she transitions into the afterlife. and help her prepare for her re-birth in whatever form you deign fit. So Mote It Be! Blessed be!
Pall Tryggr Ageirr
Location: P, Ohio
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