I remember it as one of the most sad, painful, and achingly beautiful days I have ever experienced.
Today we cried and talked and wondered at what her daughter would have been like, and we remembered how deep and wild and precious life is, and discovered a deep wealth of peace there.
For her birth and death changed me, and called me to make a change.
Together her parents choose a church that had a labyrinth at it’s center, and we lined it with candles, asking that as the community choose a stone from a basket at the beginning and to fill it with all the love and blessings they could while they walked the labyrinth leaving it in the center.
That day was truly a celebration of her life and a true reflection of the wider community who loved her and her parents and who wanted to be there, to hold space and to support, it was overwhelming and beautiful and somehow I managed to convey the message they asked me to share without loosing it myself!
They say it takes a community to raise a child, but I can tell you from the depth of my heart that it also takes a community to grieve one too.
After the ceremony strangers came and said how beautiful the ceremony was, and when loved ones said it was like I had been doing it all my life, I realized that life change needed to happen sooner perhaps then I had planned.
Change in inevitable, and life moves on even if we don’t want it to.
Today I also remember the poem I read that day written by Mary Frye. A beautiful poem full of beauty and the reminder that life is Wild and Deep and Precious.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye