In the end-of-life and funeral space, there is always the possibility of being boxed in and limited, such that we don’t bring to the table the rich diversity of life’s offerings.
Over the years we tried to keep the subject matter somewhat narrow, so as not to digress into economics or media or transport or community planning or vegie gardening. But life in fact embraces all these things and much more. Since we aren’t dead, each of these play a part in how we live to the end. So over the next year or so we’ll expand the horizon to be more inclusive of the bigger picture.
For this post we offer a couple of thought provoking pieces by John O’Donohue., the first written for his mother, Josie …
Beannacht / Blessing
On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
from Echoes of Memory (Transworld Publishing, 2010) reproduced by permission of the author’s Estate.
For Equilibrium, a Blessing:
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.
As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.
Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.
As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”
― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings