Friday, April 12, 2013

Through the veil

Sometime around 4 a.m, my time, my mother passed through the veil to take her place among the ancestors.  That's about how I phrased it on facebook.  My friends were very loving and supportive.  Some of them are Christians, some atheists, some fellow pagans.  All of them were very sweet.  My in-laws as well. 

I am experiencing a muddle of emotions, as to be expected I suppose.  Relief is way up on the list.  Mom was dying by inches and for some reason prolonged it way beyond the expectations of the medical field. She lasted 16 days past her last dialysis, something that boggled their minds.  But while her physical health diminished, her dementia grew increasingly to the degree she was abusive with the staff at the nursing home.  Fortunately, they knew this wasn't her but her disease and were gracious and kind to her in return.  My sisters sat vigil with her daily up into the night until they had to go home and get some sleep.  Because of this, Mom was alone when she slipped away.  Oddly, I think she planned it that way.

Other emotions that go together are grief, sorrow and sadness, of course.  They aren't really the exact same emotion although they are similar.  Don't ask me to explain the different right now.  My brain isn't answering my calls today.  I will miss the phone calls we shared about every week even if we haven't had them since January.  I'll miss her filling me in on the town and family gossip.  And her expertise on homemaking and gardening.  While there are things I won't miss, I'm not going to dwell on those right now.  This is the time to mourn.

Excitement is another emotion...or rather anticipation.  When Steph called this morning (the baby sister) I was already awake so I took the only picture I've been able to find so far, a picture of both parents, and set up her place on the ancestor altar.  I learned from M, one of my greatest online friends, that Sekhmet is a Mother Goddess so I placed her statue on the ancestor altar.  I added Bast as well because they seemed to want to remain together.  I haven't done any rituals yet.  I will do some tonight although I probably won't call upon Mom tonight. I figure she needs time to adjust and get to know her surroundings first.  Beltane is approaching and I am so looking forward to it.  It has been one of my favorites but I never knew until recently that the veil is also thin on that day.

I look forward to having a different relationship with Mom.  In some ways we might end up closer than we were when she walked this earth.  I'm not assuming that...just considering it as a possibility.

The emotion I didn't anticipate was feeling liberated.  Much of my life was spent avoiding her disapproval, even keeping things from her to avoid a lecture, even into my 50s.  One of the biggest reasons I never wrote publicly was because I was afraid of her reaction. Maybe that was just an excuse but it was still very valid.  I knew it would break her heart to learn that I had left Christianity and was now a Pagan.  I couldn't do that to her, but I also had ulterior motives for hiding it from her.  I didn't want her to preach to me or tell me she was disappointed in me.  I heard that enough.  Feeling free this soon wasn't something I thought would happen. I don't worry now about what I write in my blogs or on facecrack.  I'm free to write and be comfortably me.

She was a good woman and selfless in her devotion to her god.  She gave of herself all the time to her church and the people she cared about.  The church will be full on Monday morning.  I wonder sometimes what to do with my Christian ancestors who looked down on non-Christians and thought they were doomed to eternal torment.  Did they get to go to their version of the afterlife?  Or are they now aware that there is more than one way to spend eternity?  Am I wrong to put her on the ancestor altar and pray to her?  I don't know. Time will tell, I suppose.  Or not.  I may never know the answer to those questions.  Mostly I have just prayed to the unknown and distant ancestors.  Now I think I might include those nearer in my prayers.

Tonight I will call upon Sekhmet and Danu and The Morrigan whose raven pentacle I wear all the time.  And I will tell them about Joyce and her love for life, her husband, her daughters and her grandchildren.  And how she did for others without regard for her own health.  And what a loving mother she was.  I won't say the problems we had in the past have vanished from my mind or my heart, but I will try not to dwell on them.  They are in the past and can never be repeated again.  That part of the relationship is over.  The new one begins.


  1. My condolences on the loss of you mother. I don't think there is a right or wrong here. Do what feels right and gives you peace.

  2. Thank you, Ellie. I had a really remarkable experience Friday night but I'm feeling a bit too poorly to do much writing right now. When I feel better I'll tell you about it.

  3. In our family's tradition, people pass from being the reminiscers to being the reminisced (joining the ancestors).

    1. That's beautiful, Jackie! Thank you for sharing that. :)