This afternoon I was reading the chapter on Purification in War and the Soul, and it suddenly started triggering insights and ideas. I'm going to skip explaining the context and just focus on what it brought up for me.
Despite all the work that I've done to heal from my grief over the past two years, I've never formally, ritually done anything to 'observe' Lohain's death besides the brief but potent memorial the day after his passing. I've never done anything to ritually reconcile myself to his death and the permanence of it. Frankly, I don't think I could have endured the pain of that admission until recently.
I don't like using words like "taint" or "pollution" -- but ancient and tribal cultures believed that being around the dead, involved with death, left their mark on the soul, and some of what was left on the soul needed to be cleansed, for a variety of reasons relating to the soul health of the individual and the community.
I feel like I've finally reached the place where I am ready to purify myself of the leavings of Lohain's death. . . letting the grave shrouds and the scabs be washed away.
I want to take a ritual bath and dress in a new white robe. I want there to be white candles and incense and multi-colored roses. I want to lay my husband to rest out of this life, while celebrating the life that goes on. I want to formally, ritually accept that he is dead and that my life goes on. I want to ritually celebrate a marriage with him that accepts and celebrates the fact that our union crosses the boundaries of flesh and spirit, instead of simply mourning for what I can no longer enjoy in this life.
This kind of thinking is not normal for me. Usually I simply analyze everything into the ground or have flashes or insight or sudden experience. It's very rare for me to yearn for a ritual observance of this degree of intention and formality.
I think it's going to come after my vigil next week. The vigil will affirm the depths to which his death has taken me, my connection with Ereshkigal, the path I'm all -- all the positive qualities of darkness and the underworld which I embrace and affirm. And when the dawn comes, I'll observe this ceremony, a purification and rebirth.
I think this is part of what I was moving toward with the re-naming of this journal. . . But in ways I can't put into words. . . Maybe that Autumn is the inevitable aftermath of a Summer that can never return. We can only move on to new cycles, and if we can not reconcile ourselves to our losses, then we cripple ourselves.