Truths in Death
My sister’s death and graveside service and the memorial that followed have given me time to think about perception. It is often thought that you shouldn’t speak “ill” of the dead. This is not healthy from a psychological perspective.
If there is truth to be told, there are reasons to consider telling it. Truths left untold can wound the soul. Truths that are silenced in a burial can be quite damaging. Speaking an honest reality promotes long-term healing.
The image we have in life of a person may not be the image we think we need to idealize in death. Before we tuck that squeaky-polished image into the mind, we need to ask questions: How will this hinder me going forward? In burying a truth, who is hurt? While we might want to polish the entire thing up, remember that the elements tarnish what we bury. Bodies decompose, stuff falls apart, time fades things in a negative way, and sooner or later the pieces fall apart.
With the decomposition of that which has been buried, we must also ask ourselves what it is we’re burying. We aren’t burying objects; we’re burying history. When we step back for a moment, it conjures up the thought of burying a family health history. And why would we bury vital facts that could save lives? How would that benefit us or those that follow after us? It’s the same with other history that has transpired.
If we can avoid creating generational trauma and the wounding of the soul, doing so will serve us well in the long run.
We all have a soul, though at times, some might doubt that they have a soul. You have it, and your spirituality, in whatever form it takes, stems from your soul. Your focus might be nature, walking, traveling to undiscovered places, making connections with others, or sitting in silence. The possibilities are endless!
Serving up an offering of love and generosity enables us to not wound ourselves.
I’m not good at burying things that need to be spoken. I’ve found that speaking the truth is far easier and less wounding, and that it serves us better in the healing process. Secrets can kill us. This is very true of family secrets.
I recently finished Healing the Soul Wound by Eduardo Duran. Eduardo is writing from the Native American perspective, is a psychologist, and offers up some wonderful insights on why we each need to address
out individual pain.
A ceremony of my making for my personal memories that I want to work with is fine for addressing my perceptions and reality. I choose to do it privately.
I posted the question of what is taken from a memorial or funeral address and how it affects us, in hopes I’d get some great insights. I think I posted in the wrong place. The responses that came in were about the celebrations that were had: a party for the soul of the dead and the lives of the living.
As I sit here thinking about it, having a true celebration of life with no speeches doesn’t seem so bad. We still reflect on their lives. We still remember the good, bad, and ugly stuff. The truth of life is that none of us are saints, and the saints get elevated after death when they can’t protest the atrocity. This is a good thing for me, as I’m a huge Mother Teresa fan.
Maybe the best thing for me to do with all of what was said is to let it stand. Allow for all perceptions to linger and move on.
Love you, sis. We set you free and take our memories with us, allowing them to be what they are in our minds and hearts. I’ll create my own ceremony for you. That’s the way I’ll honor you.