Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bereavement Ritual

Sunday 14 June, 2020.

A bereavement ritual honours the person, pet, job, relationship, or whatever or whoever has died.

A ritual for letting go is a helpful way to deal with grief.
Combine with essential oils to banish negative energies.


“The present life and all its experiences are fleeting; clinging to anything in this world is like chasing a rainbow. If we keep this in mind constantly we will not waste time on mundane pursuits, but spend it wisely.”

Kathleen McDonald: How To Meditate

Death is part of the whole life process; it completes the circle started at conception. Without death there could not be life. We all know that death is inevitable; however, we usually try to forget what we see as an unpleasant future event until it touches us or someone that we know.

Bereavement and grieving rituals help you to express whatever emotions that you need to. And these emotions can be more complex than you expect. Death can make you feel guilty, angry, even happy if the person or pet you loved was suffering. However, you might feel that the only appropriate emotion is grief.

Modern Western culture has lost many of its rituals, and death and bereavement are no exception. You might find that you don’t express your feelings and bottle them up instead. Repressed feelings have a way of surfacing when you least expect them to, and often in an unhealthy way.

Traditional periods of mourning where you wear black clothes, have been shortened to a few days leave from work. You might be made to feel guilty if you don’t recover quickly. The wailing and weeping of other cultures is often considered excessive, and very little ritual remains around death.

This makes it important for you to find and adapt or make a bereavement ritual for yourself…

The bereavement ritual is very useful for the end of a pets life, the “death” of a job, relationship, stage of life or any life changes involving loss.

Aromatics and essential oils have always been used in death rituals in all cultures, whether to honor the dead or to soothe and help let go of feelings.


A Bereavement Ritual

The intent of this ritual is to honor the person, pet, job or relationship that has died.

    • Choose an essential oil to banish negative energies. Rose is excellent for grief. Consider the character of the deceased, and include an oil that reflects this. Also choose an oil to honor your own feelings. Light your burner with these three oils.
    • Meditate on impermanence, that the grief you now feel will pass, and that you too will die. Bring the deceased to mind, and recall shared moments. Think of the deceased fondly, and thank him/her/the situation for sharing time with you.
    • Visualize the person, situation or other, with yourself enclosed in a circle of light – white, gold, or whatever color you resonate with at the time. Creatively imagine a farewell ceremony between you.
    • When it feels the right time to let go, visualize the circle dividing like a fertilized ovum, separating the two of you. Let the deceased go in peace, and send the person your blessing as his or her circle of light spins away through the universe.
    • Remain quietly with your feelings, and ask yourself if there is any emotion you need to express. You may want to cry, wail, shout, write, dance, play a drum, or light a candle. Give yourself permission to do the thing you need to do, as long as you don’t hurt anyone else. Either do it now, or make a plan to do it soon.
    • Sit quietly for a long as you need. End the ritual by reflecting that you have honored that which is dead, and your own feelings.

This ritual can be repeated if required; death and transition can affect you for longer than you think, or society finds acceptable. Listen to your feelings and be kind to yourself.


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