April 24th, 2012

selkies

I am to perform a memorial service later today.

One of the things that strikes deepest about priestessing, is that I am not only tasked to serve my deities.  I am not only tasked to serve as a bridge between spirit and human experience/ humankind.  I'm not only tasked to help out the random spirits that come knocking on my door at 3AM, or to deal with harmful spirits bothering someone else.

I am to minister.  In some cases, it means providing a listening ear and a hug.  In others, purifying someone's home, blessing a baby (which I love) or to officiate a someone's wedding, or some other milestone ceremony.

The hardest ones, though, are the funeral and memorial services.  I can remember being a child, and when my friends and I would find a dead animal, we'd bury it and hold a memorial service, even though doing so meant that we would get in trouble if the teachers caught us.  When home and playing in the yard, just myself and my spiritual guardian, and the trees, I can remember talking to them about what death was like, what happened, were different sorts of beings might go.

And I can remember deep grief when an uncle passed away of a heart attack, even though I "knew" where he went and that he no longer was dealing with a aging body.  And I remember deeper grief as my grandfather, the only one I'd ever known at the time, passed away.  I remember the burning anger that his last few years were not better, and that ultimately he'd died alone in a nursing home that always smelled of death when I visited.  I remember it being deeper when my grandmother met the same fate.  I was in high school at the time.  I think this is when my path sealed.  I plunged deeper into my studies with the knowledge that the path of a priestess was the one I was to walk, and that it would not be some "entry level lay person" calling.  I also remember being challenged.  And a terrifying ordeal it was, though I may not write exactly what transpired.  I literally could not bear the thought of some other person having the level of pain that I did, and no one that they could safely turn to due to religious problems.

Later today, I will be performing a memorial service, for the pet/companion of a friend.  Even though I did not personally know said rat, he was very dear to her.  And I knew before getting up, that when I would check my messages, that I was going to find some sad news.  The work of a memorial service is not so much for the departed, though it is for them and their journey onward.  Mostly, it is about comforting and healing those left behind, or at least starting the process.  I am glad that I can do this work, to provide for others, at least somewhat, the kind of comfort that was not available to me so long ago.