As an End of Life Care doula we are taught to recognize, develop and honour rituals as we empower our clients and their families do the same.
We all have rituals in our daily lives
Rituals offer us comfort and familiarity.
Rituals help us make and take time to just be. Rituals bring us together and empower us in our aloneness.
They motivate us and give us a way to focus our attention and intentions.
They help us mark life events and give us opportunities in this crazy world to acknowledge the present moment with a reverence that doesn’t seem silly while allowing us to recognize the sacred of the day.
Here are some of mine:
- Morning stumble to the bathroom, morning greeting with the dogs morning cup of coffee while I sit on the couch with my Hubs.
- Thursday flier reading and grocery list writing.
- Birthday celebrations. Mine and others. The cake, the candles, the presents.
- My daily walk.
- Watching the Sun rise and set.
- Writing in my journal.
- My evening personal well being check in with myself.
Think of some of yours.
I’m thinking about rituals because as a doula with the dying, it’ll be part of my role but also because I’m going to need my own ritual to help me cope with the losses I’m going to face.
Every single one of my clients is going to die. Sure, I’ve signed up for this and I wouldn’t do such a thing if I thought it would be an impossible task BUT I am still a human being. A sensitive human being and I’m going to need my own way to move through those losses that’s meaningful to me, and honours something about them personally.
But here’s another situation where a death ritual can be helpful.
Someone will die and while we don’t know them, we know of them, and we feel sad about their death. It’s a loss.
We might feel silly for this but those feelings are real, no matter what anyone says and it can be therapeutic to do something to honour them.
When George Michael died, I sat in the bathtub ALL DAY, playing his songs and mourned him. I was also mourning all the memories that went along with those songs. Our feelings can be pretty complicated.
You should have seen me when Princess Diana was killed…
Your emotions are usually about that person and something personal to you too.
ANYWAY, I’m not suggesting you go run a hot bath and cry over every person that dies but it can be very nice to do this:
Write the person’s name on a piece of paper. Hold them in your mind and think about what it is you so admire and appreciate.
Think about anything they gave you- Prince gave me Purple Rain and that gorgeous achey feeling I get every time I hear it. Luke Perry gave me Monday night doughnut parties with friends -and light yourself a candle. Then just let it burn for a bit.
( Please watch it. Don’t burn your house down)
Whenever you feel ready( keep a fire safe dish at the ready) light the paper on fire.
Thank the person, yourself and the memories with love as the paper burns. Do what you will with the ashes. Witchy Lael might suggest scattering them to the wind or burying them in the Earth. It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that you’ve now done something, a small thing, a meaningful thing and allowed those feelings to be. Expressions of grief and honouring the dead are important and healing rituals. Hopefully this helps you. I find, its helped me.
Tell me about your daily rituals! What are your favourites? Do you have any sacred ones? Please share if you feel comfortable! ❤