A MOTHERS DAY (AND FATHERS DAY)
CEREMONY FOR BEREAVED PARENTS
Bereaved mothers often talk about how difficult Mothers Day is, and although honoring mothers is a noble idea, our culture doesn't offer any truly meaningful ways to honor motherhood, especially for those of us whose children have died. For fathers, it is just as difficult to navigate Fathers Day.
So if you have lost a child and are saddened by the endless commercial reminders of these holidays, here is a gift you can give to yourself... a gift of healing and release.
1. Find a rose and take it into your back yard (or anywhere out in nature).
2. Remove three petals from the rose... the first to represent your loss, the second to represent the pain you're experiencing right now, and the third to represent the healing you intend for the future.
3. Hold the petals in your hands and blow into them three times. Let your pain, your tears, your hopes and your healing intention flow through your breath into the petals. Think of it as VENTILATION for your heart, to break it free from the INSULATION your pain creates.
4. While saying a little prayer or blessing for healing, bury the petals in the earth. The earth is strong enough to hold all that energy for you (so you don't have to hold it inside your body). The earth will transform that energy into growth for the plants and the natural world.
5. Place the remaining rose on top of the place where the petals are buried, and dedicate it to your child. Sit in silent meditation for as long as you're comfortable before departing, feeling less burdened and more at peace.
The sacred, natural altar you've just created will become part of the earth and the elements, dispersing its energy to the winds, the rain and the sun. This ritual helps us accept impermanence and change. We can acknowledge the external event of our loss while doing the inner work that helps release the pain we're carrying.
Many thanks to my friend Austyn Wells for designing this ceremony with me.