The beginning of the harvest season is always a bittersweet one for me; with two exceptions, the deaths of loved ones have occurred in this month. So now I carve out some cyberspace to speak of those who have crossed, and remember them...
My father crossed in San Francisco on August 3rd, 1990. AIDS claimed his life. His passing seriously messed with my mind: I carried guilt around in my head for years, for not going to see him. I also shut my physical need for intimacy and ecstatic (sexual) union in a tiny closet, and kept it tightly locked away, for more than a decade. I let it loose from the closet a few years ago, but it is only now that I am seeing the full picture of my sexual self - and only now that I have finally released that guilt...by collapsing space-time and visiting him in hospice on the evening of the anniversary of his death.
(The energy of this day has had great effect upon me; just this year, I could sense how my energies were thrown off by what was running through/around me. I have used this annual vortex to make significant changes in my life in previous years - but that's a topic for another discussion. Call it another "loose end") ;-)
August 15th, 2004, one of my co-workers at the synagogue passed on. Her name was Evie. It was merely "old age" that came to claim her. I regarded her as a second grandmother, and doted upon her; I daresay she happily reciprocated. I will never forget her reaction on one December day when I brought her my mother's old office chair as a Channukah present and gifted it to her, because she had complained about the chair she was using at the time. Tears of astonished gratitude were in her eyes as she thanked me.
On the day we lay her to rest next to her husband, who had crossed over before I began working at the synagogue, I happed to look up and see a hawk circling overhead. I knew then that she had chosen hawk to be her totem...and whenever I saw two hawks flying in the sky above the synagogue, I knew she and her husband were soaring through Heaven together - and that they were winging by to say hello. :-)
Finally, there is August 17, 2003, and the passing of my original grandmother. She had completed her 95th year on this plane when she chose to cease struggling against death and surrendered to it instead. She was a power*full, yet gentle Leo, who doted upon me, the only child of the baby of the family. The relationship between her and my mother was not always copacetic, being that my mother is an equally fiery Aries (!), but it was always cordial. As we laid my grandmother to rest besides the grandfather I never knew (as he had crossed over from a heart attack before I was born), I saw her return in the totem of a butterfly. This after a week of observing her choose which totem she was going to assume.
She also came to visit me upon several occasions, post-crossing. Each time, she had released some more of the "chronological age" she had accumulated upon this plane, until she found an "age" where she was most comfortable in visitation. Bearing witness to her process helped me shed a lot of my fears surrounding death. For that gift, I am deeply grateful...
When my mother crosses over, I hope she does so in August, so I can keep all of these energy vortices in the same month. We shall see.