The month of August is My Brother’s Month. It was the month that he was born and the month that he died. I have had a few other deaths in my life, but my brother was so young and had so much more to do. I miss him. I feel good kinda dedicating the month to him. I’m sure he would think that it’s overkill…..but there’s nothing he can do about it!
I think that it’s good for people to have a period of time dedicated to someone important to them that has died. It helps with the grieving, no matter how long it has been and it keeps them “alive”. It is honoring them and that it important. I’ve witnessed people wipe (figuratively), someone out of their life because they have died. And while I do agree that there is not a set way to grieve a loss, not speaking of them or bringing them up is not healthy. Our society needs to be more comfortable with death and loss. It happens. Every day. But the one common thread is that your love for them is not gone. It is not wiped away. Out of sight, out of mind does not apply. I know that I think of my brother every day. I talk about him with others. Mostly I can do this without tears now, but sometimes the tears come out of the blue, but that is o.k. As I tell my Sacred Embers clients; It never gets better, only different.
As many of you know Sacred Embers was born because of my brother's death. So with every Sacred Embers that I create I also feel that I am honoring him. Bittersweet, yes, but special. That is why I call Sacred Embers my heart work.
While throughout the year I have mini celebrations of my brother in my head or when I “cheer” him when I sip that glass of wine or thank him or ask him what would he would do, August is extra special.
So, this month, I will think more of David. I will have an extra glass of wine in his honor. I will have my own personal little ceremonies. I will celebrate his birthday. I will celebrate his death day. But I will always love and miss him. He will always have a place in my heart and my life.
Have you ever considered your own mortality? (And by the way, I want to preface this with the fact that this may be a bit of a rambling post. So I apologize for that).
For some reason I was thinking about my own mortality for a really long time last night. It made me think about my brother. I remember when he died. All those people at the public memorial! SO MANY! He touched so many people as a person and with his work. There were friends, family, work people……….from everywhere! Even knowing my brother I did not realize the incredible impact that he had had in his short, magnificent lifetime!
Do you think about how your death will touch others? How the world will go on after you are gone? Over your lifetime have any of those thoughts (if you thought of them) changed?
The truth of the matter is that life will continue on after you die. So, until you get there it is prudent to live your life well. All those “Golden Rules of Life” truly do have meaning! I found this on www.upgradereality.com How wonderful it would be if we all lived by this!
10 Golden Rules to Live By
1 – Do unto others as you want others to do to you.
Maybe you believe in karma and maybe you don’t. It’s my experience that you reap what you sow or “what goes around comes around”. Treat others with kindness and respect to get the same in return, but treat others like garbage and then you can be pretty sure it’ll come back to you (although maybe only much later and not the same people you did it to).
2 – Treasure your body for it is the vessel that guides you through your life.
You may think that money or success is important, but nothing is as important as your own body. Without it you can’t live. Make it a habit to eat a healthy and natural diet, be sure to exercise regularly and above all get plenty of sleep. Also try to keep your life as stress-free as possible, stress makes you age faster and makes you old before your time.
3 – Be honest and always tell the truth
Honesty is the best policy and it will do you far more good than harm. Be honest in your relationships, with your business ethics and with your personal morals. Although honesty is usually the better option, there will be times when a white lie is necessary to prevent hurting people’s feelings.
4 – Success requires hard work, persistence and a little creativity.
The best advice I can give you if you want to be successful is to not hope for a quick fix but to be prepared for the long haul. Real success with anything usually takes months and even years to achieve. Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams, keep learning and never give up. Try to find yourself a mentor to speed the learning process up. Sooner or later you’ll achieve your goals.
5 – Make a difference to at least one other person’s life.
I believe that we’re all on this planet together. Life isn’t meant to be completely selfish, we’re here to give to and help each other. Right now there are countless people who could use a helping hand so why not give back a little? You don’t necessarily have to give money. You can give some of your time or experience to help someone else with something you’ve already overcome. Helping someone else is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
6 – Admit when you’re wrong and apologize.
Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It’s perfectly okay. Even if you screw up and waste money, or time or hurt people’s feelings. But only if you admit you were wrong and apologize. You’ll be amazed how understanding people are when you’re humble and modest enough to admit that you made a mistake.
7 – You can learn something from everyone.
Don’t think you’re too good at something to listen to someone else. Don’t think that you’re better than someone else. Just as you can learn something from the successful CEO or entrepreneur, you can learn something from a homeless person. Everyone has something that they’re good at, so don’t be too quick to dismiss someone as having no value.
8 – Don’t be scared, go through life as fearlessly as possible.
Fear is an emotion designed to keep us alive. In our primitive days it kept us aware of our surroundings, suspicious of harmful situations and weary of unknown territory. Fear also holds us back from following our dreams, telling people how we really feel about them, and it can force us to stay inside our comfort zone for way too long. Ask yourself, “Would you rather play it safe to not risk failure or would you rather risk failure to really live and do what your heart tells you that you should do?”.
9 – Smile and laugh every single day.
A simple smile from a stranger can light up your entire day. Laughing makes your worries disappear. Make it a habit to laugh and smile as much as you can, because life is just so much better when you do. Positivity is contagious, and you’ll find that people will like you a whole lot more if you’re always happy compared to being grouchy and cynical.
10 – Count your blessings and be thankful for all the good things in your life.
The past is history, the future is a mystery and right now is a gift, that’s why they call it the “present”. You have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so be thankful for every single moment that you’re alive. Be grateful for your family, friends, freedom. Be grateful for the food you eat, for the fact that you have a warm, dry place to sleep with a roof over your head. Soak up every single drop of life you can, because all you’ll ever have is this moment, right now.
When I die (I hope it is very far in the future) I hope that those that know me were glad to have known me. I hope that my daughter is proud that I was her mom and that my soon to be grandson (and any other future grandchildren) remembers me for great love and great moments of happiness. Many experiences, joy and learning. Sure, I would like to be known as a great artist……but I’d like that fame before I go. I’ve tried to live my life well and like everyone, I have made mistakes along the way. But with luck those mistakes are dim compared to the rest of my life and what I have contributed to this world.
Each day, live it with purpose! Leave positive energy in your wake when you depart!
Times have been difficult and dark for people these days. So many things happening on so many levels. Staying positive is very important. I feel that if you start being negative it can be a hole that you go down that is hard to get out of.
BUT NONE OF IT CAN BE IGNORED. The pandemic, doing everything different, every day rituals have completely changed. Living, death, dying. All changed. Our world seems filled with so much anger, hate, violence and inequalities. The media is on a mission to fill our brains non-stop with everything negative, not even being expected to report truthfully. They find it more important to fuel fires than to report facts. If something positive happens the media completely ignores those rays of good that we so desperately need at this time. Chipping away at all of us. Weakening us.
It’s as if everyone is in survival mode. All of these things weigh on every single person whether they want to believe it or not. And if this post seems to be run together….that’s kinda how I feel things are right now. That’s how I am feeling. There has not been a moment to take a breath before the next event comes crashing.
I will continue to try to find the positive and to make positive changes where I am able. Even if it’s as simple as smiling at someone. Small steps, small actions can change the negative frequency. You can create a bright spot for someone. Collectively we can create bright spots. We MUST create bright spots.
Yesterday someone created a bright spot for me. Actually, a few people did that. I received a card from a Sacred Embers client and in it was a check and in the memo line it said, “For your kindness”. That meant so very much to me. The words in the card would have brightened my day just as much as the check, but how sweet!! And throughout the day I had a couple people reach out to me to tell me that they are here for me if I need any kind of help. Those messages were great bright spots in my day. All literally priceless to me.
Let’s create bright spots while coming together. We must support one another. I don’t know what all the answers are but each of us needs to make an effort.
When someone you love dies, regardless of your age, regardless of who they are, chances are you have memories of them. Certain objects, smells, sounds, songs, people…they remind you of them. In part, that is them saying hi to you. Reminding you that they are still very close to you. They are now in another realm, but they are with you.
My Grandfather I am reminded of every time that I see the Narrows Bridge, every time that I go past Allenmore Hospital, or the sight of an old fancy cadillac.
My Grandma……………oh there are so many things. Sometimes my daughter will make a face and I know it is my Grandma. I have certain items that were hers or if I see a baklava or her beautiful peonies. When she died, I took these from her garden. This is actually the first year that they have been so beautiful.
My brother, David, so many things bring back memories. The smell of a cigar (he didn’t smoke them often), a good bottle of wine, a photo, certain words……..I know he is close and I know he visits.
When you have memories presented to you of your loved ones…….whether it’s a person or a pet, acknowledge them, revel in them, cherish them. They are some of the greatest parts of life. The things you cannot put a price on, those are the most valuable and priceless. When they say “It’s the little things”, that is so very true! See the beauty in these memories, shed some tears, it’s o.k. Find the light and love. Let it bring a smile to your face.
Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its major eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed.
Every year I think of this because I remember where I was when it happened and the thoughts that I had. Later in life when I started Sacred Embers I ended up with a client that I shall never forget. A part of her Sacred Embers pieces that I created for her also included some Mount St. Helens ash because she was actually there and quite frankly, should be dead. She said she continuously finds remnants of that day....she probably always will.
I hope that her Sacred Embers has brought continuous peace and strength through the years. If you are interested in Sacred Embers, please contact me. A free consultation is always given.
This is a time of Yesterday I presented a Sacred Embers to someone. But it was so very different than any other time.
Our world is dealing with the Corona Virus (Covid19). Businesses are closed. People are called to remain in their homes unless it is necessary to come out for something.
Normally when I meet with someone regarding their Sacred Embers hugs are exchanged. When I present someone with their Sacred Embers there are more hugs exchanged. This time, we met on my porch, away from eachother. She loved her Sacred Embers, she told me and I could see it all over her face. It was to honor her mother. She is a very young woman, younger than my daughter. It killed me to not have the ability to give her a hug……hugs are part of the healing process. When she left, I selfishly felt sad that I could not give her a hug.
Yesterday I found out that a very dear friend had died. He had lived through so much in his lifetime. He was a military veteran. And because of his service he suffered a lot of things due to Agent Orange. He was a family man. His wife was his caregiver until the end. I cannot imagine the emptiness she is feeling. I will call her later today to check on her. But because of this worldwide virus, her world will be even smaller and more empty. Her grief will play out differently than if this virus was not attacking us right now.
This is a time of Rolling with Changes. We must remain positive and strong. We have strength in our cores.
Rolling with Changes. We must remain positive and strong. We have strength in our cores.
6 months ago an elegant, cultured woman came into my shop (it’s located in a hotel). C was on her “Mobile Mourning Tour”. She was grieving the death of her husband of MANY years and she was taking S’s locks of hair around to various important places in their lives together. In our conversations she learned of Sacred Embers and she decided she would like to have a Sacred Embers created with his hair. In the process of phone conversations we actually became friends. C is a lovely woman with magical stories (and photos) of their incredible world that they built together.
I ended up collaborating with a local fine jewelry artist. With the Sacred Embers I created and a beautiful pendant that S had given her and a tiny vile for some of his hair, an incredible one-of-a-kind Sacred Embers was born.
C is a maker of big memories. Her life with S was making big memories. Her tour and our conversations and the creation of her Sacred Embers have all been an integral part of those memories. Looking back, being present and making new memories and combining ALL of those because the story will truly never end.
I feel like I know S a bit after this process. He even “visited” by announcing his presence with his cologne when I was beginning to create his Sacred Embers. And with every story the C tells me I feel I know him more and more. If he were to walk in room right now, it would be as if I have always known him. C’s stories are so vibrant and descriptive. Her words truly paint a very clear picture of what she is telling you.
I just returned from traveling to see C and to present to her S’s Sacred Embers. She opted for the 2 of us to go to a beautiful venue near her home. Watching her see it for the first time was amazing. It was also a beautiful way for her to share more about her sweet S. The following day a special group of women convened to have a memorial and to have S placed around her neck. It was another beautiful moment of the past, the present and looking forward. (Not moving on, that is totally different).
This was an incredible Sacred Embers experience………for both of us. And, as always, a huge honor. With every Sacred Embers I feel that I learn something. This time I really learned to live in the moment, to think big and to believe bigger and realize that everything is intertwined.
Here we are, the holiday season coming up very quickly. For me, besides the month of August the holiday season is difficult. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have always equated the holiday season with my brother. It was such a special time for him. He was always the most gracious and amazing host…..even when he was so sick that anyone else would have not bothered.
It’s been 11 years since David died. August 20th, 2008, 3 days before his birthday. That is why August is hard. I think all is good and I’m “fine this year” and then I realize it still sucks. I feel the same way about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I miss him a lot. And now, nearing the end of November I can feel “those feelings” creeping in. I keep hoping that it won’t come, but it does. And I know that I am not the only person that has “those feelings” at this time of the year.
If you know me you know that I am one of those people that is always trying to be positive and filled with smiles and happiness. Not in a fake way, because if I’m not happy you will probably figure that out. But I work in the public and I have to be able to present well. My problems are not my clients. But I can feel myself be more sensitive. My eyes may fill with tears and the person that I am talking to might think “What the hell is wrong with her!?” But remember, I’m not the only one. Look around you.
I assure you there are others struggling emotionally due to loss of some kind at this time of year.
I have always told my Sacred Embers clients that it “Never gets better. It only gets different”, regarding death. It’s very true.
I still enjoy the holidays. There are just moments I feel a little raw. I have my daughter and those that I love, of course, but because you lose someone does not ever mean that you forget them. Those feelings are there. Period. It’s o.k. to have those moments that are not stellar but remember to also live in the moment. Continue to live, to love and laugh and cry…….but continue to live. Yep, I said it twice.
Whether it’s a holiday, a birthday, a song………….whatever your trigger for that loss, continue to live. That is the very best way to honor them.
People often ask me if “they are still around?” after they die. Of course for some people it depends on your religious beliefs. But I believe that our bodies are just a vessel for our spirit. Vessels wear out or break, that is our death, and our spirit continues on. We are made of energy. Where does that energy go? It just doesn’t die or disappear.
People tell me that they “smelled her” or they thought they heard them or they saw something…….those are not coincidences. Those are visits. Just as dreams are visits from them. Pay attention to what they are telling you. They want us to know they are still around. This applies to people, pets, etc. Pennies from heaven, feathers, and a multitude of other signs happen. Sadly, society wants to have a concrete explanation for everything. Just be open to it. It’s o.k. and actually very healing.
I get visits. Often from those that I love and also from my Sacred Embers client’s. It’s not crazy or scary. I am open to it. I honor them and acknowledge them. It brings me peace and you can find that peace as well.
The short answer is the pain of loss never ends. It only changes and gets different over time. The pain though, is still there and very real. It may become less raw, less “bring you to your knees” painful. But it will still be there. You can’t erase it. And that is o.k. There is no time frame to be over a death. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that there is.
In the process of grieving and loss, honor your loved one. Acknowledge those moments when their memory suddenly hits you or they come to you in dreams. When you smell a scent that you associated with them or pennies from heaven or a feather……………all of those things are them telling you that they are still with you. It’s totally not the same as when they were physically present. But they are still present. Their energy is still with you. Only the vessel has departed.
Sending peace to you in this journey.