Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ahnung's Celebration of Life

Photo credit: lmj {originals}
Last Sunday, April 22, 2012 I was blessed to have so many people come to celebrate my sweet Ahnung. What a beautiful Celebration of Life party for Ahnung, an incredibly wise, soulful being (whom I believe is angel among us and a northstar for many).

What a gift to have so many come ... special thanks to Lisa Jaster of lmj {originals} for taking photos that captured the essence of the celebration and to Merry Sawdey, Spiritual Director at Sacred Ground of St. Paul, for leading a healing/prayer circle. I chose to make a video sharing photos of Ahnung rather than talk for fear of not being able to hold myself together -- I was right. I got up to welcome everyone for coming and I felt this shooting pain in my heart. The tears started to flow. Yes, we were gathered to celebrate Ahnung and her life, yet the reality of her cancer was overwhelming. I was also so moved to have close to 50 people come to celebrate her life. After the short video, we gathered in a circle. I told Merry that Ahnung would do whatever Ahnung chooses to do. I have come to trust and listen to her wisdom. She weaved in and out of the circle, as if to greet and thank her friends for coming (and probably also to see if they had any treats!), and as Merry began to talk, she walked into the middle of the circle and plopped down a few feet in front of me. Maybe she could feel the pain in my heart. It was as if she was saying, "i'm here. It's okay."
Ahnung and Merry

Merry begins .... " ... Connect to the love in your heart for Ahnung and for Marilou. If you'd like, you can place your hand on  your heart ... We offer our gratitude for Ahnung: her stories, her experience, her warm and healing presence. She is the center of our circle today, the center of our hope for her healing and wholeness. She is also our leader who leads us outward into the world and teaches us to partner with the animals to help other animals and people in need of healing and wholeness. Her name means "star" and she is our north star guiding us by her charm, her beauty and her love ..."

While Aaron (Merry's husband) passes 2 baskets around ... one contains river rocks and the other, stars ... meanwhile, the music "Bright Morning Stars" plays in the background. Merry asks us to choose one rock and hold onto it. As the basket of stars is passed around, she invites us to write the name of a beloved animal on it, living or having passed on, and then place it back in the basket .. "We honor their memory, remember them with love and deep affection, and also ask for their presence to help in this healing circle ..."

"Each person in this circle is wonderfully unique. Each of us brings gifts, strengths, and talents that bring something new and glorious into the world .... Hold your rock, name your gifts, and offer them as a blessing to Ahnung. At the end of the circle, we'll collect the rocks and leave them with Marilou and Ahnung to remind them of our love, gratitude, and wish for their healing and wholeness.

Hold your rock gently and imagine that the gifts we offer are a banquet of delicious food, toys, playtime, leisurely naps, walks and caresses that Ahnung can draw on as she needs to fuel and support her in her journey.

Imagine a long table with a beautiful cloth on it. Each gift is set on the table and offers itself appealingly and lovingly to Ahnung. The gifts remain available to her as long as she might need them, to use in any way that is helpful to her. We trust her to know exactly what she needs in her journey.

Bless the work of Ahnung's doctors and healers. We wish them wisdom, clarity, and grace as they do their work to bring physical healing to Ahnung ..."

I share with you the following video ... the first song contains photos celebrating the 3 beautiful years I have been blessed to share with Ahnung, and the second song contains photos from the Celebration of Life party (many, many thanks again to Lisa Jaster of lmj {original} for joining us, for loving Ahnung and for giving us the gift of your talent to capture Ahnung's big party!! :)

I continue to pray for many more moments with Ahnung.

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