Glow In The Woods, Ghosts And Rituals

8:29 am

Ghosts And Rituals

1 | Do you believe you can communicate with people in the afterlife, or they with you? Do you believe you can do this with your child?

The short answer is no.
I sometimes watch programmes on tv like Psychic Sally and I cringe. I just can't really believe there is a whole spirit world out there filled with dead people all wanting to communicate with the living.
I did visit a psychic once, years ago, she was pretty good at working out my life, and told me my Dad was there in the room. I remember it feeling rather comforting, but that was then...
I also attended a psychic night a few years back, and this dreadful man with truly dodgy hair claimed he was communicating with the dead baby of the woman sat in front of me and my friends. I remember vividly her shoulders shaking as she sobbed...

I do keep a diary addressed to Florence, and I do sometimes speak to her, but I'm very well aware that's all done for my benefit. I know she can't hear me.

2 | Do you believe in ghosts? Has this changed since the loss of your child(ren)?


3 | Have your feelings changed about Halloween? How do you respond to Halloween humor such as zombie and ghost costumes or macabre gravestones as decorations?

Halloween isn't a huge holiday here in the UK, though it is bigger now than it was when I was a child.
For me, Halloween is rather like a lot of holidays, in that I feel slighly uneasy celebrating something I really know little about, so I half heartedly go along with it, and ultimately feel dissapointed.
We do carve pumpkins, and this year like last year we took a pumpkin and some halloween decorations the children made to Florence's grave. I think that's just our way of including her in normal family stuff.
I did briefly ponder on the theory of the veil between this world and the next over last weekend, but I just can't feel Florence with me that way.

Costumes don't bother me, though I must admit to giving too much thought to the whole zombie thing lately, I mean how do dead babies fit in there?

4 | Does your religious or cultural background have a day or holiday where the focus is honoring the dead? How do you use this experience to honor your own child(ren)?

No, but sometimes I wish there was. I'm an atheist, and probably very English and rather embarrassed by public rituals.

I guess the only cultural day to remember the dead is Remembrance Day and that's to remember those killed in war.

5 | Do you ever reach outside of your spiritual/religious framework for comfort from other practices/religions?

I'm very interested in how other people remember/honour their dead. My friend told me how in Japan each family has an alter for their dead relatives and they offer bowls of rice to them. (I hope I've got that right)I thought that was rather lovely.

6 | Is there a season or holiday, other than your child(ren)’s birthday, that inspires you to perform a ritual in memory of your child(ren)?

Not really. We include Florence in every aspect of family life, so during holidays like Christmas we will make or buy decorations for her, and last year we lit paper lanterns for her too, so maybe we do....

7 | Is there a ritual you perform everyday? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly?

Every morning after I'm dressed I put on my necklace with Florence's pictures. I don't wear any other necklaces now. All day I'm aware of her there next to my heart. I tuck her away from Ernest's prying hands, and each evening when I light Florence's candle I take off my necklace and place it next to the candle and her photograph on the shelf at the end of my bed.
I fall asleep with the candle burning and wake briefly when Woody comes to bed and snuffs out the candle, comforted by the smell of warm wax.

Every week we go to the cemetery together. We take roses and candles and we tidy Florence's grave.

8 | Do you perform any public rituals (in real life or online) on October 15? How do your friends, family, or community respond to your acknowledgment of loss?

I do light candles on October 15th, and I think I would like to do someting more, I just haven't figured out what that is yet.
I know many of my friends light candles then too, but I haven't discussed it with my family.

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  1. Jeanette - as children we always used to celebrate All Souls Day on Nov 2nd. It's a day to remember and commemorate the dead (and to pray for their souls - in good Catholic tradition!). I always found it strangely comforting - thinking about relatives/friends who had died, and lighting candles for them. It's also related to the old European tradition of baking Soul Cakes. Some people have Souls Night Suppers where they make extra portions for family members who have died, and have Soul Cakes with their meal. I think Soul Cakes are a nice tradition, but not sure if it's just a Catholic thing.

  2. I found this pretty hard to do - but interesting and helpful too. I was interested to read your responses too.


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