Yes we are that stubborn family that still hold to children do not belong at funerals. Once they are 12 years old, then they may make the chocie whether or not they wish to attend the funeral for the loved on who transitioned. And yes even with a British heritage, I still do not get or bother attending viewings of those who have transitioned or the open casket phenomenon, like I want my last memory of my loved one to be them in a box about to be loaded in a Cadillac and driven to a hole to be covered with dirt. When it is the remains unseen then I know the true essence has transitioned to truly be one unimpeded with the unvierse and reborn as it is meant to be with the Holy Mystery.
In my pastoral life I have done life celebrations for many clients and residents. I have also celebrated the lives of my Great-Uncle Red; Grandma Ragan (Dad’s Mom); Nan (Mum’s Mum); and my Mum (kid’s Nana). In their short lives they have lost their fish She-Ra; their Dido (Wife’s Grandpa); Granny (My Nan); Nana (my Mum) and many chidlren from my Son’s school, most recently one of his best friend’s/little girlfriend from the past four years. My son is in the special needs school system with classmates with many complex health issues, so sadly his friends transitioning have become a way of life.
What has this meant for my kids is at a young age living through grief, but also being open to the spirit world. When their Granny passed my daughter came home from Kindergarten to come home and tell us that Granny flew down in an airplane to visit her and tell her not to be sad, for she was on her way to a tea party with Jesus & Granddad and all her loved ones who transitioned before.
It is times of full moon and high spiritual times of the year when my son awakes at 2 a.m. to play and read as his ancestors visit with him, sharing his heritage, joys and fun. Yes these are even grandparents he never met like my Grandpa Joe and Granddad. Yes I know these are happening as the household energy shifts, but also the things he comes out of these times knowing are not things he has ever had shared with him.
So yes my kids experience sadness at the loss of the physical life here. Yes they are open to embracing the new life of their loved ones and the return visits. No, they will not be coming to the hospitals during the end times of the funerals for they still need to see the joy of the person’s life.
Being a parent has been the hardest vocation of my life, especially with the loss my little ones have faced in their short lives, especially as we enter the years when the last 3 in our family of the Greatest/Builder Generation will pass. But the truth of love in this time, is once these three have transitioned, I know the them unencumbered by physical, mental and cerebral earthly realities will come back and visit, and share a new adventure.
So what have I learned from my children during times of loss…it is not the end of the book, just the closing of a chapter, so a new one can unfold.