In my home country – Switzerland – on All Soul’s Day – we wander to the cemeteries, and honor the dead. The cemeteries in the small mountain villages are alive with young and old, visiting their loved ones who have travelled on.
This year my grandmother died. I spent a week with her, just before she passed. It was a holy week, I will cherish it for always.
And tonight some words arise as I sit here in Canada, visiting my grandmother on this All Soul’s Day with my thoughts, memories and the heart that knows no distance. May your loved ones who have crossed the threshold join you this season when the veil is thin, the moon just a slice.
She did it
A strong heart, beating for over 840,960,000 breaths,
A sparkle of soul, finding the glisten of humor for over a century,
A keen caring mind, ready for wit and reflection for over one thousand two hundred months,
A heart so merry and kind, pouring out generous love for over a century.
A life full of friendship, tended relations, enfolded in a hearth she helped build,
A long life, complete with grace, hardship, pain and blessings,
Choosing over and over again to surrender to what is,
To see the gift hidden in the furrows of human turmoil.
Hands soft and gentle, reaching out in caress till an hour before departure.
A person ready to leave her earthly garment, so very ready.
But how, when there is no sickness and no accident?
How do you get out of a body, an old and fading body, but one with a strong beating heart?
We ponder together. We laugh and we wonder.
A puzzlement not met before.
We wait. Chat. Sing. Touch.
We rest together in the precious lit up moments of an unknown threshold.
And then. She does it.
A nap turns into a change of breath,
A depth of slumber like no other,
Turns into a release of breath.
She did it!
The first words that come to me as I hear of her death.
She did it. She crossed the threshold, over to the other side of the veil.
She left her body behind, she climbed out and on.
Her heart, her over one hundred year old heart stopped beating,
And freed her soul to travel on.
Bless her heart. It was a grand one.
A truly grand mother was she.
My grandmother had a deep abiding love for Mother Mary. I sang this Ave Maria (by Gounod) at her funeral and share the recording here in the spirit of my grandmother and this all soul’s day.