By Amy Brucker
I’ve been thinking about death a lot these days. Since my cat Angus died a couple weeks ago my house has felt noticeably void of life. There’s a stillness that permeates everything. Even the couch seems to miss him.
But last week, Angus visited me.
The dream was so real I knew it was him in spirit form. He sat on our bed, in his favorite place, and let us pet his silky fur. It was deeply satisfying to hold him one more time, especially since his dream self was so happy and healthy.
A Sacred Time of Remembrance
In my neighborhood, everything is letting go. Leaves are falling from the trees. Daylight hours are fading. These subtle shifts are gentle reminders that death is a necessary part of life.
It’s also Samhain, the Celtic holiday my ancestors celebrated to remember those who went before them (and to ensure the ancestors were happily fed with offerings of food and drink so they didn’t haunt the harvest and ruin it). This liminal period is a time when the veil between worlds is thinnest, so watch your dreams and waking dream-states for visitations from loved ones, including your pets.
Samhain Questions to Contemplate
Who do you need to remember?
Who went before you, paving the way for the life you live today?
Who were your ancestors? (Not just family, but friends and teachers, too)?
What joys did they celebrate?
What hardships did they endure?
Every one of their experiences was a thread woven into your life. Each encounter a small, but perhaps significant piece, that helped shape the person you are today.
What can you do to honor them?
To honor how they impacted your life?
Perhaps a traditional Samhain celebration with an ancestral altar and feast? Some carved turnips with candles inside to ward off evil spirits?
Or perhaps you’ll create your own tradition to celebrate the past.
Whatever you do, have fun!