Many times I’m amazed at the Western world’s obsession with death. So many times I see intelligent people who are arguably at the peak of their lives reduced to emotional children by the death of a loved one that it still surprises me.
There are times that I find this crippling to be a crime.
Every day, I see ads which will allow the user of these products to extend their lifespan, to live longer, to live fuller, to cure this problem or that problem. I see news stories that talk about how dangerous this thing is, or that that action causes cancer and so on that I want to scream.
Thank the Gods we of Wicca aren’t like that. Or are we?
I have known Wiccans to be so devastated by loss as to forget everything they learned and go into that same state of non-functioning that it amazes me. Here is a group that has learned the secrets of life and death, know the wonders of the universe, have finally answered those questions of why we are here, and where we go after. But present them with a death and most, if not all, of that training goes flying out the window.
Oh, we know that our loved one is now in the Summerlands, looking down on us and waiting for us. There are no (thankfully) Hells for our dearly departed to burn in as punishment for their humanity here. But for some reason, we forget all that when a loved one dies, be they a parent, child, friend, puppy, cat or what have you.
Why is this necessary? Is it because we have forgotten these lessons that we are taught? Could it be that we are actually mourning for ourselves? Will we miss them?
I think it is a combination of all of these.
Primarily, we must understand that Wicca is a NATURE-affirming religion, rather than a life-affirming religion. In that I think is the major difference.
Death is part of life. No one has *ever* gotten out of life alive. Even Jesus died. He was resurrected, but he still died first. Death is a natural part of life, it is the last affirmation of life. It is the goal for many, especially those in their declining years. It is a state, no more devastating than a trip to the showers for sports players.
Our loved ones have not died. They are still alive, whole and healthy on another plane, the Astral Plane, with the Gods and with everyone they loved. Do we mourn when a family member moves to another city to scout out the location before we move there? No. That’s silly, because we know that they are safe and waiting for us.
It’s the same with death. They are not dead, for nothing can destroy that which makes them unique, they still retain all that they are, and they remember us and will be with us again. They are hanging around us, waiting for us to join them in the Summerlands. They still love us, and care for us and are anxiously awaiting the time when they can be with us again, either in another body, or when we die. The only thing that is different is that we can’t see them or touch them in the flesh any longer.
But why is that? Their body ceased to function, but through some magickal skills, like Astral Projection, we can be with them again. We can see and talk to them, kind of like a telephone call when our spouse went out of town.
Now, before someone accuses me of being uncaring, I will state that I will be devastated when my wife dies. I have come to depend on having her near me, being able to see and touch and smell her, seeing her sitting on the toilet, talk to her, spend time with her. Yes, I will miss that, but I will also adjust.
See, I know that I shall see her again. She will be waiting for me with open arms. She may have a bit of a wait however. I don’t plan on dying for quite some time to come. Hopefully, neither does she.
So, if death is a natural conclusion of being alive, why are we STILL so scared of it? Mostly because we will miss our loved one. Well, let me give you some stories that happened to me.
Once the fear of death is overcome, all death becomes nothing more than a reason to get dressed up and see our relatives. There is no sorrow for the one that passed away, only joy in some senses, and a waiting. I know this for a fact because I have lost all of my grandparents in the last decade, and I have yet to feel sorrow for their passing.
Yes, I did feel bad and cry at one point for my grandmother. I loved her dearly and I can never repay that which she taught me. I can pass it along however, which is one purpose of this journal. However, the only time I cried was when I heard “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg. It reminded me just how much I owe my Grandmother and how I can NEVER repay her for what she gave me.
But, everyone was concerned about me at the funeral. I showed no emotion that one would consider “appropriate” to the occasion. I didn’t cry, I didn’t exhibit any sorrow or sadness, nothing of the sort. I was somewhat upbeat and cheerful, I tried to help everyone else with their sorrow.
My grandfather’s death was even better or worse, depending on your point of view. I didn’t even cry at his funeral, and you would think that I would have. I had been living with him for the past two years, sharing his house, talking to him, learning from him and gaining a respect for him that I did not have in the preceding 31 years.
Before anyone thinks that I’m emotionally bent, I cried like a baby when my dog died when I was 15. I also didn’t bury my emotions and reactions either. I have since tried to evoke sorrow and sadness for their passing, and it simply isn’t there.
Why do I share this? Because of the mindset that I developed from Wicca. It taught me that death is another stage, like graduation from a grade in school. Nothing more. It took the reason that I would have had for being sorrowful away by giving me something that I did not have before, a sure knowledge that I will talk to them again.
You see, I already have talked to both of them, several times.
Through Astral Projection, I was able to reach both of them soon after they died and speak with them, find out what it was like being dead, and so on. I didn’t have to say all the things I wanted to say and never got around to, they both already knew what I wanted to say. I told them anyhow, but they knew. I knew they knew, and everything was mitigated. I could face their deaths without falling apart into little emotional pieces that would take years to put together again. I spoke to them, and shared with them, showed them my love for them, and they showed me their love of me. My grandmother even called me her son, the son of her heart. She had practically raised me when I was under 10.
The purpose of this article is not to open up old wounds of past loved ones. It is to remind everyone reading it that this life is transitory, it is designed that way. This is not our true existence, nor is it our only life. The other life we have without our mortal shell is so much greater than we can comprehend that it scares me. All those we love will be with us, in fact, they never leave us. They are around you, right now, looking at what you are reading, seeing what your life is like and expressing their opinions.
All it takes from you is listening and thinking about them, and hearing in your head what they are saying to you. Nothing can kill them, all that happens is they shed one suit of clothes for another. Like taking off the jeans and T-shirt and putting on a formal outfit to go to a ball.
Remember this, visit them, listen to them, be with them, love them. They are always still around you.