It might seem a rather strange topic for a December Newsletter but several people I know have died recently. I point out that there is a season for Death and Dying and, obviously, it is winter time. The earth is ‘sleeping’ or apparently dead, the vegetation is obviously dead or somnolent, people retreat into themselves or only emerge for the festivities, coughs and colds and all manner of illness does the rounds, doors and locked early and curtains drawn to keep out the cold and dark, for all that and more is winter. So for people in the West and Northern Hemisphere the symbolism of winter is inescapable.
Just as light and warmth symbolise Life so the dark and cold epitomise death and dying. It is a quarter of our yearly cycle, but still death is a taboo subject. Death is fought against at all costs. The wording we use to describe dying is usually encoded in euphemisms. People focus on the loss and pain of that time to the exclusion of ‘job well done’ or relief from struggle and strife. And yet there is a fascination about it as well. Vampires have never been so popular! There is so much death and violence on TV and films. Horror is still a box office success. Dracula rules OK – sort of!
St Paul wrote, “to live is Christ, to die is gain”, but how many people truly believe that? More importantly, I wonder how many professed Christians actually live that in their hearts? Life involves death and dying and although the pain of separation comes with the package does it have to be the elephant in the room, the thing unspoken, the topic avoided – especially from children? For the year is a cycle and Spring is just around the corner. New generations are always bringing new problems, joys and wonder. Life in all its fullness is to be embraced and given thanks to the Divine for such a gift. Surely.
December is a time of contrasts and extremes. As Christmas appears on the horizon expectations mount. For some it is a time of growing excitement and anticipation, of religious festival and remembering the birth of Christ. Family traditions are put into effect and nostalgia governs the event. For others it is a time of dread and loneliness when memories are painful and the world looks dark and unforgiving. But that is Life with all of its highs and lows.
I also have to let you know that one of our long standing Trustees died last week. Loretta showed her unswerving support over the years for the Charity, especially in our work with subtle energies and the quieting of supernatural disturbances. She died in her sleep, and I can say with certainty and no euphemism meant that she has gone on and is with Doug once again.
Please be mindful of the spectrum of experience and try to respect others’ needs as well as your own, and may the Spirit of Christmas be more than food, films and presents but include prayer, awareness, thanksgiving and sharing – Life.
Have a great Solstice and Christmas.