Monday, March 03, 2008

Memorial Suggestions

Tomorrow, March 4th is a very important day in my life. March 4th is the date of transition/death for my beloved kitty, McKenzie (in 2004) and one of my two primary spiritual teachers, Jack Boland (in 1992). I will be writing special posts for each of them to remember them and the impact they each had on my life.

Today, I wanted to offer an idea that I love for remembering those that have passed from our physical lives.

Each year, for example, on March 4th I burn special candles for each of my loved ones, McKenzie and Jack during the evening. They are special memorial candles that I only burn that one day of the year, in their memory.

In Jewish tradition, they have a special candle for this occasion and every year on the death anniversary of their friend or family member, they light a 24 hour burning candle in remembrance. It's a beautiful tradition.

That is essentially what I do for people (and my kitty) who are dear to my heart. I've had candles made by Zena Moon Candles, with custom labels and quotes that personalize the candle for the loved one being remembered. I have special candles for all of the beings in my life who have left this physical plane.

Another tradition I have set, is to make a donation, on their death anniversary, to a charity that has relevance to the being that has passed. For example, for Jack Boland, I contribute to the church he founded, Church of Today, in Warren Michigan. It is now called Renaissance Unity. I do this because it was Jack's hope and dream that this church would always be available for hurting people to find help, comfort and guidance to improve their lives.

For McKenzie, my kitty companion for 17 years, I donate to the Michigan Humane Society, because I adopted her from that organization when I lived in the Detroit area many years ago. I feel like I'm giving something back to an organization who gave me more in that little fuzzy package than any person could EVER hope for. :)

In this way I feel I am honoring my loved one in a way that would please them. The gifts aren't necessarily large, but they are filled with love and appreciation. It turns what could be a sad day, into one of celebration and appreciation!

Give it some thought and consider adopting the candle ritual and/or the donation ritual to commemorate the passing of those who have enriched your life. Over the course of a lifetime of giving, in this way, one can make a huge impact on the organizations that somehow represent something special about those we love.

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