The 50th year of my life brought on some strange realizations.
I was half a century old. I had several “mortality checks” where close friends lost loved ones and I was unable to support them in their experiences around their losses. I was beginning to understand some of the “supernatural” experiences I had been having since I was a child. I knew I was unable to be present for my friends because close contact with people (groups are worse) having strong emotions, particularly sad, painful or negative, is too much for me to handle on an emotional level. I absorb those emotions and it takes a long time to dissipate, clear them, to return to my equilibrium. It is like having a depressive episode that can’t be mediated with medication – only time works. In addition, “spirits” often accumulate around these events, and they are hard to ignore. So, for self-preservation reasons, I avoided those situations. This is something I needed to change. I needed to be present, in the moment. I needed help realizing I could feel safe while doing so. Loss is part of life, this includes endings of jobs, marriages/relationships, finishing a life stage (middle age/ empty nest/ retirement) and dealing with the effects of old age or illness.
Change – not just loss – can trigger all kinds of emotion.
When the first Death Faire idea was being discussed and ideas for speakers, in particular Daniel Foor and Ancestral Healing, I was excited. He is a known spiritualist and teacher. His experiences were something I could learn from in a group environment. Little did I know where that would lead, what doors it would open or the long term effects exposure to him would have on me!With a bit of trepidation – knowing there could be an abundance of raw feelings in a group setting that revolved around death and other types of loss – knowing this was was bound to cause some personal upheavals – I went anyway. So glad I did!
Dr. Daniel Foor was the Keynote Speaker and touched on several things that resonated with me.
When he finished, we spoke and began the Despacho. A Despacho is a way to honor Ancestors using various natural elements like grains, flowers, nuts, herbs, fungi and beans. It was a meditative exercise for me. I spent several hours engrossed while working on it, with others briefly adding bits to it. I had no idea how many friends and colleagues were visiting, watching and even speaking to me. I was totally focussed on the Despacho. When it was finished we had a fiery ceremony to send our efforts into the universe. It was like a gigantic release for me, so many things got let go of in the process. It was a turning point in who I was – to who I was going to be.
But that was only the beginning of my experience at Death Faire…
There were many conversations with folks about all kinds of topics. How our society deals with death, grief and mourning. Society’s acceptance of LGBTQ, with a African-American transgendered individual and her partner. The nuclear family (family man with wife and four children) and what our expectations are when it comes to maintaining a family and raising children in our society now. How an active duty military man (on leave from Afghanistan) deals with gender neutral bathrooms and the fear he had in using one and being walked in on by a mother with a child. Then I was given an alcoholic beverage – I believe it was called Zombie Killer – and the conversations grew more varied including: afterlife, reincarnation, spirits and spirit guides and karma/fate and destiny.
It was a day of self discovery and random wisdom from folks I may never see again.
Many of my colleagues said that they noticed a change in me that night, I “let my hair down” and since then I have blossomed, came out of my cocoon and healed in so many ways. It was the beginning of a year of epiphanies, losses and wonderful people who have been brought into my path.
It was amazing in so many ways and I can’t wait to repeat the experience this year.
Thank you Abundance for providing this forum for growth and learning.