The African proverb:
When we speak their names
That those we love
Who have departed this Earth
Transitioning from their physical bodies
Into Spiritual Beings
LIVE within us
Through our existence
And when we pause
To speak of them
How they lived
All they gave us in their life
And in their death
In our conscious
Appreciation for the dance
And continue to share
The companionship that is now invisible
But equally as real.
While at the houseboat, the man, the legend, the myth that is my late-husband, John is spoken of by everyone from friends, family, neighbors on the dock to strangers who knew him and find their way to me in order to impart the gift of their stories. I love this, welcoming the aliveness that is John, evidence that although he is no longer here physically, he is sewn within the fabric of my existence and in all those he touched with the beauty of his life and his death.
I was listening to a band at a dock party when I noticed a thirty-something man walking up the stairs and was struck by his resemblance to John – not so much physically as energetically. He approached me smiling and saying: You don’t know me but I know you. John was a good friend to me…What a gift to share the joy of John. I thanked him for the exchange and as I turned to walk away, he added: He was the best – one of the greatest guys ever. I nodded in agreement turning back to smile when I began to weep gently tears of gratitude and sorrow.
Walking back to my houseboat, the moon was a blaze piercing me with wonder when I had this nudge from John: I am here with you, within you…Remember this. A calm washed over me as his companionship was and is undeniable. The mystery of this silent connection is as real as any physical connection I experience throughout my day.
My friend, Pamela, who is a minister, sage, mystic and priestess was the celebrant over John’s funeral service. As she stood at the podium in front of the traumatized, grief-riddled masses who called John friend above all other roles, she shared the African Proverb: When we speak their names, they live…and opened the floor to anyone who wanted to share a story about John. The joy of this exchange as one after the other stood making us laugh and moving us to tears filled all of our hearts with a sense of awe in our dance with this man. And it thrills me that 2 years, 7 months and 20 days later, John’s name continues to be spoken, he continues to live.
Yesterday would have been my late-brother, Michael’s 60th birthday so my sisters and I told stories, spoke his name and felt him alive within us. My niece had a visit from my mom in her dream state so we began to speak her name and experience her spirit infusing us with laughter and the delicious humor that she used to alchemize the heaviness of life.
The invitation this day is to speak the names of those who have departed this Earth, transitioning from their physical bodies into Spiritual Beings. Know they are still here with you. Dance with them. Breathe them in. Feel them alive within your very existence and let this truth fill you with appreciation and awe.