On the eve of a storm: preparations and ancestors.

It’s currently quietly raining out, but, if the weathermen tell the truth, Massachusetts is going to get socked with some pretty fantastic weather in the next day or so. Hurricanes and nor’easters are pretty common around these parts and getting prepared is kind of like rote memory. It’s time to be on storm autopilot, so I gathered the flashlights and the batteries and bought water and food and now we wait in kind of a twisted meditation.

In one of His many guises, Mr. Mister deals with storms [and that’s about as much of a clue to His common name as you’ll ever get from me] and storms are the closest I get to honoring that face of Him. There is a raw sensuality that He possesses that translates through that particular display of might and energy that I don’t often see otherwise and it’s Him at His most primal, in some ways. I can almost see Him as some kind of hungry beast when He rides the storm, as if He is utterly insatiable in the face of all that power. It’s intoxicating and dangerous as hell.

Storms bring change and usually it’s not wanted. A tree falls on your house, your basement is flooded, you lose power for a couple days. But, in some ways, it levels the playing field and you have to do something different, at least for a time. In other arenas, I often relish the chance to do something different. I don’t always do well with change, but I am usually grateful for it even when it leaves me struggling..which it does. Often. I am not, however, looking for change with this storm. I’m quite attached to my electricity, my phone, and the internet.

I had the chance to go to a Samhain observance today and I decided to skip it for a number of reasons. I worked last night and it required getting out of bed before I was ready to. I wasn’t feeling very social. I needed to get online homework done ahead of the storm, in case I lose power. I didn’t feel like grieving in ‘public’ this year. Moreover, I just wasn’t feeling it and I’ve been a bit too scattered to go face the Dead this year—I’ve had very intense experiences on Samhain before and I am just not up to that this year.

I don’t have very many ancestors to honor, as they mostly want nothing to do with me since I have chosen a path that they vehemently disapprove of. This is okay, as I didn’t like many of them in life anyways. It would be nice to have someone on my side, though, but that’s neither here nor there. Mr. Mister won out at the bargaining table when it comes to my ancestors.

There is my grandfather, though, who died in 2004. He was one of the few people in my biological family whom I was close to and his death was, and is, very hard for me. He died a very violent, scary death due to medical malpractice and, while I regret not saying goodbye to him, I am glad I did not have to witness it like my parents and grandmother did. He was the only member of my family who never cared what I looked like or how my hair was cut or who I was dating, though, and that’s rare in my biological family. I miss him terribly.

My grandfather was my first interaction with a dead person, too. It was on a Samhain and I was at the group ritual for the pagan church I am now nominally involved with. Traditionally they hold a feast for the dead, where you can invite your dead to sit at the table. I invited Grampie to show up, and he did…and he didn’t know he was dead.

I don’t think I have cried that hard since. It was a horrible experience, to know that a loved one who had passed on was kind of stuck and had no idea what had happened to them. He was sad and confused that I was upset and sadder still when I told him what had happened. He was upset at having left my grandmother and my parents and myself and my sister and seemed at a loss as to what to do. He initially wanted to come home with me, which I was told would be a Bad Idea, and so I told him he could not, which also sucked a lot.

I think that’s part of the reason I stay away from Samhain stuff. I don’t want to be faced with my grandfather again if he’s still unsettled. It hurts too much. It’s awful of me, but I just want him to be dead without all the complications of being an unsettled dead. It’s hard enough that he is the sole ancestor who likes me, but to have him unhappy and lost? That’s just cruel to everyone involved, I think.

So, today, in the midst of the storm preparations, I think of Grampie, my beloved dead. It is my prayer today that he has found the peace that his death did not initially bring him, and that he no longer feels responsible for the fates of those left with memories and grief. Once I get my tiny ancestor altar up, I will brew a cup of Red Rose tea for him, which was always his favorite.


~ by Alex on October 29, 2012.

One Response to “On the eve of a storm: preparations and ancestors.”

  1. I am honestly sorry to hear this about your grandfather. If you’d like help with this (it is part of my Work) I offer it. There is a way to help them cross, and make one’s peace with it as well. But that’s only if you want to: I understand either way.


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