Life is asking us to meet it on its terms, not ours. We try to control every minute detail, but life is too rambunctious, too wild. We simply can’t avoid the losses, wounds, and failures that come into our lives. What we can do is bring compassion to what arrives at our door and meet it with kindness and affection. We can become a good host. –Francis Weller, PhD Author -The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals and Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. Who will you invite to happily remember your Beloved Departed this for year ‘s Day of the Dead celebration? As a good host, could we possibly reach out to those who are uncomfortable with our loss? Those people we’d love to have light up our home once again or our body with a heartfelt hug? Those we know who are afraid that we will never “get over” our grief or “move on”? They are so uncomfortable with our grief they stay away or roll their eyes when the name of our Beloved Departed rolls easily from our lips. We don’t “get over” grief or “move on. The Truth is it is possible to “move through it”. As a good host could I invite those who have from their perspective said things that felt hurtful? How often as the grieving person have we been required to meet others with kindness and affection? I remember the man who arrived with a book as his gift of healing after my son, Reed, had impulsively shot himself. Had this man simply offered it to me with a hug and departed, I would have recalled his visit as comforting. But instead he had a point to make. His story implied that I, as a mother, had failed to do what he had done. He told me he had taken his son outside. After balancing a large watermelon atop a fencepost, he blasted it to bits with his shotgun. Turning, he admonished his son to respect the power of a gun. Then he looked at me. I informed him that my son, Reed, had completed a hunter safety course just a year before his death. That Reed in his state of shame, was so embarrassed he wanted to die so he had retrieved the shotgun shells from their laundry room storage spot. Then Reed loaded them into the shotgun in the garage, put on his hunting coat and leaned over the barrel of his granddad’s shotgun. Silently I stood up. Thanked the man for the book, strode across the room and opened the front door to signal “Visit Over.” Would I this day invite this man into my home once again to celebrate Reed’s life? As a good host, I ask myself, “what is the most kind and loving thing I can so for myself right now?” I choose to invite those people who loved Reed and me and still do. -2

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