We have had saturation coverage here of the Baden-Clay trial – where Gerard Baden-Clay was yesterday found guilty of murdering his wife Allison. I don’t get involved much with stories of this nature as I just don’t want that sort of energy in my space. But one snippet that I heard somewhere caught my ear. It was part of Allison’s parent’s victim statement and it went along the lines of “We didn’t get to say goodbye.”
This is often the situation where there is an unexpected death or even sudden death. And this is also truly one of the greatest gifts when death is known to be approaching – that opportunity to say and do what we need to say and do.
There’s two aspects of not being able to say goodbye that I will cover…
- Perform a Ceremony
This will never take the place of being able to look at or speak directly with your loved one, but it may help to ease some of the pain. As a separate ceremony from the funeral/memorial service, you can have a different kind of celebration of your loved one. It can be done in the form of a wake or by loved ones gathering and conducting something a little more structured. There could be the sharing of precious memories and the bringing forth of special treasures or keepsakes. Kids could do drawings that capture something special that they remember. Everyone could say what they would have liked to have said given the opportunity. An altar could be created for the occasion and if someone prefers not to speak publicly, they could just quietly approach the altar and share what they need to share. To finish there could be something that signifies a release – balloons, birds, a ceremonial fire and scattering of ashes. The possibilities are truly only limited by your imagination.
The purpose of this ceremony is to say goodbye, to be surrounded by love of those for whom your loved one was precious, to provide some sort of closure and help facilitate some healing.
- Don’t Wait
While we know that at some point we will all die, very few of us have any sort of inkling when this will occur. So don’t wait until either you know someone is on their end journey or they have already gone. Treasure the precious people in your world regularly. Let them know how important they are to you and how much you love them.
Seize the opportunity to surprise them with some act of love that will warm both of your hearts.
Don’t leave yourself in the situation of feeling regret because some precious to you has gone and you can’t share in that direct energy exchange of sharing love.
Connection to others is one of the greatest gifts that we get to experience as humans. We don’t just interact for the purposes of pro-creation like a lot of creatures in the animal world. We get to laugh together, to cry together, to learn together, to live together, to serve together, to grow together…we get to love and that is a truly precious experience.
You may find yourself someday in a situation where you have to say “We didn’t get to say goodbye”. I trust that these suggestions will help ease that pain, even just a little bit.
With much love and peace, Sharon