My daughter died Monday. Cushings, double anemia and cancer. She was euthanized at home and her ashes return home, soon, today. Yes, my baby has returned to the elements from which we all come, from the stufft of stars, but my heart aches not to have her little button nose, triangular head, moth-like ears, eyes the color of buckwheat honey and all the rest in my arms. Her body's free from pain, as an animist, I'm not sure what's become of her soul. All I know is that I want to be with her.
I was never able to have children due to autoimmune diseases. The good new is, kids have never been my cup of tea. I've always communed w/ nature *much* more...naturally, even as a little, tiny soul. No surprise, then, that my daughter, a Shiba Inu, came to me a little over 14 years ago and gave me the gift of motherhood.
As life would have it, she'll be my only child.
I brought her up in the spirit of very, very elemental panpsychism animism (really not so much a part of any particular religion.)
My family knows this is who I am and what I've always shared with my little one.
Why, then, should it get my hackles up when my parents are referring to my sister's family's religious beliefs and customs re: my little one's passing?
I'm grateful she's being honored, but it feels really dismissive of something very spiritually intimate that my little one and I shared over the full course of her life.
The anthropologist in me is trying to be fluid and open-minded. The mom in me is hurt.
I guess you can't celebrate a life too much.
I'd really appreciate hearing some other thoughts on the matter.
Thanks so much!
As for a few questions:
How do you discover your own sense of funerary rights during times of passage when you don't believe in the dogma of religion? We always took a world wide/multi-cultural field w/ a very long view perspective in terms of all souls across all time. Very all-embracing, but hard to figure out what to do ritualistically.
When my wild birds have been killed, there's been little I could do. Sometimes I'll find a little statue to hold a feather or two within. I have to do so much more for this child. She saved my life. What on earth do you do?
Part of me would like to believe in an afterlife (something like a soul crossing a body of water), but in reality, I've no idea. Maybe her soul just stopped being. I'd rather bring her ashes home than not, and I definitely do venerate those who have gone on before, but in a sense, this isn't my child coming home. She's been carbonized and crushed...reduced...there's bone dust where my love used to be.
P.S. How could the term "anima mundi" be updated to reflect all life, all matter across the cosmos and not just the consciousness of all things on earth/in the world?
Who was Joseph Campbell? What is a myth? What does "Follow Your Bliss" mean? If you are new to the work of Joseph Campbell, this forum is a good place to start.
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