closure Archives - Dr. Mary Pritchard

Spring is Here!

By | Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

spring

I love Spring! It's my favorite season. Not only are the flowers blooming and the weather warming, but I just feel more vibrant – as though I am coming out of a deep slumber.

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and planting the seeds, physical and metaphorical, you wish to harvest in Summer. But before we do that, we must first get closure over what we learned in Winter.

Winter is the time to go within, to hibernate, to be still. If you're anything like me, the holidays are often wrought with ‘issues' that make you rethink your life. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have these ‘issues' from Winter mucking up my time for growth in Spring. So let's do a little release ceremony, shall we?

Getting Closure on Winter

Take out your journal and answer the following questions:

  • What issues came up for me in the Winter months that I may have not fully dealt with (e.g., holiday conflict, death of a loved one, fight with your significant other)?
  • How has this issue affected my life and the way I see myself?
  • What lessons did I learn about myself having been through these experiences?
  • What am I ready to release (e.g., what do I not want to carry forward into Spring with me)?
  • Is there anything else I feel I need to say or do to get closure on Winter?

Embracing Spring

Here's the fun part! Take out a new piece of paper and answer these questions:

  • What do I want to create in Spring 2015?
  • What do I want to have accomplished by Summer 2015?
  • What do I want to have accomplished by December 2015?
  • What will allow me to accomplish these things?
  • How do I want to feel this Spring?

Intention Setting Ritual:

You have two options here (probably more than two, but this is what came to me for now):

1) Burn the closure list, saying, “I bless you and release you into the light” 3 times.

Then burn the embracing list, saying, “Goddess/God/Great Spirit, I ask for your help in meeting my intentions. Please send to me whatever opportunities will help me meet my goals and please take away that which would distract. I embrace my new way of being (say the last sentence 3 times).”

2) Get two helium balloons – one black and one whatever color you prefer that makes you think of Spring. Tie the closure list to the black balloon and release the balloon (and your list) to the sky, saying, “I bless you and release you into the light” 3 times.

Tie the embracing list to the other balloon and release it, saying, “Goddess/God/Great Spirit, I ask for your help in meeting my intentions. Please send to me whatever opportunities will help me meet my goals and please take away that which would distract. I embrace my new way of being (say the last sentence 3 times).”

If you get stuck at any point, call upon the Goddess Ostara for help.

 

Now go enjoy the first day of Spring!

 

My Father’s Ashes

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 3 Comments

me and dad

 

As I sat in my 29-year-old administrative assistant's funeral this past weekend and read the poem below in italics, I was reminded of how precious life is. And how little time we get – or choose – to spend with our loved ones.

 

 

 

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

by Unknown


Each morning when we awake
we know that you are gone.
And no one knows the heartache
As we try to carry on.

 

Wednesday marks the 5th anniversary of my father's death (the picture above was taken a year before he died). I don’t think of my father everyday – but often. Holidays, his birthday, the anniversary of his death, when random things or people remind me of him. And I miss him.

 

Our hearts still ache with sadness
and many tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you,

No one will ever know.

 

They say there is no pain greater than that of a parent who has lost a child. I get that – the loss of a life not fully lived. One could argue that at 62 – the age my father was when he passed – he had lived a full life and thus, I shouldn’t be as sad. That, like other platitudes we say to the grieving (He’s in heaven; at least he’s not in pain anymore), are not as helpful as they are meant to be. Losing a loved one – parent, child, sibling, spouse – sucks. No ifs ands or buts about it. Telling me to be grateful he lived a full life and that he’s not in pain anymore, while true, aren’t necessarily what I need to hear in my grief.

 

Our thoughts are always with you,
your place no one can fill.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we love you still.

 

Love. Such a powerful emotion. Yes, my father had his faults – we all do – but I love him. I always will. Nothing can damper that – not even death.


There will always be a heartache,
and often a silent tear,
But always a precious memory
Of the days when you were here.

 

It does get easier with time. My heart no longer feels like it’s breaking as it did in the first few weeks after he died. Yet, it only takes a moment to be back there, for the grief to feel raw and fresh and new. Will that get better? Only time will tell.

 

If tears could make a staircase,
And heartaches make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven
And bring you home again.

 

I’ve certainly cried enough tears to make several staircases! Yet, I don’t want to bring him back. His time on this Earth was done. It’s not for me to say whether his life was cut short or not. I don’t get to decide when it’s been “time enough.” Instead, I cherish knowing he’s got my back – albeit from a different realm.

 

We hold you close within our hearts,
And there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives
Until we meet again.

 

I know that some people believe that when you die, you die. End of story. I hold out hope that somewhere out there my father still keeps track of me and knows what I’m up to. And maybe, just maybe, as the veil thins as we approach All Hallow’s Eve, I might feel his presence.


Our family chain is broken now,
And nothing will be the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

 

Life is but a chain of events – a series of chains being crossed and cut, crossed and cut. Sometimes we choose to cut the chains and sometimes Universe does it for us. Although we may not always choose to cut the chains, we do get to choose how we react to that chain being cut.

 

When my father died, we did nothing to denote the cutting of the chain. After the cremation, his ashes sat in my mother’s house for nearly 5 years. But after attending my boyfriend's father's funeral last July, I decided that I needed to do something to mark my father’s passing – to commemorate the cutting of the chain. I needed closure. Attending my administrative assistant’s funeral this past weekend only reinforced that for me.

 

There are many reasons why we didn't do anything to commemorate his death when he died, but they matter little now. What matters is that I miss him and I need to do something – not for him, but for me. For death is really never about the one who died, but about the ones they left behind. While I don’t plan on hosting a memorial service 5 years later, I do need to hold some sort of ceremony – even if I am the only one in attendance.

 

It’s time to pause and reflect, to scatter my father’s ashes. To say my prayers and my goodbyes. To say my thank yous and I will always love yous.

 

I haven’t quite decided the when, where, and how of this ceremony yet. The original plan was to scatter his ashes in the Sawtooth Mountains and I may still do that; it's what he wanted. Although my life has changed tremendously since he died, the location we'd selected is still a beautiful and quite appropriate place. Whatever I do, I know it will be from the heart and just right for me and for him. That’s really all that matters.

 

What do you do to commemorate a loved one’s passing? How do you mark the anniversary of their death?

 

Doors, Ties, and Wedding Vows

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

Brass Doorknob“Hope your life is going beautifully,” my ex texted me yesterday after explaining that he took me off his Costco membership, which I paid for. Well, up until now.

It’s been months since I heard from him, and he caught me off guard. You would think communicating with him after being divorced for a year wouldn’t affect me. Yet, it does. Apparently, I still harbor a bit of bitterness and resentment around our 21-year relationship.

Yet, this is good information to have, as without awareness, you cannot achieve clarity. That said, it was also unwelcome – a door I thought I’d closed, re-opening to reveal there are still skeletons in my closet.

As I read this text from my ex, my man watched from across the room. I’m sure he could see the emotions written on my face. When I told him what happened, he made a scissors motion with his fingers – a symbol for cutting yet another tie that binds me to my ex. I know he’s right – he has the most amazing insights. And I don’t mind cutting these remaining ties – I much prefer it to keeping them. My frustration comes in realizing I have them in the first place. A year after my divorce, I want to be done. I thought I was. Each time I find out differently, it sets me back a bit. Makes me re-examine where I am and who I’ve become. The good news is that I am where I should be and I love who I’ve become. I am happier now than I’ve been in a long time – maybe ever.

I know that behind me are a lot of doors – some are still open, some are closed, and some are nailed tight and boarded up. But whenever I am faced with a door – old or new, welcome or unwelcome – it’s because the Universe thinks I would benefit from examining this door.

So why the door to my marriage? Why now? Two reasons come to mind: 1) I’ve been doing a lot of clearing around some old wounds concerning my ex and my healer warned me he might reappear in my life. 2) I’m in a place in my life where I am examining the construct of marriage – the “ties that bind” metaphorically speaking.

My therapist asked me last week whether Rio and I had talked about marriage. We have – in some distant, future, abstract kind of way. The thought of remarriage both excites and terrifies me. At this point, the latter certainly wins out over the former.

After my divorce, I swore I’d never marry again. (Don’t you love how the Universe pushes all of your buttons? Make a declaration and sooner or later, you’ll be tested on how serious you were when you said it!) Marriage is a big deal to me – til death do you part and all that. When I married my ex, I never dreamed of a time that we wouldn’t be together. When I got divorced – even though I knew in my heart it was for the best – it still felt like failure, a betrayal of the vows I took before friends, family, and God/dess. So the thought of committing myself for all time – especially knowing firsthand the possibility of broken vows again – frightens me. Yes, it’s a distant possibility – that’s a bridge to be crossed when, and if, we get there – but the fact that it’s been a frequent topic of conversation with my friends and counselor of late makes me wonder all the same.

This begs the question: What is marriage? My rather jaded post-divorce answer is that marriage is a piece of paper that legally binds two people together and carries social, legal, and – in some groups – religious implications. There are certainly legal perks to that little piece of paper – tax benefits and health insurance coverage by your spouse, to name a few. There are social perks as well, which I didn’t even know existed until I was no longer married and became a bit of a pariah to my still-married friends.

But it’s more than that. It’s a commitment to stick together, to support each other, to love and honor and respect one another no matter what. Disagreements should not get in the way, nor should family, friends, work, children, or any host of other obligations, duties, and responsibilities. This is where my former marriage failed – everything got in the way: his family of origin, my work, our separate lives. Until there was no honor, no respect, no support, no love left. Only duty, obligation, and responsibility to each other remained. For me, that simply wasn’t enough.

So what is marriage? According to dictionary.com, marriage is: “any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities.” I still think that greatly simplifies the issue. Yes, it is an interpersonal union – in fact, that’s a beautiful way to describe it. But I think it transcends ‘familial bonds’ and ‘mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities.’ It’s an intimate soul connection – or at least it should be. And if there is a ‘this time around,’ I will settle for no less.

In the end, the piece of paper that legally binds two people together really isn’t all that important. What matters to me is that those two people – two hearts, two souls – have consciously come together in interpersonal union. A union that transcends any legal, social, or religious obligation. That’s something I didn’t understand at 18 – when I met my ex – or at 21 – when I married him. Yet, at 40, my views on marriage, vows, ties – and doors – have changed quite a bit.

What door will the Universe provide next for you to examine?