Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website: LindaKavelinPopov.com
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

Time to Celebrate

September 22, 2012

How do you feel when you have finished an intense period of work on a big task – a move, a renovation, a graduation, a book? Often there is a letdown in one’s spirit as that adrenalin-pumping purposefulness suddenly drops off. Many organizers, speakers and facilitators find that there is a vague sense of depression when an event is over.  Yes, they need a rest, but many simply move on to the next task. Endless diligence is not always good for the soul. In A Pace of Grace, I recommend taking the time to pause for applause, to breathe deeply the joy of completion, to celebrate with people who know what this project has meant to you, to buy yourself a long wished for gift, or maybe just a bouquet of roses or a new toy, electronic or otherwise.

And what are caregivers to do after the death of one they have looked after for weeks or years? How do we face the sudden hole, the empty space that looms when our constant hyper-vigilance is no longer needed? For me, as for some others, the death of my adored brother John seemed at first to be triumphant. After a long night of praying for mercy, just wanting him to be free of pain and suffering, he took his last breath. In that moment of victory, I raised my arms and yelled, “He did it!” Meanwhile, grief lurked silently in a corner, awaiting the perfect time to come roaring back.

What many families do, usually a few days after putting their loved one to rest, whether with a simple or elaborate ceremony, is to hold a second event – a celebration of life. It gives family and friends time to arrive from distant places. It gives the immediate family time to plan and personalize an album, a power point, or in the case of John, a designer for stage and film and Disney Imagineer, a show. We dressed up a rather plain hotel banquet room, creating a set  with John’s favorite paintings, some Japanese tapestries from his home, and flowers on every table. We had music, talks, spiritual readings, a power point about John’s life, and First Nations elders dancing. People laughed and cried.

It meant so much to have more than a hundred people from our small town community as well as family and friends from around the world celebrating with us. John was a dedicated lunchist, so we served a lavish lunch. It was a joyful day, the memory of which was a balm during the months and years of grief that followed. In Chapter 20 of Graceful Endings entitled Tributes and Roasts, I write about celebrating an individual’s life before they die. South African activist Mzwakhe Mbuli wrote:

“Now is the time
 
To give me roses, not to keep them
 
for my grave to come.
 
Give them to me while my heart beats,
 
give them today
 
while my heart yearns for jubilee.
 
Now is the time.”

We need to create a sacred place for celebration in our lives, whether a gentle pause to experience deep gratitude for the completion of a project or to honor the life of one we love, before and after they go.


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
  • BE THE CHANGE
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • New Year Hopes for 2016
    (January 12, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

  • END OF LIFE WISHES
    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Recognising Teachable Moments
    (August 7, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

  • GIVE YOURSELF A DAY OF GRACE
    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

  • HOLY GROUND
    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

  • HOLIDAY BURNOUT OR BLESSING?
    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • SUCCESS-ion Planning
    (October 23, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life
    (January 30, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)