Grieving is a process, one that cannot be rushed for any reason. I know this intimately - I had both parents and my in-laws follow one another into the light three years running. At times I felt like I was underwater, barely making choices. I would surface for a moment, then grief would weigh me back down like a sinking stone. There were highs and lows every day, sometimes every hour. In time, I was able to let go of the lows, my grief and my folks, and found my way back to the surface of life. But it took time.
I also believe grieving requires a space to happen in, a safe place that allows you to be nutured and supported through the process. That's what belonging to a temple or house of worship should offer you. A sanctuary where you can allow your mind to find ease. That's the goal of our Temple here at Sosyete du Marche, Inc.
This weekend, we served Loko and Ayizan. There were bright flowers, scented herbs, bushy palm trees and a gloriously scented lemon tree in full bloom. We were a small crowd, practicing our singing, laughing and enjoying the day together. Early in the afternoon, one of my housi brought a friend who's husband had died just four days prior. I was assured the woman was in a good place, and that she was processing the death adequately. I agreed to her being here. I thought perhaps a sweet and easy fet would help her frame her grief in a better light.
But this is Legba's house, and one thing the Great Gatekeeper does very well, is open you up to clear out what is no longer required or needed. Legba makes you face yourself, so you can become the best 'You' possible. When that woman stepped over our threshold, Legba grabbed her by the back of the neck and thrust her face down into her anger and loss. She barely made it an hour, before she was overwhelmed by the pain and the grief of her husband dying. I saw her standing on the front lawn looking very brittle, quietly crying, Before I could move on it, she came back in, and with a sobbing apology, asked the housi to take her home.
As my housi gathered their things for the ride, I stepped out onto the sunroom to say good by. The woman reached for me, but I demured, and said, "No, don't touch me unless you want more of the same." I explained a little bit of what was happening - what the spirit that rides in my head can do to you, if you are not prepared. And that it wasn't time for her to be out and about. She nodded, crying hard and apologizing. She said she wanted to be in a spiritual place, but had no alternatives. I told her there was no need to apologize, and that she was welcome back in a year, after she had done her work. She said thank you, and then left.
We went on for the day. I placed her husband and her into Maman Brijit care. She will need sustenance as she goes forward. And good judgement. I pray for them both - that one go forward into the light where he can do Bon Dye's bidding. And that the one left behind find solace in the children and her work.
And I sang three Our Fathers and Three Hails Marys without a miss. Mesi anpil Papa Legba, mesi anpil.