“The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist." –Walter Dudley Cavert,
The evening light suddenly burst through the window and beamed rainbow prisms on the opposite wall, making me look up. An astonishing golden glow lit up the leaves in the trees outside which became quite transformed into vivid greens and yellows. I walked out into the back yard to be enveloped in the blanket glow, the cicadas loudly vibrating their hypnotic crescendo , singing their rhythmic percussion. As if on cue, three large yellow dragonflies made their dramatic entry into the immersive stage, dancing and pirouetting, swooping in formation through the garden, as if they were communicating glad tidings in a strange and wonderful ballet.
As I watched, mesmerized, I felt it was an omen.
Today, we had put our beloved dog, Poubelle to sleep. She was old and tired, and had stopped eating. She had been the sweetest pet, a loving and grateful soul. I was grieving.
Last Christmas, we had lost Mum, and my ongoing grief for her was compounded still by yet another loss. Even though one cannot begin to compare the loss of a Mother to the loss of a pet, Poubelle was still part of our family.
And so, I was ready for an omen, or a hidden message to ease my grief.
After the light faded, and the dance was over, I rushed back into the house to #google the symbolism of dragonflies.
According to www.californiapsychics.com, “our loved ones who have crossed over can often send bugs, birds, and small animals as messengers to let the living know that they are okay on the other side, the dragonfly can often show up as a spiritual messenger. Spirit often uses vehicles that are small, unique, and bright in color, and the dragonfly is thought to be a traveler of dimensions and realities, making him the perfect candidate.”
The dragonfly-site.com tells us that “The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. “
Their sheer agility, speed and their ability to maneuver each wing independently would be an engineering feat for any earthly invention, and their iridescence lends a heavenly disguise creating illusions and a sense of change and transformation.
It is a fanciful and comforting thought that dragonflies and butterflies could convey a message from the spirit world, but it is a lovely magical thought.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Was Rossetti referencing the string theory?
Ha! I think not, but it makes you wonder. Are we all connected in some way, even after we cease to exist in this realm?
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound,
the lights around the shore. ...
You have been mine before,
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned so
Some veil did fall -
I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time's eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death's despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Mary Oliver, poet laureate, wrote,
“Poetry is prayer, it is passion and music, it is beauty, comfort, it is agitation, declaration, it is thanksgiving…Often poetry is the gate to a new life…It brings new thoughts or welcome remembrance of old ones. It offers simple pleasure, complicated joy, and even, at times, healing.”
When Mum was very ill, I had written a poem for both her and Dad called,
“Come dance with me one more time.”
I gave it to Dad after Mum died, and he loved it so much, he decided to put it to music. He wanted to channel his love and grief into creating a memorial to Mum. Since then, he has written their life story, and I have helped him to put his words into poetry, and my sister, Bid, has facilitated the music, both harp and violin parts.
The result has been a very unique cantata, not for every ear; but a personal pilgrimage in musical form expressing a lifetime of devotion to the Love of his life.
It has been a wonderful way for Dad to deal with Mum’s passing, combining their common love of music, and our ability as family to cooperatively help him express his ultimate tribute.
I feel honored to have helped, and it has allowed me to grieve in a healthy way too.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
When death comes, it reminds us that we should live life to the fullest. That doesn’t mean to be fool hardy, and not plan, or do responsible things, but it does mean to savor the moments. To remember that we are not here forever, and to cherish our loved ones. Mum and Dad loved to the fullest. They devoted their entire lives to each other, through thick and thin, and I can look back and say that they truly loved. Dad is now learning to dance with a limp, carrying Mum’s love with him each step of the way. They have not simply visited this world, they both have lived within it, and left a footprint that will live forever. Grandchildren, great grandchildren and wonderful memories will live on.
When Death Comes
When death comes
Like the hungry bear in autumn,
When death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
To buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
When death comes like the measle pox;
When death comes
Like an iceburg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
What is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it is over I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made my life something particular and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
My thoughts have wondered yet again
Across the clouds of yonder hill
Into the brilliant evening light of make believe
Can I touch the web of silken steel that grips us all so lightly ?
Yet I feel the wisp of wind that carries the dandelion
gently bringing me to rest like a seed on dusty ground
How can the dragonfly turn and twist through invisibility
maneuvering through dimensions hidden from our sight?
What can they see through their eyes?
My vulnerable seed is lifted briefly
only to catch the wing of a passing sparrow
searching for food
I doubt if I will find the answers
even if they are blowing in the wind
Susan Golden, Womensvoice1
The dead are always looking down on us they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats
of heaven as they row through eternity.
They watch the top of our heads moving on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them.
Which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait like parents for us to close our eyes.