October 27: The Intentionality of Remembrance

A Prayer for Sitting with the Unjustly Killed by Melissa Hill

I call to those who died in raging war, those who only wanted simple things: the joy of day, the calm of night.
Blessed is your memory
I call to those who died from hate. Those who were hurt by belief, from fueled fear twisted tight, unleashed upon those seen as different.
Blessed is your memory
I call to those who died by the power of the Mother. The winds and storm, the fueled fire, the sweeping strength of the Earth out of balance.
Blessed is your memory
I call to those who died from hunger, from preventable disease, unneeded harm. I call to those who died poverty stricken, struggling just to exist.
Blessed is your memory
I remember you. I see you. I will not forget you. I will let the knowledge of this truth pass over and through me. I will remain, ready to do the work I am called to do.
Blessed is your memory

The wind is blowing fiercely today, rustling newly fallen leaves and beckoning those still on the trees to hold on for dear life. Over the next few days, we will celebrate Samhain, which marks the end and the beginning of the Celtic Wheel of the Year. Halloween and Day of the Dead enter into this transitional moment where it is believed that the veils are thinnest between this world and the next. All Saints Day and All Souls Day round out this calendar.

What all these celebrations share is the intentionality of remembrance. Remembrance of our bounty that has just been harvested. Remembrance of our ancestors, those we have loved who are no longer with us on this earthly plane. Remembrance of ancient ancestors and animals long gone yet part of our heritage. Over these past 18 months, death has been a constant presence for us. So many people taken from loved ones an experience I imagine many of you regrettably have had. This moment calls us inward to grieve, to honor, and to sow new seeds in the fertile soil of the love that remains in the memory of our hearts.

I invite you over the next days to find time to remember the loved ones in your circle that have gone and are still here; neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances that you know have experienced the pain of loss; the larger community and those that have tragically lost their lives to circumstances beyond their control. Bless their memories and commit to one or more actions that you can take to honor their memory and perhaps change circumstances for those who are still among us.

Dr. Cathy Collins, Executive Director of Mercy by the Sea