Fear and Yogeet’s opinion on it

Since Monday around 10:30AM, I have been riddled with fear. Something bad happened to me on Monday morning and fear took over. Those of you who’ve seen me since then (minus Liv, who saw me ugly cry after it happened) will be surprised it’s so bad. I’ve been my “normal” smiling, perky self.

Today, my schedule cleared up and I knew it. I must get to Yogeet (referred to as my “Indian healer” on this blog and my FB page). But there was serious fear because of what happened Monday. I won’t say how, but I got to Yogeet this morning.

What I happened at Yogeet’s changed me forever. There will be upcoming days and nights when I feel anxiety, but I do not think I will feel fear again.

After about an hour, I told Yogeet a Jewish story I’d heard about Death. A man lives in a village and hears Death is coming. He’s scared, so he leaves his home and goes to another village to avoid Death. He gets to the new place, there’s a knock on the door, and it’s Death. “Wasn’t looking for the place, I was looking for the person. It’s your turn, buddy.”

Yogeet listened. Then, he said, “I have a similar story.”

Shiva is a popular god in Hinduism. He is usually adorned with serpents and wears nothing except a cloth of tiger fur covering his “his”dom. The rather disturbing planet of justice, Saturn, was apparently headed for Shiva one day. Most people are afraid of Saturn’s justice and so was Shiva. In fact, Shiva was scared shiv-less, so he decided to go into the river. He created a shield for himself and stayed in the river for 7 ½ years, to avoid being touched by Saturn’s version of justice. After 7 ½ years, Shiva emerges from the river and confronts Saturn. “I did it. You didn’t get me.” Saturn’s response, “You kept yourself from your home, your life, and your entire world based on your fear of justice. Who won? Me or You?”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing Yogeet’s words (which I also might have baffled) and I am certainly far from the “proper” telling of this. I don’t think they refer to Shiva’s “his”dom, for example.

But this story changed me. It is one thing to feel anxious and nervous. It is another thing entirely to be so afraid that you live a life dominated by your fear of anyone, anything, or any possibility.

That is not a life.

I will try to write more about this later because I truly was changed today. But, what I can say is that I am on the train headed HOME. To my home. And on Sunday, my knees will bend and I will pray my weekly prayer AT MY CHURCH. My church. As I do every Sunday, I will repeat the same prayer, “Thank you for giving me strong legs, a strong spirit, and a strong heart.”

Allerheiligen & Allerseelen – All Saints and All Souls day

“In honor of the saints – known and unknown.”

Rarely does a person reach his or her 21st birthday without experiencing the death of a (be)loved one. So, we all have common ground there.

How we express our loss is such a private choice. It seems to me, having seen people that did not express their loss and watching that downward spiral, the only important part of “how” is “that we do it.”

There are many solutions in the diverse forms: memorial service, Requiem, Shiva, Día de los Muertos, Janazah prayer, mourning flags, black clothing, white clothing, covered mirrors. Buddhists believe both how deeply and how long we mourn can be based on the “tie with the person.” I love that.

There is a difference between the sister holidays of All Saints and All Souls day. Traditionally, All Saints day was meant to honor those who died and were assured of eternal salvation. All Souls day was meant to honor those who were unbaptized and thus…well…destination unknown. This is the 2-part version of what some celebrate as a 3-day observance called “All Hallowtide.”

Being the devout Catholic I am, I can say clearly: I don’t like it. It’s a very man-made distinction and I don’t like those. I prefer to view things the way I’d hope our ever-loving God would. Do I imagine God making such a distinction?


Allerheiligen is a big deal in Switzerland. Truly. The cemeteries and church are packed. The heads are not all grey, white, bald, or salt/pepper – there are younger people in both spaces. The presence of all ages reinforces what we’ve all learned consciously or subconsciously by age 21…

this life is temporary

 One way I’ve learned to express loss is beautiful. My church in Luzern makes Easter candles. Somewhere along the line, someone told me he burned his Easter candle the week before Allerheiligen and put it on the grave of his mother (it wasn’t L).Easter Candle on Allerheiligen

(This is what I do every year. It is how I have chosen to express loss.)

Candles cover the graves on Allerheiligen. As the sun begins to set, the people put candles on the graves of people they love and remember. I, too, have been honored to decorate the grave of a beloved member of my extended Luzern family (http://wp.me/p2dSt7-hA). I am at her grave often and I notice other people in mourning. I’ve noticed this expression of loss comes without as many tears being dropped on the graves we keep in memorium. Allerheiligen comes without quite as much pain.

It doesn’t always have to be painful, does it? Remember our loved ones can serve to renew the bond we had with them, instead of tearing open healed wounds.

Next year, on the 1st of November, remember your loved ones. If you are not near them, find a simple tree, light a few candles, say prayers/sing a song/read a poem. That’s what All Saints and All Souls day really mean.

We did not forget you, we remember your time here among us, and we honor you.

All Saints day