One year after loss…

Jesus Shrine

Jesus Shrine in honor of Tim
Click on photo to enlarge

This is offered in honor of Timothy Paul Kretzmann, and also as an inspiration for all those who have suffered profound loss.

I share this today because a friend in another community was crying daily over the loss of Swamiji and some other members… She needed encouragement in finding a tangible way to transcend that feeling of loss and grief.

This ceremony, below, could easily be adapted in suitable ways.  It could even be done in a home with a candle, a burning bowl, a photo of the beloved, and some sacred symbol that is dear to your soul. It could be done inside, or on a deck, or in a garden.

August 6

…I wondered how to honor him this day… My beloved, my husband, Timothy… What is the best way?

I lit a votive candle at a special altar in our home and kept it lit all day. I had quiet time, and also some supportive phone talks with friends, and gently relived some memories of when we first met over 38 years ago… I also wrote out some notes on how I would try to move forward, and serve others in new ways, in the name of loving and honoring him, and in gratitude for our life together.

We had a fire and flower ceremony at the special Jesus shrine dedicated to Tim’s soul (where months ago some of his ashes were placed beneath the boulder). I had been doing these sacred fire ceremonies quite frequently at a shrine on my deck, all through this year…So it was fitting to include the family now, and it was helpful to them, and to me.

  1. We traveled to the site, at Ananda Meditation Retreat, and first tended the shrine, and trimmed a bush that was blocking it.
  2. We each wrote a letter to God and to Tim’s soul – to express our love, and also to include a special prayer for ourselves and for the family – especially for Guidance on how to best proceed in our lives in a way that honors God, and this beautiful gift of having shared life with Tim, as Husband and Father.
  3. After a prayer – these letters were offered into the flame, to be released to God, and to Tim’s soul. We sang a very simple chant as this was happening – “God, Christ, Guru.”
  4. We sent quiet blessings to each family member, and for their private prayer intentions, as they offered their letter into the flames.
  5. We then sprinkled the shrine with beautiful rose petals, and then closed with chanting of AUM AUM AUM and AMEN AMEN AMEN

We were choked-up during the ceremony, and my grandson Bodhi’s eyes looked very concerned.  Our hearts were then touched to watch little Bodhi, age 10 months, so sincerely join in those AUMs…

After the closing, the family eventually wandered off to show Bodhi the other statues in the peaceful, forest garden, but I felt a strong urge to stay put… I sat on a bench where I could gaze at the shrine bedecked with flowers, and felt surrounded by love and gentle, comforting blessings… That love lingered for days… And I knew we had found a way meaningful to heart, mind and soul, to address this sacred-yet-sad anniversary.

May all hearts be comforted and blessed.

In Love,

Mary Kretzmann, and family

PS – Please feel free to offer your experiences of sacred remembrance for loved ones in the comment field, below. They may be of help to others… Perhaps in the future I will collect them together in a special booklet.

  • Lisa Powers told me that years ago she had heard that Master said it was very important to honor the one-year anniversary of a soul’s passing, so she offered a kirtan and short mediation at the Crystal Hermitage Chapel for Hassi and her family of four children, at the one year anniversary of the death of Rich Bazan

6 Responses to “One year after loss…”

  1. Dalene Says:

    Thank you Mary for this beautiful way in which you honored Timothy! (Sorry I only read this August Letter today. I have a lot of newsletters which I flagged for later reading). I am quite sure he appreciated it and the love you all still feel for him.

    I would like to share our, specifically my mother’s experience since my dad died on the 4th of March 2010. Just a little background info : They were married for 63 years and started dating when he was 19 and she 16 years old. They married 5 years later. He died (aged 86) two days after a triple heart bypass operation had been done, without our or his informed concent. My mother was hysterical when the hospital just phoned her that he was on his way to the operating theater after being admitted for tests only. The doctor concerned sued me after I have asked questions about the matter, but later cancelled the case because he realized that I had much more information than he realized. So, his death was not expected, and only once for a minute or two he gained consciousness just before he died. He tried to speak to my mother, but was heavily sedated and the respirator made it impossible. He could only wink at her while tears ran down his cheeks. It was such a heart breaking experience and still is. My mother took it very badly and is still on anti-depressants.

    About two weeks after my father’s death, I told my mother that my dad is still alive and will always be. I felt his presence three times and I just knew that he wanted me to tell my mother that he is OK. When I told her, her faced lighted up immediately and she only then found the courage to tell me that she was not sure whether it was him touching her feet every night when she was laying in bed and crying! I was so excited and told her to talk to him. Since then she tells him about her day and all the news she can think of. Sometimes she is not sure whether he is still with her and then she asks “Dad, are you still here?” and he then answers by touching her feet or hair again. One night she felt cold, but was too lazy to get up to throw another blanket on the bed and then she felt my Dad pressing the bedding around her body.

    For about two years he visited her every night. I think it definitely comforted her. His visits became less frequent over the last year, but she excepts the fact that he has to move on and has a life of his own. He still visits at least once a week.

    I hope these experiences will be comforting for others as well!

    Love and Blessings

  2. Nikki Grace Says:

    Dear Mary: Someone at Ananda gave me the ascension ceremony and I used it on the anniversary of the death of my son, John Tristan, Those first years are all a blur to me. I did the ceremony alone at my home. I also have a mass every November (the month of his birth and his death). The mass is at Our Lady of Lourdes where he was an alter boy and where he attended Catholic School. Some years are easier than others. As Yogananda said, you can never replace the one you lost. You must learn to live a constructive life without them. I don’t want my grief to bind my son, so I do my best. However I know that love brought us together in this life and it will bring us together again someday with God’s grace.

  3. Mary Says:

    Bless you, Mary. What a beautiful shrine, and what a beautiful sharing. You remain in my prayers. Mary

    Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

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