This has been one of the most beautiful Falls I have ever experienced in Colorado. And yet today, as I took my walk, there were as many leaves on the ground as on the trees. Fall will die. Winter will come. The cycle of the seasons will continue.
This month, our theological theme is death. I have had the honor of being with numerous people during their dying process. I find that people get real when they are dying. They pay attention to what really matters, and they love like they've never loved before. I don’t know about you, but I want to get real now! I want to pay attention, and I want to love - now! How do we do that? Some other questions about death include: What do Unitarian Universalists have to say about death and the afterlife? Why should we celebrate those who have died? How do we approach the little deaths that occur throughout life? How do we connect in our church community to support each other when walking through the shadows of death? Together, we will explore these subjects in worship services, on Facebook, and in our committee meetings where we always take time to reflect on our monthly themes. Please contact me if this theme is alive for you in any way right now. I’m available to listen!
In the meantime, here are some helpful books and resources for adults:
While Still There is Light by Nancy Shaffer
Holding on (and Letting Go) by Forrest Church
Love and Death: My Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow by Forrest Church
Transitions by William Bridges (which I explored in August when our theme was Transition)
Being With Dying by Joan Halifax
Fierce Goodbye: Living in the Shadow of Suicide - Book and Documentary - www.fiercegoodbye.com.
Final Gifts: Understanding the special awareness, needs and communications of the dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
Facing Death and Finding Hope: A guide to the emotional and spiritual care of the dying by Christine Longaker
Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying by Stephen Levine
Center for Loss and Life Transition http://www.centerforloss.com/
Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani
For children and families:
Taking It Home:Families and Faith - Let's Talk About Families and Loss by Carol Galginaitis http://www.uua.org/documents/galginaitiscarol/familiesloss.pdf
Families Resources for Death and Loss on the Foothills Unitarian Church Families and Faith website: http://www.foothillsfamiliesandfaith.com/resources-for-grief--loss.html
Companioning the Grieving Child: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers by Alan Wolfelt
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen. It's a children's book, but can be useful at almost any age.
A few movies that explore the theme of death and grief:
Lovely Bones, book by Alice Sebold, also a film with same name
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Up (the film)
If you have resources that have been meaningful to you, email me or share them on Facebook.