Last year we lost all of our bees, and really through no fault of their own. They needed some care and intervention and, being overcome with events, we did not come to their aide. We realized there was a problem with the hives in late summer and tried to help them recuperate, but then we were taken away again and they had to fend for themselves.
One hive may have swarmed, but you can never be sure.
Last summer, within a three month period, our family was besought with two deaths.
This life is a time of preparation. Death is inescapable, yet somehow we are always unprepared – even when it is looming.
One death was expected, our aging father. A kind and gentle man, he left us in the early morning of July 4th. Wise in his age, he was always reminding you that “your problem is that you have no problem.” Words to carry with you forever. His was a beautiful death and we were with him to the moment of his repose and into the day. Our priest arrived just minutes after his passing and spent time with our family and in the most uncommon act of normalcy, even brought the grandchildren in to see their newly departed Papou.
Then on October 11th, a severe blow, we lost our brother. Taken from us in his prime, he was only forty and just coming into his own wisdom. Our last days with him were seven sleepless days and nights in Trauma ICU, following a horrible car accident.
To hear the last breath of your loved ones… this is a sorrow filled and blessed gift… and one that is filled with immeasurable Grace.
The time of mourning the loss of two beloved in your family, departing so near in time to one another leaves an indelible mark on your life and places you undoubtedly in an unfamiliar new season.
The season of mourning and praying for the departed.
From the depths of the heart confronted with death, praying for the departed makes you feel alive again. An action of Faith ~ grief and bereavement bleed with the hope of Life and Resurrection.
At the onset of mourning, the heart filled with the heaviness of sorrow is tempered only by the lightness of prayer.
Memory Eternal… we pray for them because we love them, and in praying for them, they pray for us and so our relationship continues. After all, they are still our family and we don’t forget them but continue these prayers for the rest of our lives. This is the Orthodox way.
Prayer for the departed is the joy filled sorrow of another season in our journey as our lives continue here.
In the coming weeks our garden will have the buzzing of bees once again. The whole family is preparing for our wonderful little pollinators!
“Someone who thinks that death is the scariest thing in the world, doesn’t know a thing about life.” Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? … Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns…. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.” Saint John Chrysostom