A Celebration Of Life and Two Rings

I was at my brother’s ‘Celebration Of Life’ a week ago. As you can imagine it encompassed the whole range of emotion for me. Happy, sad, heartbroken, laughing, crying…the whole emotional enchilada.

As the celebration progressed the meaning of ‘Celebration Of Life’ began to shift for me. I went into it with the feeling that it was just my brother’s life we were celebrating (which made perfect sense of course) but began to realize that in fact what we were celebrating was… LIFE …all life…the gift of life…and the life of we the living, the survivors, who still have LIFE and can still celebrate LIFE. The need and the importance to acknowledge and celebrate life (even in the absence of those who are no longer with us) is important…it’s necessary. It’s a beautiful, precious and fragile gift we all currently have. I wear my brother’s ring now and I want it to be a reminder to celebrate life. And I will need reminders. I know that for sure. :slight_smile:

The ring of my brother’s that I now wear is silver with a Thunderbird carved into it. I don’t know it’s history but his friend said my brother wore it a lot some years ago. It looks well worn and I faintly remember it on his hand. My good friend Francis who is First Nations Kwakwaka’wakw (who painted the guitar I posted about here) told me this about Thunderbird…"….the Thunderbird in my culture is the mythical creature that brings the spirit of our loved ones to their sacred places…" I wear it beside my silver Raven ring that Francis carved for me. She gifted me the Raven ring a week before I attended my brother’s Celebration. Moments after I put it on my finger I had a clear vision of standing at my brother’s Celebration speaking to the people gathered and all my nervousness vanished when I looked down at her ring on my hand. I had been anxious about speaking. The following day I messaged Francis telling her about my ‘vision’. She wrote back…“The Raven is often seen as a trickster, to me, he is a bringer of light, and for whatever reason, I have no idea, I thought this ring could be a symbol of your brother and all he was and all who you are in the world.

At my brother’s Celebration I spoke very calmly and said everything I wanted to declare publicly about my brother and the love and friendship we shared. I’m grateful I did.

Let’s remind ourselves to celebrate as often as we can… :slight_smile:



Bless you for sharing this intimate vantage point of you and your brother and kin’s celebration of life. Mmmm… yes.

If you’re open to sharing a picture with the rings, that would be a sweet connection to the heartistry of them. And perfectly okay if not.

Love to you!

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Thank you for the kind and meaningful sentiments Rick. I’m still getting used to this new world that’s missing a very central aspect…an emotional nutrient of kinship and brotherhood. I often remind myself of the word that you have offered us, ‘recalibrating’, because it seems most accurate to what I’m experiencing. It’s a very useful ‘portal’ for me. I’m doing a lot of emotional wave surfing…peaks and troughs. My brother made most of his living as a mariner and the one time I sailed with him as a commercial fisherman I learned first hand about waves…HUGE waves…the screeching, deafening wind at the top of the wave and the descending calm into the trough with deafening silence…and wait for the slow rise into another ferocious crest of a wave. I watched my brother very carefully to judge how scared I should be feeling…lol. I’m definitely mostly sailing in calmer waters but rogue waves still appear and I just ride them when they show up because I know that calm is also waiting as I descend from the peak. I expect this will be the sea conditions for a while yet. :slight_smile:

Here are the two rings…they will remain on my hand until my journey is over.

Love to you


Thank you for sharing this, @Glenn :purple_heart:

My chosen, heart-adopted dad passed away this summer, and while we couldn’t make it to his Celebration of Life (having chosen to go to Alaska earlier to see him again before he passed, since he wanted to meet his newest granddaughter!), I definitely share this idea of the Celebration of ALL Life — and so did he. That was his request of us, and his embodiment, as someone who lived fully and generously, with good humor and deep gratitude… So, I’ve been celebrating the rich beauty and fullness of Life here, even while missing him and recalibrating… remembering I can’t text him pictures of the kids anymore, yet also feeling his smiling presence perhaps even more often and clearly than before… interesting how we recalibrate with the perspective death offers to us, to celebrate life more deeply. :sparkles:

Sending love and gentleness as you continue your journey, riding the waves as they come. :ocean:

So glad you could speak at his celebration, and that you have rings of birds to remind you of that connection, as you continue your celebration of life. :rainbow::revolving_hearts:


Thank you Jem and my condolences for the loss of your dear one. This death and loss business is heavy shit…and out of shit grows some beautiful things if we plant the seeds and tend to them. Of course I know you know all that…I ain’t a’preachin’ at you…I just need to hear myself speak those thoughts for my own comfort…as a reminder… :slight_smile:

“In the field of opportunity it’s plowing time again…” - Neil Young

And after I wrote my thoughts about Celebration it occurred to me that there are numerous ways to celebrate…big and small. Choosing healthy and healing food is a real Celebration Of Life. Asking someone “how are you?” and really sincerely wanting to know rather than just being polite. Putting into action the Concepts For Thriving feels celebratory to me. And many other ‘little’ things that really aren’t so little.

The bird connection is very powerful. I don’t think I wrote here about the raven that we had around our house for several weeks this summer. We named him Lucky because we felt he was darn lucky to choose our yard to land in. And we were equally as lucky too. He was a fledgling and I spotted him on the hottest day of a heatwave. He didn’t look well. He stood still looking at the front door of our house with his wings held out from his sides…perhaps trying to cool himself. I brought him water and fed him wet cat food. I did this for over a week. We became quite close. He would come within a few inches of me and I would watch him eat. Probably my favourite moment was when a bunch of crows were chasing him (they often gave him a rough time) and I saw him land in the upper branches of a tree quite a distance away from our house. I went inside and grabbed his green plate that I always fed him from and waved it in the air toward the tree. He stepped out of the tree and glided onto the roof of our house just above my head. It seemed like slow motion as he headed toward me. I went in and got his food and fed him. It was an intense relationship for over a week and then he gradually came less frequently until he no longer comes any more. I think we helped him get strong so he could go on to live a more ‘normal’ raven life. We still hear and see him in the neighbourhood and often as he flies over our house he will make his strange raven noises. I think he’s acknowledging us. They are incredibly intelligent beings. So, that makes my connection to the Raven ring that Francis made me even more meaningful.

He saw Kelly eating and landed on the deck railing behind her hoping to get fed.