My sister's partner died at home last week.
I called Judith my 'sister-in-love', as they were not permitted to marry by the perverse laws of a society that doesn't recognise love, only convention. Even if the 'Law' is incapable of recognising loving unions, we are learning to make a family, consciously, out of the web of loving relationships we weave for ourselves and each other. So much support has been flowing in over the past week; this vibrant woman brought joy to so many lives and her passing has generated much good will.
My sister and I were lucky to be with her at the time of her passing. Although she left very quickly, in a sense, as we sat with her over the ensuing hours we were intuitively drawn into deep meditation and inspired to practise some gentle 'healing' arts to soothe her and help her accept the shutdown of her physical systems.
It seems that it takes time for the soul that is moving on to extricate itself from its longstanding association with the physical form it grew to transport itself through this stage of its journeying. Naturally, we get very attached (!) to the body, and fall into identifying with it as ourselves. So 'death' can be a shock to the 'normal' state of affairs; sometimes people panic as they realise they can no longer get it working; so, to die in an atmosphere of peace and acceptance, feeling the 'rightness' of the process, and allowing it to unfold, naturally, is a great blessing.
Alas, on the other hand, the terrible bushfires in the South (mostly Victoria, at the moment) have meant that many people there have died in a mood of panic and desperation, rather than a cocoon of safety and calm.
I hope that even as a flow of material support - money, clothing, food and blood - goes towards the survivors, a parallel flow of love and healing energy goes towards those whose passing was so traumatic.