The dead are not unfamiliar to Pagans. Many of us work with our ancestors or work with other departed in our communities. When 9/11 happened, many of us connected with the departed from that tragedy. Anne Newkirk Niven, who edits SageWoman and Witches & Pagans, sent me a link to a blog post detailing one experience with the 9/11 dead that I found quite moving.
Ocean writes about a post-9/11 trance experience:
As I continued to study these individuals, I found myself locking eyes with a young man sitting in the first boat, which had pulled up to shore besides me. His uniform clearly identified him as a firefighter of the New York Fire Department, one of the over three hundred members of FDNY who died on this day. His eyes gazed at me with a piercing stare from a face dirty with dust, grime, and caked blood.
I’m certain that Ocean isn’t alone in connecting with the 9/11 dead. Through dreams, through trance, many of us bore witness to their crossing over in some fashion. What I think is the most important thing to keep in mind as we remember and honor the dead is Ocean’s reminder:
We miss them. We mourn them. We memorialize them.
But they are okay. They have come to accept what has happened to them, and we must as well. We can and should never forget… but it is in the living that we most honor the dead.
It is we who are still mourning, not the dead. They are fine, they are safe, they are whole, but we are still hurting as a nation. What will it take for us to truly heal?
Please check out the rest of Ocean’s post, and have a great weekend!