The morning of our goodbyes came. I woke up with mixed emotions. I was sad to say goodbye and I was happy to lay my brother and grandpa to rest. We had our coffee. I grabbed each of my mom’s brothers and sisters, my mom and dad along with a cedar smudge I had made. Grabbed my supplies and a shovel and headed out to the Bashaw cemetery. My dad Tom, kids and husband loaded up in my vehicle. My mom and my auntie Anita in another. It was a cloudy day threatening rain and of course it seemed suitable.
As we drove the twisting gravel road to the cemetery, I felt this is it. Hold it together. You can do this. My aunties and my mom had asked me to do a blessing before we laid my brother and grandpa to rest. I was honored but also a ball of emotions. I had previously done the obituary at my grandpa’s celebration of life and talked at my brother’s celebration of life and I had remembered how hard it was to keep strong.
As we pulled up to the gates of the cemetery, I saw the other vehicles there of the other family members. I was in my own head though and briefly remember saying hello. Our kids were so excited to see our family members and that brought a smile to my face a warmth in my heart. As we approached the back of the cemetery, I noticed my great grandpa John McDonald’s headstone and then saw my grandma Edna’s plot. There was a hole in the grave produced by an auger. I looked at the two wooden urn boxes my brother and grandpa rested in. My first thought was, “How in the heck are we going to put a square into a circle?” Well with a little help from my dad, mom and aunties we got the hole opened up.
I handed out a cedar smudge to my aunts, uncles, mom and dad. I lit my sage and began my space clearing for my brother and my grandpa. I called upon the great Spirit of Sage to drive away any negativity. I called upon the great Spirit of Sweetgrass to bring in harmony and balance. I turned to the East and called upon the great Spirit of Air to cleanse and inspire the space. I turned to the South and called upon the great Spirit of Water to strengthen and bring peace to the space. I turned to the West and called upon great Spirit of Fire to energize and protect the space. I turned to the North and called upon the great Spirit of Earth to ground and cleanse the space. I turned towards the heavens and called upon Great Father Sky to guard the space from above. I knelt toward the earth and called upon Great Mother Earth to nurture the space from below. I saw the Great Spirits standing guard. I then turned to the North and thanked the Buffalo. I turned to East and I thanked the Eagle. I turned to the South and thanked the Coyote. I turned to the West and thanked Grizzle Bear. I saw Mother and Father spirits sending loving energy from above and below and I thanked them.
I felt at peace. I kissed my hands and placed them on each box. My mom, dad and aunties then placed the boxes into the hole (let me tell you this was not easy as it was a round hole. My family members reading this will laugh at the memory as my mom’s chest was bruised for a week after trying to get those boxes in). I grabbed some dirt and tossed it down the hole, I then watched as Derek and our kids tossed dirt down the hole. I then watched as my dad, mom, auntie Anita and aunty Lil took turns filling the hole using the shovel until the hole was filled and packed on top. I thanked everyone for coming and took some time to myself. I walked to the edge of the fence looking into the bush before me. I let my tears come down. I talked to my grandpa and my brother and wished them all the best and sent them love. Just as I turned around to rejoin the family, I saw my mom walking up to me. It was a great feeling having her by my side. Thank you, mom, for that moment. It made my heart lighter.
The little kids in the family released some balloons in honor of their grandpa, cousin and uncle. We took some family photos and then headed back to my uncles for some lunch. My auntie Anita was supposed to head back that night but felt she should stay with my mom. So, she and my mom drove back to millet and my dad, husband and kids went in my vehicle. It was a quiet drive. A sense of relief almost that we got through the day and it was done. After I dropped my dad off at his house my husband, kids and I went home. After the kids were in bed, I joined my mom and auntie at my mom’s house. Again, the messages came pouring through.
I channeled and gave as much as I could. Then all of a sudden, I looked at my auntie and asked her, “Who is Pearl?” My auntie started crying. Pearl was her close friend who had passed. But her real name was not Pearl. She was shocked I knew her nick name. I was happy I could bring that comfort to her. We told my mom about the night before and the event with the automatic writing. I told her I would get ahold of Stacie and figure out what I needed to do. My auntie left the next day and was to head back to Saskatchewan.
That following night I got a phone call from my Aunty Lil and she said, “Can we, (meaning Anita and Lil) come and spend the night and then surprise your mom in the morning?” Of course, I welcomed them in. I was happy to have them. And I knew my mom would be thrilled. Again, we stayed up until 2:00 am and talked, I channeled and we enjoyed ourselves. The next morning, they went and surprised my mom. Again, we spent another late night channeling. That weekend was a huge turning point on me opening up. My aunty was scheduled again to go back to Cabri the next day but something kept on bringing her back……