Thursday, October 2, 2008

Forty days later...

Hard for my family and me to believe, but yesterday marked the 40 days following my husband's sudden and unexpected passing. According to Serbian Orthodox tradition, a memorial attended by close family and friends is held at the graveside on that day (yesterday October 1st), whereupon the priest offers more blessings. It is believed that the soul passes through the natural and supernatural world before moving on, and many prayers should be offered during the 40 days. This we have done, and we are still struggling to come to terms with this tragedy in our lives. He is missed every day, and will be loved forever.

I want to thank our very good friend and fellow photographer, Francois, who visited us this summer from Paris, and took this photo in the same cemetery where my husband lies. It dates from the early 1900's, and shows a ceramic photo of the person lying there.

21 comments:

Kris said...

I can't even begin to imagine how I'd cope in your shoes (and would probably rather avoid thinking about it too), but I do hope that this kind of service helps to process your profound loss.

The decline of some of the traditions around death and grieving in 'advanced' western culture I fear have done little to aid and comfort people in times of loss.

Speaking as someone without a religious faith, this is often influenced by agnostic or atheist tendencies - but not always - and sometimes I wonder how we might reconcile some of this dislocation.

On a selfish note, I would like to thank you for being so open and sharing your experience on such a sensitive and private matter to afford outsiders a view of what is a quite different set of rituals around mourning and managing with a loss of such personal magnitude.

MuseSwings said...

Bibi - 40 days! It probably seems like forever and also just a minute to you and and your family. This is a very sweet post to your husband's memory. The orthodox traditions are wonderful, aren't they?
Cynthia

Tash said...

Gospodi pomiluj. Thanks for sharing such a touching, difficult day with us.

Webradio said...

Bonjour Bibi !

Nous t'accompagnons par la pensée... Il est toujours dur de perdre un être aimé...
A plus tard.

Anonymous said...

Bog da mu dusu prosti.... Thank you for sharing with us.

B from Canada

Dan said...

Pat, thanks for this touching post today and the glimpse it gives us into your life. These traditions are comforting and friends help us bear the inevitable grief that life brings us all.

parlance said...

Traditions like these help us to come to terms with the sorrows that life throws up at us. I hope the special day has helped you in your grief.

Therese said...

With you Pat.

Chuck Pefley said...

The statue on this gravestone says it all. Godspeed ...

Virginia said...

God bless you and your family and may you find strength and peace through your faith and from friends and family. Yesterday must have been difficult for you. Bless your heart.

marley said...

This photo and your words make a moving post. I hope that you keep strong, I'm sure your husband is proud of you and your family.

Mim said...

This statue is so evocative of this awful, consuming grief. There simply are no words that I can think to say, but I truly feel for your loss.

Riccardo said...

He'll be always with you and with your family.
Be strong.

soulbrush said...

i have no words....just many hugs for you all.

kouji said...

this coming october 11, my family and i will also celebrate the passing of 40 days from the death of my grandfather.

my best wishes go out to you and your family.

babooshka said...

I am not usually moved by such images but combined with your words my very core has churned over. I cannot begin to comprehend what the past weeks since your husband's untimely passing has been like for you. Faith at these times I hope is a comfort. Not something I say often, but God Bless Bibi, God BLess.

jill said...

The Lord bless you with His peace.

richies said...

My sympathies and prayers are with you.

Becky said...

What a striking photo for this day. May God's comfort continue to be with you and your family.

Alexa said...

Pat -- am very touched that you've shared your thoughts and feelings here. Can't really imagine what you're going through dealing with this loss—but I believe that the familiar rituals you describe are meant to be comforting, and I certainly hope they were for you and your family. God bless.

Michael said...

I came here via Father Milovan's blog. I have spent some time looking through your wonderful photos. I was saddened to read of the passing of your husband. May God comfort you and your family, and may Ivan's memory be eternal.