Redefining Death through Ceremony
We’re delighted to have had this conversation with Cindy MacMillan on the Exploring The Seasons Of Life Podcast about the importance of Redefining Death through Ceremony.
Within this conversation we discuss the importance of recognizing the cycles of life, realizing the lack of understanding our culture has around death as a sacred transition and how that keeps us fearful of death rather than embracing it as an inevitable part of life.
We discuss how ceremony can help us redefine death in our own way and gain a deeper understanding of how important it really is.
Today’s interview is part of a self-care series called Life in Full Bloom: Living From the Inside Out and I am delighted to introduce my guest today, Jessica Wertz.
As an artist, adventurer and visionary, Jessica has spent more than a decade as a self-employed ceramic artist living in seven different states. After establishing her career in the San Francisco Bay Area, she moved to the deep woods of Oregon to build a studio where she spent years living in the wilderness. During this time she had deeper conversation and insight around living consciously and creating from that space.
Jessica feels a deep sense of curiosity for the journey of the soul and how we weave our love in this world and into the next.
Here’s a glimpse of our conversation:
Hi, Jessica. Thanks so much for joining me today.
4:26 And then there’s this gentle reminder that comes in and, and you say this to yourself, no, I’m, I’m in a cycle of my life. I’m here for a reason I can trust why I’m here in this cycle. And what I’m going through right now is really important for me to experience the next thing, and I need to learn this, whatever this is.
5:50 Spirit Vessel is a company that my sister and I have formed together. And it is basically helping people create personalized celebration of life ceremonies, to honor those who have passed. And to do that in a way that feels very unique and individualized to the person.
8:13 We live in a culture that doesn’t recognize death as a sacred transition as simply a part of life. And because of that, and then this really goes back to living in the cycles of life. Like we don’t see ourselves cyclically living we see ourselves linearly living and we’re terrified of the end, for what that would mean, you know, but if we were to bring into our lives, a sense of we are nature, we come from, you know, spirit world, but we are of Earth, just as everything else is here, and really a deeper understanding of how important death is.
23:00 Because I’ll tell you, it’ll just keep coming up and it’s gonna come up uglier every time. And then you’ll start feeling, you know, experiencing other emotions and taking it out on the people you love and everything else. So, tend to yourself first, attend to your heart. Let yourself be in it. Let yourself cry, find a day find time for yourself.
24:30 So I’m reading a book right now by Stephen Jenkinson called Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul and it is extremely beautiful and his perspective on death in this culture is so helpful, and it’s one we’ve really lost. We’ve really lost the context. And he just really helps bring in a fuller perspective of death after his years in hospice work and really being with people through the process. So that’s a gorgeous book.
We hope you enjoy this podcast episode, and encourage you to leave us a comment with your thoughts below!
Learn more about personalized grief ceremonies here.