Crossing the River Update

I have gotten some absolutely amazing submissions to the devotional I’m working on for the Beloved Dead.  However, I hope to get some more!  There just aren’t enough yet to publish a robust anthology.  I believe we can get there.

Therefore I’m extending the deadline until September 28th, 2015.

I have more information available here for those interested in submitting.

If you email me in the next few weeks, I may take a very long time to reply, but I will get to it.  I’m currently in the middle of a jaw and tooth infection that has landed me in both the ER and urgent care this week along with the dentist.  I’m on my 2nd round of stronger antibiotics as the 1st didn’t do much good despite the IV administration of a second type.  Because of this I’m on heavy duty pain pills, while having learned that morphine apparently does nothing for me.  I’m dealing with high blood pressure and tachycardia attacks triggered by the stress and pain.  Meanwhile it will be 2 weeks until I have surgery, and I’m terrified that I will be one of the people with Ehlers-Danlos who feels and hears everything but can’t tell the doctor due to anesthesia; Novocaine, Lidocaine, and epidurals decidedly don’t work for me.  I’m having 6 teeth removed, because I have 2 wisdom teeth, a baby tooth, and 3 teeth that have fallen apart due to my faulty collagen.  At this point, we fortunately have the costs covered, which I’m thankful for, so at least there’s that.  If I’m quiet, though, you know why.

The Neighbors

The elderly couple who lived on the other side of our duplex died… The wife first after a terrible fight with cancer, I knew the last time the ambulance left she wasn’t going to be back.  A month later her husband simply got sick and gave up. I never sat with either of them while they were dying. They were private people even in death.  No burial.  No service.  Before they died, they made a final trip to Myrtle Beach with their family instead.

It’s been a bit of a surreal experience, to say the least. Even more so, they’ve both been here to visit since passing. The husband more than the wife. He says he’s hanging around to make sure they get his home cleaned out and rented to someone who won’t make our lives chaotic.  I don’t rush him.  I feel thankful he is willing to watch out for us.  I catch him sitting on the front step, smoking cigarettes. I say “Hey, George!” and then remember he’s not alive anymore. He comes in dreams to tell me stories that he wanted to be sure someone heard.  We laugh about the deer coming through our back yard just as if he were alive…  Me thinking they look beautiful; him thinking they look delicious.

This is my life. I guess it’s always been my life to a certain extent, but it’s become more pronounced in recent years. I no longer can ignore the Dead. They don’t allow for it.

Truth be told, I’m not sure I would really have it any other way.

Call For Submissions for a Beloved Dead Devotional

I said I wasn’t going to start this, and yet here I am anyway…  Doing the Work.

Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead

Calling for submissions for Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead, edited by Camilla Laurentine (and possibly others to sign on at a later date). Submissions open August 7th, 2014 and close February 28th, 2015.

The intention of this devotional is to build a source book of modern meditations, hymns, prayers, and other resources for death workers working in our greater community. All Pagan and Polytheist traditions are welcome and encouraged to submit to this project.

Submissions should fall into one of three categories: Vigil of the Dying, For the Recently Deceased, and Funerary Tools. They may include, but are not limited to meditations, poems, hymns, prayers, original retellings of myths, rituals, and scholarly articles with a focus on historical practices within one’s tradition. Artwork is also welcome and encouraged with a preference for pieces that are easily reproduced in black and white.

Multiple submissions by the same author are welcome. Contributors will retain their original copyright of their work. Previously published work is welcome, provided the author retains the original copyright. All work must be original and proper citing in MLA style.

Please provide a small bio about yourself to be included within the anthology. All contributors will be asked to sign a publication release prior to the publication date (estimated May 2015) or their work will not be included in the publication.

The editor (or editors) reserve the right to make minor changes to formatting, spelling, and grammar as necessary. Requests for modifications of submissions may be made as necessary. The editor reserves the right to reject submissions.

Artwork must be 300dpi.

Send all submissions as .doc, .rtf, .odt, or .jpg. Please send all submissions to the editor at NotAWiccan(at)gmail(dot)com.

All contributors will be allowed to buy up to 4 copies at cost of either the ebook or printed publication. There will be no financial compensation provided. All proceeds will go towards building scholarships to pay for those seeking classes and further education involved in death work in our community.

Looking For Death-Related Prayers and Poems. Help?

I’m currently putting together a guidebook for my work as a death midwife, and eventually I would like to be able to offer the non-copyrighted work to others wishing to get into death work in the Polytheist and Pagan community.

I would really, really love to have a collection of prayers, meditations, and beautifully written words to span various traditions and religions.  I would love to have both historical pieces and modern.

Eventually, I’m considering putting together an anthology of modern work on the subject, but if I take on one more project right now I’ll probably drop everything I’m carefully balancing.  However, if you submit something to me now, I would like to know if when I get to the point of putting something together for the community if you’d like to be included.

And in this vein, I’m also looking for soothing pieces.  Pieces to help people transition to their next journey.  Gentle things.

But also prayers for the deceased once they have ceased to be fully in our world.

So can you help me?  Even just links to your favorite hymns?  And would you kindly pass this message on to those who may be able to help?

Thank you!