As I sit here writing this with Briga/Barbara by my side I can see her look…apparently she wants me to get it right.
A few months went by before I next saw my friend; I had grandchildren to welcome into the world (one in October, one in November) & the business of the holidays to attend to. I next visited in January, first at a gathering of Druids at Briga’s home, second at the end of the month for private time & deep conversation. By the second visit, it was obvious to the physical eye that she was slipping. She had a hard time rousing from slumber when I arrived and was experiencing a lot of physical discomfort. Even so we stayed up into the wee hours of the night talking, with the sound of the oxygen machine humming away in the background. We talked about Death, legacy & her ‘Big, Fat, Druid Funeral’. Barbara was an artist, professionally and in her soul. She planned her funeral like others plan a wedding…with every detail laid out just so. We discussed how active she would be when she no longer had need of her dilapidated body. That in many ways dying would free her up to continue her work, for she was frustrated that she had reached a point in which she could no longer journey easily or learn new Spiritual techniques. I think this was one of the greatest gifts I got before her passing, that time to sit for hours talking about my favorite subject “Death”. Her bravery and strength were truly beautiful. On my way home the next day I thought about our conversation and pondered how I should write something about ‘the beauty in dying’. For in truth, there is a special something that can only be experienced when sitting in the Death’s embrace.
Unfortunately I was not there when Barbara stepped into being Briga. Barbara had a great love and connection with the Goddess/Saint Brigid of Ireland. She had traveled to Ireland twice during her days with Cancer, the second time spending a month there by herself. Briga was/is the incarnation of Barbara that is a strong Druid Priestess in service to Brigid. She was Spiritually transformed in a ceremony on her birthday, surrounded by Druids & Healers. She chose to let go of the everyday worries of Barbara and step fully into the shining light of her true Spirit self…Briga. If you have interest in reading more about this please check out my friend Fearn’s blog post Briga’s Crossing.
I slept on the couch just outside of Briga’s room on the last night of her physical life (Saturday the 14th). Although, I did not sleep much as I could feel Death close by. Her Mother and Father had both gathered in the room with me. Her Father’s Spirit standing guard, and her Mother’s sitting in the chair just outside of where Briga lay restlessly. Briga coughed and struggled to breathe most of the night and at 3 am she got up & began to type. I could hear her as I lay on the couch. She was writing love notes…reaching out to the people she loved …telling them the things she needed to say. She woke early the next morning with an announcement that I was not surprised to hear “I’m done!”
I hope you have enjoyed the read folks. I will share the final piece on Friday morning, before I head out to Briga’s Druid Memorial.