Finding Solace Through Honoring Our Ancestors




I had an incredible experience with an ancestor on the Internet, a dear friend who passed some years ago.  As a remembrance, I posted a picture I’d taken of her, on Facebook.  Nearly two years later, this image showed up in the feed of someone, a friend of hers I’d not known. At the point at which this person contacted me to share their photo of her (ironically, our photos were taken at the same beach location) it began a singular conversation that became an unforeseen turning point in both our lives. Ancestors are with us.  They want to be a part of our lives.  And this ancestor undeniably showed her presence in my life.

Sometimes we are of two minds when it comes to our thoughts and beliefs about our ancestors about those whom we love who are on the other side.  These split ideas may have to do with our religion or culture or just not being sure.  On the one hand we believe they are SIMPLY gone, unreachable – DEAD.  On the other hand something within us knows that they are ever near and that Life is cyclical and as such there is really no death… only birth, life and rebirth.

I honestly believe those who love us and whom we love are always with us.  It amazes me how the ancestors have infiltrated the Internet.  People are always posting images of those who are deceased.  Another reminder, they are wherever we are.  We’re on the Internet, so they show up on the Internet.  If that isn’t confirmation, I don’t know what is.

There are times when we think of them, miss them, long for them, but know not what to do to honor them, how we feel about our seeming loss of them. One thing that I can suggest is setting up an “official” shrine, a sacred space just to acknowledge them.

The shrine doesn’t have to be complicated or deep, only as deep as you want it to be.  You can start with just a photo of your beloved ancestor(s), a vase of fragrant flowers, and a glass of water that you refresh daily.  Perhaps you also place there something you have that belongs to them (like their bible) or something you’d like to give them.  Say a prayer, or simply talk to them.  Tell them about your hopes, your dreams, your troubles, and ask them for guidance.  Tell them how much you love and miss them.  Sing for them, dance, play an instrument, cry, laugh, tell them a joke you know they’d like, act out… give them some energy and send them Light and Love!

Do you think they do not hear you, feel you?  Oh, but they do.  And they want more than anything to assure you they are in a place of perfect peace.  Your pain about them is not what they want for you.  Know that your joy increases their joy.  Acknowledging your ancestors in this way can be a means of solace for you in a way your never might have imagined.  Listen here to one of my favorite songs about Ancestors, Breaths.

A link to Gemi-Men





  • Fanta

    10/28/2015 at 11:42 am

    This is great wisdom and simple truth. I love that you have suggestions for those who want to be communion with their ancestors. Thank you Anu

    • anu

      10/28/2015 at 5:48 pm

      Awww Fanta! Thank you my dear Sister. The Happy Pebble is one of my fav ancestors.

  • Carolyn Grimstead

    10/28/2015 at 1:43 pm

    What a wonderful experience and idea. I was wondering what to do to honor my parents both now deceased. An altar is a great way to honor them and share them.

    • anu

      10/28/2015 at 5:47 pm

      Indeed Carolyn! It always intrigues how Asian people set up public shrines in their places of business. It’s usually up high as to not be disturbed I guess, and we need to get back to this practice ourselves. I’m so happy you found this of value.

  • Eleanor Oliver

    10/28/2015 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for the reminder Mut

    • anu

      10/28/2015 at 5:46 pm

      My honor and pleasure Eleanor!

  • Teresa Speight

    10/28/2015 at 8:13 pm

    Oh how I understand this. I keep a table with my Mom’s photo, her smile, her hand on her hop and that magical sparkle in her eye…..I talk to her and share me, as if she was right here…..She is…everyday and knows it all, just as she did in years past. Thanks Anu……

    • anu

      10/28/2015 at 10:39 pm

      I’m not surprised Teresa that you already have this connection. As a person who works with nature, you already plugged in. Carry on!

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