Next an inspiration “coin” and an “angel card” (idea from my Guru Corinne) are selected. The pieces of rose quartz are also from Corinne and represent unconditional love, compassion, peace, tenderness, healing, nourishment and comfort.
In various ways I have represented fire, water, earth and sky. You can see jade Buddha presiding in the center of the shrine. Fom his teachings and by learning about meditation, I first found the beginnings of “peace” on my journey with Gregory.
The two miniature green containers (made by my God Son Isaac while he was in Japan) represent life (the one with the green leaves) and death (the closed container which contains ashes from a burnt note. I plan on putting some of Gregory in there when I get the chance.)
The wooden box contains hundreds of fish fetishes, carved from shell which represents my “trouble box." When I feel I have troubles which I need help solving, I mindfully place the problems in the box by leaving the top open from a little to a lot depending on their perceived severity.
Over time the shrine has grown: Added flags, another set of monk’s chimes, several more Buddhas larger and smaller, a larger bronze Ganesha and a smaller jade one, a chime from niece and nephew Mark and Coleen, another singing bowl (not pictured) off to the right which specially calls Gregory’s spirit, Buddha Feet (also from Colleen and Mark,) spices, beach glass, to the left of the jade Buddha is a tiny Gaia (Mother Earth, a gift from my massage therapist Sarah who brought it back from Thailand,) a bronze Buddha head which has four faces: happy, very happy, sad, very sad - turned each day to represent how I am feeling, and a Native American smudge bundle.
Above the shrine is a painting by Joan, a college chum of Gregory, now my friend also. She calls it HOME or ABODE, I cannot remember which but you get the significance.
I have hung a number of Chinese luck objects from Joan’s painting including dried yellow roses which I brought to Gregory as he was dying and dried red roses from my first Christmas without his physical presence. The chimes in the center a gift from friends Jan and Jake. With them I end the LEAVING ceremony.
My friends tease me that I have to leave half an hour earlier than usual because of the ceremony ;-) It is worth the extra time :-)