They sat with me for hours in this spot. Sometimes talking. Much of the time just being still, gazing at Autumn’s tranquil beauty and listening to the sounds of the Lake.
For some this may look like healing.
I know with experienced certainty it is not.
This, this is the perpetual triage of raw grief.
Keep the body still.
Regulate the breath.
Quiet the mind.
Assess the wound.
Allow tears, laughter or lethargy to come.
Keep in check the anger.
When there is energy, do something useful, purposeful.
Ardently cradle the sorrow when it assails.
Thank you to everyone who has brought us meals, and sent us cards, and held me in your arms or with your spirit. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. You are a blessing to us, to me. Thank you.
Rev. Kate Braestrup is an ordained UU Minister residing in Maine. She has helped countless people cope with acute trauma and navigate unimaginable grief. Her viral video on The Moth Radio Hour introduced millions to our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. She has received many accolades and awards for her work in the mental health field. She has been given an award by the UUA recognizing her contribution to religious liberalism. Recently she has shared this blog post.
Two questions that are paramount: Who can claim Unitarian Universalism as their own…and who is claimed (or rejected) by Unitarian Universalism? What are the standards for UUs in general in regards to how we are to treat each other?
Due to the tragic death in our family, many of our Autumn-time events have been cancelled or postponed, including retreats in Pittsfield and on Moosehead Lake. If you were registered for an event, please see your inbox for details or message us. The monthly women’s book group at Twinkle’s Place will resume in December. Weekly silent meditations and Hygge teas will begin in November.
Events and speaking engagements that will remain as scheduled include:
Pulpit supply of previously scheduled Sunday mornings (see calendar for dates and times);
Maine Municipal Association presentation on October 3rd;
UU Talks Zoom sessions;
Orion’s Hallowe’en Party, Día de los Muertos crafts and storytelling, and our annual Samhain Ritual.
Our community is mourning the loss of Sumner “Bud” Jones
As time permits I will write a homily about Bud. I have only known this wonderful man for five and a half years, yet I have several cherished anecdotes. He and his wife Barb were so welcoming of me when I moved here. And charming. By their example they taught me a great deal about the many facets of being in a multi-religious, multi-political community in rural Maine.
Every year on 9/11 my services always include this song – played, sung or spoken. “If I Give Your Name” by Pat Humphries and Sandy O of Emma’s Revolution. As well as some version of Judy Chicago’s Merger Poem as prayer, as meditation, as wish and as dream. May the day come when we can all live in gentle compassion and peaceableness.
This Sunday many will gather for the Water Communion. The UU Singers choir in the congregation I serve this week will be singing “Turn the World Around” by Harry Belafonte/Robert Freedman. I adore this song! The reminder, and the call, of our unity.
When Harry Belafonte performed this on The Muppet Show, he talked about what makes the world go ‘round, that we are here for a very brief time, and that if we take the time to understand each other that there is not really any difference in any of us. And that, if we get to know each other, to really care about each other, we can turn the world around.
May your Water Communions be beautiful calls to compassionately love one another.
Join Us! Sermon: Gentle Ripples, a Water Communion Service to Gather The Beloved Community Sunday, September 8th, 2019 (10:00 am) The Universalist Unitarian Church of Waterville 69 Silver Street, Waterville, Maine
Worship Leader: Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Porter-Manning