Today’s celebration of life brought up for me more layered perspectives on the concept of embodiment in the context of death, and how meaningful and necessary it is to have a sense and a feeling of embodiment of loved ones who pass on, whether they passed on last week, last year, or 10,000 years ago. Embodied in ancestral lands, embodied in the bones, embodied in their possessions, embodied in a box of ashes. To feel them, their texture, their form on your own skin.
My first sister died before she was born. I never got to know her beyond her absence. My other sister Kalani I knew only in illness and in death. I never got to truly know her beyond the memory of family and friends.
Embodiment (I think) is how I can come to know and remember them both. It is how we establish relationship and experience kinship even after death, in another form of life, in another form of consciousness.
In celebration and honor of your life, Kalani…
Ashes mixed with salt water
ʻO kau ola e ke akua
clinging to the koa wood,
under fingernails and across pant legs
E nānā mai i kāu mau pulapula
Scattered in unwitting places
E ola ia mākou
A kanikoʻo, a haumakaʻiole
Becoming grasses, witnessing generations of life
A pala lauhala, a kau i ka pua aneane
To notice re-embodiment
A laila lawe aku ʻoe iā mākou
in a dream
in the ocean
in the sky
I ke alo o Wākea e