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A Farewell

Scorpio is a time of letting go, of death and profound transformations. We yesterday were at a funeral in a small town in the Bernese Alps. Dori, a dear friend of the family of my wife, had passed over a week ago at the age of 84. I knew her from a distance and there wasn’t much contact during the last decades but both of us held Dori dear. My wife had visited her last summer and there, they also had spoken about passing-over. Dori said that she didn’t fear and was ready to go – although she wasn’t frail. She was a warm-hearted person who welcomed life with open arms and took a lively interest in other people.

It was a cold and windy day when at noon time the family members and friends assembled at funeral hall. It was fascinating to see and feel these mountain people. Many had come to say good-bye to Dori whose presence we could clearly feel like an umbrella under which we were uniting there.

An elderly family member approached us: she had recognised my wife although over 40 years had passed by since they had met for the last time. My wife explained to me “who is who” as far as she knew. Then the protestant pastor made us stand around the urn; he spoke some words about Dori and explained the sequence of the ceremony. You could feel that it was not his first funeral service but he did it with an inner participation.

Later, when we stood on the burial ground, I let me eyes go round to absorb the ambiance – there was a solemn presence, where you could feel the visible and invisible meet. I took some photos without wanting to be remarked but the alert eyes of a granddaughter caught me. The urn was sunk into the ground, then roses were put on the grave. Although it was a deeply unique moment, the acts were of an archetypal nature.

We later assembled in the beautiful old church for the farewell ceremony. Besides some church songs which reminded me of times long gone by two of Dori’s sons spoke about her life in a warm and partly humorous way. Also the friendship link to the family of my wife was mentioned, it dated back to the 50s.
It was impressive to hear that only 3 weeks before the pass-over Dori had realised he wish to cross Paris by foot for the second time, the first time had been years back. So she made a 27 km walk from north to south, accompanied by family members. Later, at a train station in Paris, a grandson discovered a piano where he played her a song – and the same song he now played in the church – an incredible moment of completion of a life cycle. Three other grandchildren, teens and twens, came to the front and spoke about what her “grosi” (grandma) meant for them – they had wanted to speak and express their thanks, and they did it in a touching way. Some more words, songs and music concluded the ceremony.

We participants were invited into a nearby restaurant, where we had time to exchange with several family members and friends of Dori. Normally, I feel a bit lost at such gatherings. But here it was different. We were surprised to hear and feel how Dori had woven a great network between different people with her interest in their lives. It is something unique, and with this impression and a feeling of gratefulness we started the journey home.

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