Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Requiem for Brad Dement

A few days ago, a gentleman that I had been corresponding with via email passed away. He was in his early 40's, and from my letters back and forth with him, he seemed vibrant and enthusiastic about his spiritual life. He was a fellow Pagan, and a fellow man of British Heritage- both Germanic and Celtic. He used the religious names "Ethelwulf" and "MacAlbion".

I understand that quite well, as I live a dual-traditioned life, honoring both sides of my own heritage, Germanic and Celtic, as Ule and as Cuan. It's demanding, but the Germanic and Celtic ancestral streams come together in the Holy Isles of Britain. Brad understood this; he was respectful to the people of Britain, both those alive today and those of his own family that had gone before.

Brad's guardian spirit must have been happy that his Fate called for his death now, in the Beltaine season- like Samhain or the time of the Wolf's Nights, it is an easy time for any living creature to make their transition, their journey across the dividing line between the living and the dead. I know that he may have carried some regrets or attachments with him, like nearly all of the living who are called to make that journey, but I also know that things went well for him, and are going well for him.

I didn't know him well, but I know one thing about him, one thing that might be as important as anything else: he was brave enough to resist the dominant streams of modern social pressure, reflected in the dominant Christian religion, and embrace the old ways of his Ancestors. As I have pointed out elsewhere, that takes boldness and bravery. He was brave and he died a Pagan.

He lives now, on his new journey- still a Pagan, who is ever more open to the regenerating influences and the appearances of the after-world than any Christian could be or will be. While Christians are longing for the appearance of their savior and their deliverance, they will only face the long journey, and the appearance of spirits, most of which they will believe are demons. Those peaceful few who can accept them as "angels" may have a better time of it, and to them, and to all who must die, I extend a wish for peace and success.

Death is a time for the settling of accounts and for the quenching of the fire of hateful emotions or disturbing attitudes. I hold no grudge against any of this world's dead, even those I disliked. In death, we all pay our debts back and we become justified.

I know Brad is doing well because a brave person always does well when they have to face the unknown. Being brave is about being fully aware of whatever presents itself to you, no matter how unexpected, difficult or frightening it might be, and keeping your sense of self intact, along with your moral reasoning, your dignity and your poise. A brave person may suffer from fear, but they never lose themselves to it; they never become its victims.

Brad has no choice but to make a journey now, and I know that he'll face what he has to face in a brave manner. He faced this life with a brave will to do what he felt was right, even though most people in the society around him discouraged his choice of religious lifestyle.

It's not easy to go against the great religious current that sweeps nearly everyone along, unthinking, into the fate created for them by organized faiths. Those who can face the weight of 2000 years of social pressure are going a long way towards preparing themselves to face the immense forces that meet us in our death-transitions, and which may try to urge us in directions that we might not wish to take. The life-journey takes bravery; the death-journey also takes bravery.

The virtues we create in ourselves in this life are each person's true companions on the death-journey, and they are the things that we all "take with us". You can forget about making deals for an easy afterlife; the cost of a good afterlife is paid here and now, in our daily activities and personal development.

I have had many disturbing and powerful dream visions in the last 5 days, coinciding not only with this holy season, but I believe with Brad's death. I can come up with no other explanation. These dream visions are causing changes in my life and in my spiritual life which I am soon to implement, as I will explain in my next post to this blog.

But until then, Brad is journeying and must be given a proper requiem. I have one here, "reclaimed" from Carmina Gadelica, for a cousin that I never knew well, but to whom I wish I had written more. Where he has gone, I will go one day, and so will you, so read this requiem for him, and mean it in your heart. What you do for him will be done for you.

The Death Song

You are going home this night to your home of winter,
To your home of fall, of spring, of summer,
You are going this night to the home of all,
To your perfect rest, to a lasting bed beyond what is

Sleep you, sleep, and away with your sorrow,
Rest in the visions that will come, peaceful, without
Rest you, rest, and away with any sorrow,
Be at peace, dear one, in the lap of the Mother.

Sleep this night in the breast of your Mother,
Sleep, dear one, She herself soothing you;
Rest you this night on the Great Mother's arm,
Rest you, dear one, She herself kissing you.

This rest is beyond earthly sleep,
Hurt and grief pass away, and onward go you,
This is the sleep of youth, an awakening to the
The healing sleep of the Lord of Light.

The peace of the seven lights be yours, friend,
The peace of the seven joys be yours, friend,
The peace of the seven sleeps be yours, friend,
On the arm of the Shining One, who has defeated

The shadow of death is on your face, friend,
But the Shining King has his arm around you;
Go now to the Three Mothers, and bid farewell to pain,
Your beloved is standing in front of you, with peace
in her mind.

Be now in the calm of all calm,
Recieve the guidance of all guidance,
Be now in the love of all loves,
Go now, our dear one, with the Lord of Life;
Rest now, our dear one, in the God of Life.


Anonymous said...

Greetings, your post was beautiful about Brad. He was my brother in the craft and showed and taught me many things. I have not had any contact with him during the last few years and the news of his passing is sad, but not unexpected. I hope that his journey on the other side is wonderful, and I am sure I will meet him again. Thank you again for your post. ~Lilith~

Jeffrey Sykes said...

I met Brad in August 1988, ten years ago. He lived down the hall form me in college. He was a few years older than me, I was a complete closed minded 18yo from a Christian conservative background.

But we hit it off immediately and he taught me so much about his beliefs and music and life in general.

We shared an apartment for six months and he challenged my every belief.

We didn't always see eye to eye, but I learned more about life from Brad than from just about any other person in the world.

I was talking to a mutual friend today who told me Brad had passed and I was saddened to hear about it.