Due to my family situation and death, it has been a while since writing for this blog. My very unique father passed away in July. Much of this year, has been spent out of town visiting Dad, doing his taxes, and saying goodbyes, then finally his funeral. We were strongly connected, my father and I. His passing was not easy for me. It was not unexpected. He long struggled with Parkinson’s disease. The hard part was saying goodbye. And, what sadness lingers most is not being able to talk about the things with him about the things we spoke of often, as the flying squirrels, airplanes, and so many other things. We shared an amazing diversity of interests.
When I would visit, his condition would cause our discussions to bring out of him a jumbled mass of memories, and I would hope to follow along the various references of people, places, and things over his 80-something years of life. I knew him so well, I usually could follow along with the tiny references of people and places that few others knew. It was actually pleasant, seeing which things I could remember, like a trivia game of his life. I would never know what he would bring up, as I was talking about one thing, and he would bring up an entirely different subject. I would just hope to hang on for the wild ride. It was all enjoyable, exciting, and will be sorely missed.
After many years of deep study into Muskogee and Seminole culture and cosmos, views and insights have been developed that I do not often share with many of you in regards to the afterlife or other worlds. Let us not get into comparisons between your religion and my philosophy. Thus there will be intentionally vagueness with some of my descriptions.
My father’s dying process was slow and happened over several days. Because of my close connection with him, a few days before he took his last breath and started the final process, I experienced it too. I became pale and ill with what the Creek and Seminoles describe as Ghost Sickness. Both Florida Seminole Josie Billie and Oklahoma Seminole Willie Lena talked about it. It started on a Wednesday, and lasted until Dad passed away Saturday morning.
Before I heard from the nurse of Dad’s last hours, a few days before, I actually started to do things in preparation for my trip up to Kentucky for Dad’s funeral. Got my hair trimmed, packed for the trip and gathered necessary insurance paperwork. Went to quiet, sacred places to meditate, think about my Dad and the journey he was soon to take.
When I heard from the nurse that Dad had less than 24 hours left, I packed everything in my car and was ready to go. There are certain signs that one may see when a warrior passes on. And, I saw one clearly as I was preparing to leave--clear indication to me that I would not make arrive before he passed on. Even if I had driven straight up without stopping, I would not have made it on time. That was okay. I had said to Dad what I needed to say the month before. Less than 24 hours after returning home from the funeral, I had a second sign that I was fully expecting. It was a sign that a warrior’s soul has moved on. Both these signs of the warrior’s soul are very powerful, were very clear to me, and very unmistakable.
Both my parent’s ashes were brought home with me. They will soon be placed together in a national veteran’s cemetery. Having both urns in my apartment did seem strange. In one respect, I was glad to have both parents here, but saddened to have them here in this state.
Within a day of coming back, I started to once again fall ill. It was the symptoms of the Ghost Sickness. This time worse, and encompassing my whole body. Each day it got worse.
Finally on the fifth day, I was very ill. I covered up the urns in a proper manner, and within minutes, all the symptoms, and all the sickness, went away. The cycle was complete. I just needed to do a little adjustment to have everything cleared up.
So in conclusion, know that traditional ways, the old ways, are alive and well, and something to be taken seriously.