Love Letters to the Dead

Sign up to immediately receive a PDF with inspirations for letter writing and ritual tending as well as with information on how to attend any or all of the four “Writing Rooms” in October. There is no fee for this offering.

Keep Up the Loving Flow Between the Living and the Dead

The seasonal shift from summer to fall is a potent time of year for remembering the dead. The Autumn Equinox begins the faster fall toward darkness. In October the growth of the natural world recedes and absence becomes a presence. 

Nature’s absence becomes an opening for the ancestors and beloved dead to call our attention. 

November’s first days bring Mexican Day of the Dead traditions, Catholic masses for All Saints and Soul Days, Samhain celebrations to mark when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, and secular commemorations on Veterans Day. All offer different ways to connect with those departed.

No matter your traditions or your beliefs, the turning of the year issues an invitation to keep up a loving flow between the living and the dead.  This year we may hear the call even more clearly when we refuse to let those taken by pandemic, by racism, by greed be just a number but remain our beloved dead. 

Responding with Love Letters to the Dead

Letters have a certain magic. They are lasting. Allow us to communicate over distance and across time. Once they were rare because most people could not write. Now they are rare because we are always writing, but on our phones and computers. This writing is functional and fleeting.

So when we step out of the busyness of our lives to write with pen and paper, the energy changes. We can further the energy shift by writing with intention. 

We can set our intentions on love and let our beloveds know they are remembered and cherished by writing them a love letter. 

To begin, you might consider:

  • Who do you want to write to? You can write to those you knew in life and those you didn’t. Your beloved dead. The ancestors. A long-dead writer who inspired you. Your departed pets. I have written to my partner, spiritual director, college boyfriend, Treyvon Martin. This year I will write to my mother. Some I write to every year. Some in the year when I learn of their death. Make a list or decide to focus on one person this year.
  • How will you send the message? An aerogram. A drug-store card. Pages of notebook paper. Leaves of petals to send without words but infused with love. You might match your form to speak most deeply to the one with which you want to communicate. 

Support for Your Letter Writing

You can, of course, write your letters at any time or place—the PDF you receive when signing up will give you all the tips you need—but I will host virtual “writing rooms” in October as spaces for writing in supportive, communal silence.

During our time together, we will:

  • Introduce ourselves and name the person we are writing to. 
  • Briefly review suggestions for how to start, and what we might include, in our love letters.
  • Have ample time to write – and perhaps decorate – our notes in companionable silence.
  • Share ways to send our letters ritually.
  • [Optional] Read a short portion of your love letter aloud to be witnessed by your fellow participants. There will be no comments on the letters. 

Times:

Sunday Writing Rooms ~ October 11th and 18th at 4pm ET 

Wednesday Writing Rooms ~ October 21 and 28 at 8pm ET

When you sign up below, you will immediately receive a PDF with inspirations for letter writing and ritual tending as well as links to register for these Sunday and Wednesday Writing Rooms. There is no fee for this offering.

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