Certain theories of energy, particularly as pertains to the energy of the human body, state that moving energy around through mental visualization or other means can help or hinder a person. For example, upward moving energy puts us out of sorts — revving us up, screwing us up, making us uptight. Downward moving energy, on other the other hand, brings us down to earth, calms us down.
Ever since my sister came to help take care of our aging father, she has been insistent on moving energy around, not in us so much as in the house. To that end, she has lit candles, done a thorough cleaning (including windows!), rearranged things, even rearranged lives. (It’s her efforts that got my dysfunctional brother packed and in the car so I could drive him back to Colorado.) Lately I’ve been sweeping out my past, and she is encouraging me, saying that I’m moving energy around.
I don’t know what, if anything, this movement of energy means or if in fact it is making a difference in any significant way, but it is helping me break ties to some of my “things.” I don’t own much, and what I do own is of little value, but I have a special connection to things I have made, to things my deceased life mate/soul mate appreciated, to pretty boxes and bows. I’ve gotten rid of much of the unnecessary things of his and my shared life, but I’ve kept many things just because someday I might like to have them, but now with my sister’s insistence on moving energy around, I’m finding myself getting rid of things I’d always planned to keep. The things simply no longer seem important. (I wonder if I’m going too far and will later regret getting rid of so much, but the truth is, whatever I keep will have to be stored or moved multiple times since I won’t have a permanent place to live.)
One thing I haven’t gotten rid of yet is his ashes, though they too no longer seem important.
I never had any plans to keep his ashes, but a minister friend once cautioned against getting rid of them all. Apparently, people come to regret such a move. Since I didn’t like the idea of opening the box and separating out a bit of him, and since I couldn’t bring myself to throw him away, I’ve simply kept the box intact. But now I think I should be moving the energy around. It’s not his energy in that box/urn, of course — he’s been gone for almost four and a half years. It’s not my energy either, as far as I know. I don’t have much emotion invested his remains anymore, don’t even really think about them, but they are always present.
Right after his death, getting rid of those “cremains” would have broken what was left of my heart because they were all I had left of him. But they are not him. I know he wouldn’t have wanted me to keep them. Well, for that matter, I don’t particularly want to keep them, either, but whenever I’ve considered getting rid of them, the thought assumed such importance that I felt better off leaving them where they are.
I can see the time is coming to move that energy around, to throw out what is, in essence, inorganic matter without any particular meaning. Strangely, I’m even beginning to feel uneasy having his cremains around, as if I’m holding onto a desiccated corpse.
I wish he were here, wish I could talk to him, wish I could show him the things I made or wrote and see his slow sweet smile of appreciation, wish I could go home to him. But none of that will ever happen. So even though I know he would not like my tossing out so much of what I have made, I remind myself he no longer has a say in my life, and I keep moving energy around.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.