Just a breath away

20 July 2013
Written by Vanessa Kenny
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 Funerals often make us question the meaning of life. However they can also be a time of coming together in celebration of life, as Vanessa MacDonald writes


This last month I have attended three funerals; each one a unique commemoration distinctive to the different customs of the beautiful people who have sadly left our physical world. Although a sad time, there is much beauty in the honouring of a life.

In recent times I have observed a shift in funeral ceremonies. They now tend to be more of a celebration of a life, rather than mourning of the dead. A much more gentle and wholesome farewell for all as the focus is on the life of the individual, their contributions as well as expressions of love from the families and friends.  There is a more personal touch with pictures, songs and funny stories – all of which help us to remember that life indeed is for living. 

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it"  W.M.Lewis

Many cultures and traditions believe in the afterlife; that there is no real death, just a transition to the spirit world. The ancients talk of spirit being just a breath away.

These beliefs resonate with me and my right-brain romantic self rests peacefully knowing that nothing ever really dies and that my spirit and those of the ones I love and cherish will live eternally. Some may think this simplistic and naive…but I’m completely happy and comfortable and indeed comforted with this line of thought. 

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my good old Catholic upbringing that planted this seed as I have no belief whatsoever in heaven (unless we are talking chilli chocolate and a good book) or the dreaded hell (made up by men in beards to keep the village folk in line).  Even my left-brained logical, reasoning mind that questions life, death and the universe finds it difficult to fathom the thought that death is the end. The idea that we are born, live, experience, learn and grow then disappear completely off the planet, the universe, all universes and galaxies seems a extremely weird concept to me – what would be the point of life?!

It’s better to look back on life and say: “I can’t believe I did that” than to look back and say “I wish I did that” from Lessons Learned in Life   

Funerals often make us question what life is all about.  Relationships, lightness, love, the simple, the good, our humanness, our dreams, our desires. Personally funerals also make me reflect on and remember to honour the spirit of our loved ones and indeed our ancestors as they are just a breath away.

Celebrating a person’s life with tears and joy is an honest farewell. Grieving can take some time and we must honour this process also.

New Zealand Silver Fern Essence can be taken to help when suffering grief and heart-felt trauma. Sliver Fern can help facilitate inner healing and assist in creating peace and stillness after experiences of deep sorrow. 


For individual Flower Essence Consultations at clinic or via e-mail please contact:
Vanessa at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
for Reiki Healing or Therapeutic Massage please call or txt: 027-4930988

First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand® were co-created by Franchelle Ofsoske-Wyber and Tony Wyber.
In 2008, Franchelle was awarded the New Zealand Health Industry Distinguished Services Award for Research and Development.



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