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Author: Subject: Mrs. Collins' Funeral Service

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  posted on 2/14/2007 at 04:10 PM
My Friends,

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon with Lefty at his mother's funeral service. I am grateful to have shared this grief with our one, Mr. Lefty, our friend. The experience was overwhelming, and it turned into a celebration of Mrs. Collins' life...from what I've learned, it was just as she had wanted it to be.

We all need to hold each other up and close to our hearts.

...it's all about the love.

I would like to share with you all a story of mine from awhile back. Many of you may have already read this story at another time, and if you already have, I hope you will be open to once again find peace within the words.

It's for our friend Lefty, and all of you...

I love you...

THE BUTTERFLY

Lately, I have been witness, to loved ones within in my life, who have been experiencing great pain and grief, as they make their way through the movement of their days. It's not good, and itís not bad, it's just the way that it is. Often times, our compassion becomes misguided, allowing us to become absorbed within the energy of their pain or our own pain, creating questions within ourselves of why the universe will not devote itself to making us happy.

Some of the loved ones, of which I speak, are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is normal that the compassion we have for someone experiencing the loss of another is of deep sorrow and concern for their well being. It is compassionate for us to grieve the loss through our emotions and our tears. In my opinion, it is a blessing, through the process of grieving, to see the experience from the perspective of enlightenment. Throughout this process, may God bless you to view the loss with joy and happiness in your heart for your loved one, who is now continuing on to the next step of their journey? The next step, which is the journey home. On the journey to a place we all aspire to go to at some level of consciousness throughout our lives. Much of the pain experienced during the loss of a loved one is created out of selfish justifications of what that persons life meant to our own lives. Often times forgetting that we are all on our own journeys and that through our loved oneís passing, has allowed for them to continue on with their journey home. In time, be happy for them and work hard not to hold on to their spirit. They will always be here to guide you.

There is much compassion; understanding and love in seeing ones experience from the point of view of the Butterfly. I choose to see the joy and happiness one will endure on the journey of growth and healing, as they work their way through the pain and anguish within their hearts, to reach the other side of the experience, of which awaits them, the rewards of their labors. It is necessary to acknowledge the pain, which harbors sadness, in order to understand and embrace oneís happiness. It is necessary to not resist the pain of our experience. It would be very difficult to see the happiness in our lives, if it were only surrounded by happiness. At times, one must cry, to truly own the joy and jubilation of laughter on the other side of sadness.

Many choose to move through the forest of their lives looking back down the path from where they have come. Moving through the forest with their heads turned away from the direction in which they are walking, clinging tightly to their past experiences of pain and sadness, only to wallow within the wake of their own destruction. Traveling through the forest in this manner leads one to bump into the many trees within the forest, creating obstacles along the way, that only assist in the result of holding you back from continuing down the path of your journey. Walking through the forest as if you were wearing blinders, as a thoroughbred racehorse does in the event of a race. Choosing to walk through the forest, without seeing all that is around you, does not enable you to make the decisions and adjustments necessary to get out of the way of the trees and obstacles that are down the path of your journey.

Choosing to live within the moment of now, and acknowledging the experiences of your past, through forgiveness, allows you to move down the path of your journey, with both eyes looking forward, as you walk through the forest of your life. To continue walking through the forest without having to rest often, one must begin to forgive your self, and begin to acknowledge and love all that it is about your self, that up until this point along the journey, you have chosen not too. The baggage we carry only becomes heavier and harder to carry as time goes on. And as time goes on, it only becomes later. Itís okay, your okay and you are loved. You and I, which is one and everything, which is God.

Often times, as we continue along the path of our journey, we travel in the way of the Caterpillar. We move slowly through the forest only able to see and experience that which, is directly in front of us. The journey then becomes difficult creating fears and obstacles that only slow us down from continuing down the paths of our lives. We struggle to reach the top of a hill, only to travel down the other side of the hill, and begin to climb and make our way up to the top of the next hill. Never knowing or understanding what awaits us around the next bend of the river.

As we continue to overcome our fears, forgive others and struggle to get past our obstacles of pain and sadness, we grow. We grow to acknowledge our journey, as a journey of spirituality. Spiritually, we will eventually transcend and grow to become a beautiful Butterfly. Now, after much struggle and trials of tribulation, we have the ability to fly above the forest and see our journey through the eyes of a Butterfly. We can now see beyond the hills and past the river bends to the beautiful, pristine pastures and placid lakes at the end of the rivers and over the hills. Of course, on the other side of the lake, our journey continues. The river starts up again and there are more hills to climb and obstacles to overcome. This time as we continue on with our journey, we are much stronger and wiser, and with the help of God, we are strong enough to fly above the tops of the trees in the forest below us.

To live in the moment of now, requires much work to experience life and the world around us from the perspective of a Butterfly over the experience of the Caterpillar. It is for this reason, through compassion, that I choose to see the joy and happiness one will experience through the pain and sadness along the journey of their growth and healing. During times of sadness, we need to grieve and have compassion. To assist our selves and others along our journeys, it is essential to create love and have forgiveness within our hearts. May God bless us, and guide us, as we travel along the paths of our lives, with the ability to see through the eyes of a Butterfly?

Carry on my friend, to the other side
Iíll see you once again my friend, but for now I cry
Your love will always shine through me
And thatís the reason why
Iíll carry on for you my friend, Carry on good-bye


Peace

Billy Hollems
thesweetriver@earthlink.net

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 2/14/2007 at 05:00 PM
Those are nice words, Billy, and I accept them.

I'd like to thank you for pressing your way out to be by Lefty's side today. I was hoping to do the same thing myself, but because of my own lack of foresight, I did not check this thread for updates on the services.

Thanks again for standing in for many of us here.

You're a righteous brother.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2007 at 12:18 PM
God Bless you Billy - beautiful sentiment ... thanks for this gift.

 

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  posted on 2/15/2007 at 12:50 PM
Thanks, Billy. I can't accept every little point in there , but I very much believe the basic caterpillar-to-butterfly analogy.

Here's Paul in I Corinthians; typing these verses from chapter 15, some of them seem familiar from the few funerals I have been to:

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be. . . . There are celestial bodies, and there are terrestrial bodies, but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. . . .

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body; it is raised a spiritual body. . . .

For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. . . . Then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?"

 

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  posted on 2/16/2007 at 02:45 AM
Billy, I know I'm interpreting the caterpillar-to-butterfly analogy in a different way, so pardon me for adding another big literal stage in a minute. The difference is that your metaphors pertain to the growth that each of us can undergo in this lifetime on earth, whereas my thoughts at the time of a funeral (as in the previous post) are about the growth and unfurling of wings that occur "on the other side," after passing away.

But then I was thinking today: What about the pupal stage? If life on earth is as the caterpillar, and the "resurrection body" is as a butterfly, where does the pupa fit in? Surely this is significant, since it may be a longer-lasting stage in the life of the insect than either the caterpillar or the butterfly stage.

It may be that, though the soul doesn't completely die, we people are simply unconscious upon passing away, and we are not immediately taken up and joining all together in heaven. One scripture-based thought (which underlies many burial customs, by the way) is that the dead may be "awaiting" (asleep) the final triumph of Christ at some future point, when all rise from their graves in some way and undergo the Final Judgment. Again from I Cor. 15:
"Lo! I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed."

Of course, if you're unconscious as a pupa, it'll practically seem like you're "immediately" rejoined with your loved ones when you "come to" as a butterfly, so there you go!

.

Chrysalises: Sleeping, and neither caterpillars nor fully butterflies

It gets complicated, so to get back on point: What I wanted to do, Billy, was fill out the life stages of the butterfly, which would go like this, with their human counterparts:
* Egg: You start as a fertilized egg, too, in your mom's womb but are carried there to birth.
* Caterpillar hatching from the egg: Being born.
* Caterpillar molting into successive instars (five, for example): Different phases of life we go through in our time on earth--physical development stages, sure, but also mental, emotional, spiritual, and so on.
* Final-instar caterpillar molts one last time, and the new skin hardens as the shell of the chrysalis: Preparing to meet one's Maker.
* The chrysalis becomes still, initiating pupation: The body dies, and the soul goes where and how?
* Pupation: The soul is asleep and not conscious of whatever changes might be preparing the person for the next stage.
* Butterfly emerges from cocoon and pumps up its wings: Eternal life.

Here I'm mostly trying to sort out these "technical" details and parallels of development, although all sorts of wonderful metaphors and examples have been coming to mind, believe me, Billy. I'll leave the prose poetry in this thread to you, though.

 

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this is called 'I Must Have Did Somebody Wrong.'
(I wonder who.)"

 

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  posted on 2/18/2007 at 12:30 AM
Sweet , thank you for coming..your words at the lucnheon were heartfelt and very moving..

 

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