Thursday, January 22, 2009


I was thinking about how important rituals are for making transitions. This is on my mind after spending much of Tuesday watching the Presidential Inauguration festivities.
No, I was not one of the very lucky to have traveled back to Washington D.C. but I was sure thinking of them. Rather, I did what millions of other Americans did and watched it on TV.
The funny thing is, I can never remember watching another president take the oath of office live. Oh sure, there have been coverage of the event on the evening news but I just never remember it being significant. I have talked to other people that say not only do they not remember watching the swearing in but also have no memory of the parade, concerts or so many balls. It could be that our memories are faulty; but I don't think so, at least not this time.

Okay, back to the subject of rituals...
I think this President, one that few had heard of two years ago, and was elected primarily from a grass roots movement, deserved to have a celebration. Heck, it was really more important for the supporters to have this celebration. The entire country needed a ritual to help in this huge transition.

That is really what rituals are all about -transitions.

Think birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries and yes, even funerals.

I used to be a medical social worker. I worked with dying patients and their families. It would sadden me when a patient said they did not want a funeral. I believe a funeral or a memorial service is needed for the family and friends of the deceased. It is a ritual that marks a transition. Family and friends are able to share memories and take solace in each other's grief. It is the start of moving on and change in the lives of the survivors.

Rituals help us get ready for change.

I am so ready for change.

1 comment:

  1. Darcie, you're so wise. I really appreciate your insights. (And you are quite the prolific blogger!)