With the good intention of a Kemetic who is intent on practicing a truly reconstructed religion, I have added various feast days and festivals to my calendar. In this, I know that I will need to expel, possibly, more energy that I have to spare. These are practice days, in a way, since this is my first year actively working on a festivity-based calendar and the first year that I am, you know, doing instead of theorizing. In this, I am hoping to get a functional practice put into play that I may be able to hand down to my son or anyone else who wants it when my time comes. To the end of that, yesterday was supposed to be a Festival of the Akhu.
I should have laid out an entire meal with love and intent. I should have bought flowers and set a place at my kitchen table for my akhu. I should have set lights and offered prayers. I should have had cups for water and coffee and tea and booze. I should have utilized my heka to let them all know that I was very busy working with them. However, grief has a funny way of stepping in the middle of things some days. And in this, grief had it so that this particular festival was given a twist. Instead of working on all of these tangible offerings to give to my akhu, I focused my grief and mourning onto this holiday and I fed my akhu with my tears.
On February 4, 2013, my Sweet Pea went into the West. This dog was my baby in ways that I cannot convey. I loved her on a level that can only be equated as a mother-daughter kind of relationship. As she was brought into my household with the understanding that I would never have a child with the man I had been married to (the ex-husband), it was truly as a child that she was coming into my home. And we bonded on that level. She was also there to help me recoup from the loss of a previous childhood and well-loved pet, Sheba. Sheba had to be put down about two months prior to Sweet Pea coming to live with me, so it was a sort of replacement as well as a new addition.
With deep, deep sadness, I watched as Sweet Pea developed mammary gland cancer two years ago. It didn’t hurt her, but the cancerous growth grew quite large in the two years in between. Since I couldn’t afford the biopsy to be positive, I can only speculate that this cancerous growth was the cause of her death. But considering the symptoms she was displaying from Saturday through until the day of her death, I have to assume that it was due to the growth that she has gone to the West. She was, of course, nearly 16 so old age could have been part of the process as well. Whatever the reason, I am grieving for her loss.
And it is with that grief that I turn to my akhu. I turn to them and I say, I grieve for this lost soul, a part of my akhu as much as any of you. I grieve for this soul who meant so much to me on levels that transcend a human-pet relationship. I grieve for this soul who was everything to me. I grieve for this soul who died without my arms around her. I grieve for this soul that who went without me telling her a proper goodbye. O, my akhu feed on my grief and my mourning as clearly as you would any meal I could make, any candle I could light, any incense I could provide, any booze or water I could leave out. Sup upon my pain and feast.
Perhaps not an ideal offering, but it is the best I can do under the circumstances.