International Family Magazine Honors the Rituals of Death in Families, October 2008

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October, 2008 is International Family Magazine's annual issue for honoring the dead and ill in families. In North America, there is Halloween as derived from the European Celts. In Mexico, at this time of year, it is the Day of the Dead. All over the world, people make space to keep their loved ones nearby even if they have passed on from this life. Families build graves, tombs and caskets and make elaborate rituals around death and death's markers. October is also International Family Magazine's month to stop on their World Tour of Africa.

October, 2008 is International Family Magazine's annual issue for honoring the dead and ill in families. In North America, there is Halloween as derived from the European Celts. In Mexico, at this time of year, it is the Day of the Dead. All over the world, people make space to keep their loved ones nearby even if they have passed on from this life. Families build graves, tombs and caskets and make elaborate rituals around death and death's markers. October is also International Family Magazine's month to stop on their World Tour of Africa.

The stories that are written about in for this issue of International Family Magazine in October, 2008 are remarkably about how death connects families rather than separates. Death like marriage, brings families together. Warring families, estranged families, long-distant families all travel the anger, sadness and miles to ritualize death. Death is a bond shared by people of all countries, cultures and race.

"This is what makes International Family Magazine different," says Wayland, International Family Magazine Editor and Founder. " IF mag doesn't find the subject of death something awful that shouldn't be spoken about in concern with family life." Different is right. There are no other family magazines that seem to delight and celebrate in such diverse, rich subjects as birth and death, love and divorce, health and sickness, good and bad. The truth of family life is that there is both, good and bad, life and death. International Family Magazine completes the picture that too many other magazines and magazine advertisers are afraid to touch.

"IF mag doesn't find the subject of death something awful that shouldn't be spoken about in concern with family life." Says Wayland, IF mag Editor and Founder

New writer Claire Hall gives a moving witness experience to a burial cremation of a 12-year old boy in Bali and the community that came together to celebrate him. The details given to this story of the materials used to symbolize the moving of the soul from this life to the next is exquisitely explained by Hall.

"I was told that in Bali Hinduism also called 'Agama Tirtha' the children who pass away do not reincarnate, their purpose is to be born to families to give them some deep soul meaning, a teaching to pay back some karma or soul lesson experience. When the children die they are then rewarded in Nirvana for completing this selfless journey." Claire Hall, Contributor to IF mag, "Birth Death Bali"

Kent Converse has become a regular contributor to IF mag and in the October issue tells of his Rotarian daughter Loannie and her biological father's connection to another family, a soldier lost and the ceremonies of remembrance that turned a tragedy into a redemptive journey. Converse is a Vietnam Vet and a Rotarian who goes back to Vietnam to work on Library Projects, visit his Rotarian daughter Loannie, and his proxie adoptee orphans living in Can Tho City at the Thien An Orphanage.

Cheryl Paley and her New Global Family brings the healing practices of East and West together in her article, "The Yellow Brick Road". International Family Magazine has the wonderful ability to share information across cultures, countries and pedagogies. Cheryl explores how her participation in Eastern non-traditional health care became her journey to wellness and Oz.

Ellen Blaustein sits next to Kent Converse as one of the voices of the wise elders on International Family Magazine with her regular column, "Grandma Ellen". Blaustein is a candidly wise, unflinching writer. In her October issue about death and illness Ellen explores the relationship she has with her sickly sister who was absent from her life for many years. The elder sister had abandoned the sibling relationship years before only to surprise Ellen with the news that she had named Ellen as her elder caretaker should anything happen to her spouse.

There is a special story in this issue of International Family Magazine that tells the story of a friendship between two women that might have been adversaries. When the man that each woman had been married to at separate times became stricken with terminal cancer, they found a common ground in their grief. The women now share a friendship that was brought about by loss. The story is titled the "The Giving in Loss". Reading this story wipes bitter from your heart and replaces it with soft forgiveness.

International Family Magazine continues to bring in new writers from around the world, October, 2008 introduces Claire Hall and Gabrielle Scelzo. Claire Hall is a middle age traveler who writes inwardly and outwardly asking deep philosophical questions about her own life and the lives around her. Gabrielle Scelzo is a new youth writer and at age 11 astonishes us with her profound intuition and talent. Her Poem, "I'm From" is a moving eyewitness account to the struggle for identity in all youth.

There must be a mention of the softer stories on International Family Magazine. IF mag in the last months has been adding recipes, style features, rituals and traditions, and more entertainment pieces. Judy's House, a regular feature by actress and humorist Gail Dennison, is rib-splitting in the October, 2008 issue on death. Gail always takes the theme of the month and creates some funny-boned, silver lining that we can all pee our pants over. All subjects have humor, even death. "Judy's House" helps us all as family members walk away remembering to laugh as well. The latest addition to IF mag is the latest theatre piece by Elza Zagreda, "Divorce! Albanian Style.

Finally, IF mag stops in Africa on their World Tour. Africa is in such a state of birth and death. There is the awful death in Darfur and the incredible rebirth in Rwanda. Africa is a powerful country filled with the poetry of mankind. International Family Magazine works to give readers a peek into the diverse nature and beauty that can be found in this remarkable country. Please click onto the article "Africa" to begin the journey.

I will close with the celebratory tone that has been found all over the pages of our October issue that honors the dead. What I found in the stories was a whispered warning to my own life. Somewhere in-between was a union of voice that said, "Live, live, live a life worth celebrating!"

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Catherine Wayland
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