Yesterday I visited my psychologist for a session that was a bit of a mess. No need to go into details, I'm only giving you the context to indicate I was already uncomfortable and a little guarded when the following happened. We'd done an exercise with another therapist who 'played my blockades'. It's a valid form of therapy, but I'm fairly certain it's not supposed to be executed the way it was.

Anyway, during the exercise, my brother came up. I've always know I would have had a brother if my mother had allowed him to come to life--an older brother. I've named him for the boy's name my mother would have given me had I been born male: Davey.

I've been thinking about Davey lately. Whenever I think about my youth a lot, I think about him. He was supposed to be there, I'm sure, to protect me and guide me through everything that happened. I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild on Tuesday and there is this quote in it: 'The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece, the entire universe will get busted'. That's how I feel about my brother. He was supposed to live, and he didn't. And it hurts.

During the exercise, he came up although I had never mentioned him. I mentioned I give sacrifice to him every month on Agathós Daímōn, and afterwards, once we sat down, I was told to 'let him go'. To let his soul rest. Her interpretation of my feelings towards my brother, and her interpretations of my dead brother's feelings (yes, it was that kind of session, and no, I did not appreciate it) towards me were formed from the framework of her personal perspective. In general, I do not mind it, but I do start to mind it when it undermines and devaluates my religious choices.

I told her that I respected her views on the afterlife and our relationships to the deceased, but that I did not share it. I told her that I was going to think about her suggestion to stop sacrificing to him, but that in all fairness, I was most likely going to continue my practice, because in my believe, it's important to name and honour the dead. It's not 'trapping souls on this plane', it's remembering them and their potential so that they will never be forgotten. It's singing their songs and telling their stories--even though they never got to even start their own.

A large part of Hellenic rituals of the dead speak of honouring the dead by name, so their names will never be forgotten, their honour never lost. My brother deserves to be remembered. He deserves to live on in the Underworld with the honour of a human being with great potential. He was my brother, my blood, and I will honour him in any way I can.

I come from a Pagan background, I understand what my psychiatrists were talking about; in their view, the soul lingers on earth if they are kept here--either because they feel they are needed, or because they can't let go. A monthly libation to, indeed, keep my brother with the family must sound like hell to people who believe the soul must travel on into the Veil. Yet, I believe that my brother has always watched over me, and that he does so to this day. He's my blood, my family, and once I pass, I will do the same as he did until I become forgotten and lost. Then I will not be fed, and not be sustained, and I will fade away on the Asphodel meadows. That is the fate of the deceased who choose this life.

I don't know if my brother would have wanted to be remembered, sustained. Maybe he would, indeed, like to travel on. I told him, once I came home, during an impromptu libation to him, that he is allowed to go. I will continue making my sacrifices and singing his praise, but he is free to go if that is what he wants. He can forget, move on. There is no need for him to listen, nor stay. I can take care of myself now. I'm not a child anymore.

I have no idea what version of the afterlife is correct, and I would hate to hurt Davey in any way. If my therapists are correct, I'll gladly let him go. I won't stop honouring him, however, because he is my brother, and he is a warrior. He died before his time, and since then, he has guarded me, watched over me, and kept me as safe as he could. He is a true protector of my home, and he is my brother. My brother. That matters, and it's worthy of recognition and respect--from me, and from two women who have trouble leaving their personal views behind in a session with their client.