In the Spirit of Medicine: In Ojibwe, there is no word for goodbye
My son sat with my wife next to Ed. Irina stood at the head of the bed next to him.
I wanted my son to see how we respect the people who so selflessly teach and nurture us. I talked to Ed and my son at the same time. I explained how the eagle is sacred to us, is an intermediary between us and the spirit world and can carry messages there. Eagle feathers are given for achievement or courage. This was an eagle feather given to me for becoming a doctor, that achievement was partially Dr. Haller?'s. He had to have courage to face what he was up against now.
In the Spirit of Medicine features the essays of Dr. Arne Vainio, an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet. His essays on life, work, medicine, and spirit are published at Indianz.com.