The Forgotten One

Was there someone in your family who was forgotten in some way? When looking at a family photograph, it is as if there is one person just outside of the frame; or if they are in the picture, their presence is not as strong or visible.

The Forgotten One may show up when something heartbreaking happens in the family. For example if a person leaves to go make their life far from home; or goes to fight in a war and never comes back; or dies in a way that is premature or sudden. When these things happen they are a grief felt in the entire family system. It may have been simply too much for the heart to bear at the time, and so that person was not talked about.

The thing with The Forgotten One is that even if they are not remembered on a day-to-day basis, the family system has a way of keeping account of everyone who is related. It is registered when one has gone missing and if left unresolved, will do its own form of rebalancing until they are remembered. As part of your family system, on some level you have a knowing about The Forgotten One, even if you never met them or know the details of their story.

Guided Ritual

The Forgotten One

Creating a personal ritual for The Forgotten One

After you do the guided ritual, choose one object to represent you and one object to represent The Forgotten One. Place them consciously in space and notice how near or far apart they are.

If you know the person’s name you can write it on the scroll of paper and say out loud: “This object represents ___.” If you did not meet the person, you can even introduce yourself and tell them of your intention: “I am ___, I am your descendant. I have invited you here today to simply say that I see you.”

Breathe and look towards this one who nobody could see. If it fits, tell them “I remember you.” And finally: “You belong.” In this sense, “You belong” is your declaration that they are, in fact, part of this family system.

Because you are living years after whatever hardship occurred that made The Forgotten One go missing, you have extra capacity to do this ritual. Once you take this step, you may feel that there are other family members who would also like to see and acknowledge The Forgotten One. Perhaps people who once knew this family member very closely. If so, you can choose an object to represent them and place them in space to also acknowledge The Forgotten One.

Let this ritual sit in your sacred space for several days, with a growing awareness each day that The Forgotten One is now on their way to becoming well-remembered.