Ho what?

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing technique. All you have to do is say these four short statements:

  • I’m sorry.
  • Please forgive me. (I forgive you)*
  • I love you.
  • Thank you.

You repeat them over and over again.

It’s a powerful practice that can be used to heal all our relationships including those who have died.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

I used this recently for my relationships with my parents.  Only I didn’t read the directions carefully. Instead of saying, “please forgive me”, I ended up including the statement, “I forgive you”.  While this wasn’t necessarily an authentic use of Ho’oponopono, it was was what I needed to say.*

On the morning of the third year anniversary of Mom’s death, I wanted to honor her in a special way. I held her parents’ mala beads in my hand as I repeated statements of love and gratitude over and over again. I felt my heart expand with love, joy and lightness.

A few days later, I was thinking about Dad.  He died 10 months ago.  I hadn’t had a sense of him and wanted to clear out any blocks on my end. I chose to use rosary beads to say these statements to Dad.  (He was a big fan of the Catholic rosary) As I worked my way around the beads, I said my variation of all four statements.  One bead per statement.  I paused when memories or emotions would surface.  Again, I felt my heart expand and was able to release some old resentments.

Why don’t you give it a try?

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me”  This helps with any regrets you might have after they die. Use this if you are bothered by thoughts like, “I should have________________”  or  “If only I’d ____________________________.

“I love you. Thank you.” Do you wish you’d told them more often?  You still can. Have you thought of things you’re grateful for that you didn’t think to say before they died? You can tell them now.

I liked using different prayer beads. If you don’t have prayer beads, you can use your fingers. If you don’t want to do that, just say the statements or your variations of them.

If you need help with your grief, send me an email.  marilyn@marilynboyle.com


prayer beads


It can be hard to know what to say or how to pray
if you are deep in grief
as your loved one prepares to leave this life.

The prayers you learned in childhood may no longer make sense to you.

You’re not sure what you believe about death or life after death.

You might be full of anger or sorrow,
unable to speak about the unspeakable,
or numb.

It can help to borrow someone else’s words that
touch into what is wordless in your heart.

I am sharing excerpts from John O’Donohue’s book,
“To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings”.
He wrote about the “crucial thresholds in our lives,
when we have no rituals to protect,
encourage and guide us as we cross over into the unknown.”.
He said we need to find new words.

Loving someone who is dying is such a threshold.

You can use his words if you like.
Or perhaps his words will evoke your own.


Entering Death

“I pray that you will have the blessing
Of being consoled and sure about your death.

May you know in your soul
There is no need to be afraid.
When your time comes, may you have
Every blessing and strength you need.

May there be a beautiful welcome for you
In the home you are going to.

You are not going somewhere strange,
Merely back to the home you have never left.

May you live with compassion
And transfigure everything
Negative within and about you.

May your going be sheltered
And your welcome assured. “


For the Dying

“May death come gently toward you,
Leaving you time to make your way
Through the cold embrace of fear
To the place of inner tranquility.
May death arrive only after a long life
To find you at home among your own
With every comfort and care you require.

May death come gently toward you,
Leaving you time to make your way
Through the cold embrace of fear
To the place of inner tranquility.
May death arrive only after a long life
To find you at home among your own
With every comfort and care you require.

May your leave-taking be gracious,
Enabling you to hold dignity
Through awkwardness and illness.

May you see the reflection
Of your life’s kindness and beauty
In all the tears that fall for you.

As your eyes focus on each face,
May your soul take its imprint,
Drawing upon each image within
As companions for the journey.

May someone who knows and loves
The complex village of your heart
Be there to echo you back to yourself
And create a sure word-raft
To carry you to the further shore.

May your spirit feel
The surge of true delight
When the veil of the visible
Is raised, and you glimpse again
The living faces
Of departed family and friends.

May there be some beautiful surprise
Waiting for you inside death,
Something you never knew or felt,
Which with one simple touch,

Absolves you of all loneliness and loss,
As you quicken within the embrace
For which your soul was eternally made.
May your heart be speechless
At the sight of the truth
Of all belief had hoped,
Your heart breathless
In the light and lightness
Where each and everything
Is at last its true self

Within that serene belonging
That dwells beside us
On the other side
Of what we see.”

~John O’Donohue, “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings”, 2008.


I offer these excerpts to you with hope that they might help you find “some pathways of presence”
through the thresholds you and your Dear One are crossing.

5 New Year’s Wishes for the Bereaved

December 31, 2015

We are standing at a threshold, about to say good-bye to 2015 and cross over into the New Year. Sometime this past year someone you know stood at the threshold of life and death, said goodbye to physical form and crossed over to the Other Side. You may have been at their bedside or miles […]

Read the full article →

Obituary for my Landline

November 30, 2015

“But you had it for 31 years”, the customer rep said to me. “Yeah, I know.” I almost changed my mind right there and then, but I was resolved. I have been putting off this act. I warned my kids a year ago. I reminded them again recently. It was time. As I waited for […]

Read the full article →
© All Rights Reserved Marilyn Boyle | website love by: angel sullivan