From the beginning of time humans have taken great care of their dead and continue to show those people love in the traditional ways of their time. Some of these traditions are in preparation for the after life and others are in respect for our dead. In Paganism it would be a heinous crime to disturb the dead that has been laid to rest in the tradition of their people in any way. However, in Newcastle WA something far worse than just disturbing the dead has happened. In the early evening of Jan. 17, 2013 a burglar stole more than just a families belongings, they took a deceased member of their family.
Thursday, Johana Smith and her children were away from their home when someone broke in and ransacked their residents. The thief or thieves stole many things from the family including money and electronics, which can all be replaced in time, but they stole something else that can never be replaced. With in the many things that the thieves stole they took the urn that contains the remains of Johana’s children’s father. Just the burglary in its self is a horrible crime but to also steal the sacred remains of a deceased and beloved family member is a crime against nature, humanity, and all things that are sacred.
When the crime happened Johana had been visiting a neighbor who recently had a hip replacement surgery. She believes that she was gone from the home for about an hour and when she returned she found that her purse, jewelry and other items were missing. The horror struck when she found that the remains of the father of her 2 children were also gone. It leaves you to wonder how someone could commit such a crime. Johana said "I looked over and I saw that the urn was gone and I just broke down and cried." Surely, the God’s cried with her.
The children’s father was Thomas Devine and was 49-years old when he was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2009. He left behind his 2 children and his fiancé Johana. Danika, his 8-year-old daughter has said the only things she had to remember her father by were a quilt that was made from his old clothing and his ashes. Now one of those things is missing. Danika said "It made me feel angry and sad." She has every right to feel angry and sad. It must feel much like it did when her father died. There is nothing more magical in this world than a child’s feelings, no matter what those feelings are, and the thief will get the sharp end of that stick when it comes to the 3-fold law of Paganism or karma if you prefer to call it that. Either way, the entire community does not wish good things for the person who would steal the remains of a child’s father.
As of right now the little family prays that someone returns the remains but Johana has a fear and said "I know that when they figure out what it is they're just going to toss it, they're just going to toss it somewhere and that's what kills me." She went on to say "It's worth everything, it's the most important thing I own." Also stolen from the family are 2 silver bracelets that were made for the children shortly after their father died. Contained in the charms on the bracelets is a small amount of Devine's ashes.
For now, we can keep the family in our thoughts and be on the look out for the remains or any information about where they might be. Should you come across any information about them please call the police and let them know. In the mean time the Pagan community can surround the family with our love and supportive thoughts as we hope that the remains are found safe and sound.
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