Sunday, November 07, 2010

all saints' day

here in the philippines, november 1 is always the day for remembering loved ones. those who had died. thus, during this holiday, we living members of the family troop to the cemeteries where our kin are buried and visit their graves. bringing flowers and lighting candles, even bringing food for them. there are families who believe in the ritual where they offer food for the dead, that they might partake of their favorite food just as if they were physically alive.

this is also a great time for family reunions. those dear loved ones whom you have not seen for quite a long time, sometimes, they remember and they come over for the visit. and as often the case, you spend the great part of the day reminiscing with them and also catching up on the threads of their lives and your own life as well. as often the case, there will be good news and bad news. good news means someone in the family was able to go abroad, was able to marry, was able to get a good job, or maybe perhaps won a lottery ticket. bad news, is well, loss of job, another death in the family which was never announced and therefore you missed going to, a marriage gone sour, or a family member who had just learned she or he has caught a disease or sickness that is slowly going from bad to worse.

the way i see it, life, even without this day of remembering, november 1, will always be this way for each of us. good news, bad news. you have the option to share with the living members of the family or not.

the dead? well, you might want to share these life's developments with them too. but, of course, you won't know whether they will hear or understand or share. of course, your first wish is for them to know these, to understand, and in difficult situations, maybe even to intercede for you, to help. your belief is that they are there now in the Great Beyond, in the bosom of the Infinite, and they are in a nearer position to be heard, especially for petitions on seeking guidance to overcome the trials of this life.

for some, these might be why we offer flowers or candles or food. to entice our dead to help us become better in life's difficult situations. but, if while they were living, we never bothered to offer them flowers, candles, food, why think now that they will be enticed to help?

november 1 should just be a day for expressing love for the dead. not bother them with our ongoing struggles. if one has not expressed this love while they were living, at least on this special day this expression of love should not be tainted by any selfish motives.

flowers must be true expressions of love and remembrance, or for those who have not loved, an expression of repentance and a solicitation for forgiveness. candles must be what they are supposed to be, bearers of light and understanding.

a lone grasshopper alighted by the side of a shiny black van. she is quiet and still. much of this day should be as she is. holy and honest and just living life and celebrating death as naturally as possible ...

1 comment:

Christopher Dos Santos said...

Beautiful post my brother Sito. Times in which we are to remember those lost to us I feel are best spent in exultation. Joy should be the flavour of the day. By defining our experience of reality from a perspective of ego we tend to lament the passing of others.

No soul departs from this expression of reality until it completes the purpose of it's existence. We see our soul as separate from others so we naturally feel pain of loss. However nothing has been lost. Instead, we have witnessed transformation from one expression of reality to another significantly more beautiful. The only loss is the release of ego, which, for the one experiencing death, is a welcome loss indeed.

As we come closer to unity we release these deeply ingrained fears.

In Lak' esh, my brother, fear becomes love...