Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Rituals

Today is Thankful Thursday and it's the first in November, which apparently means you're supposed to post one thing you are thankful for every day of the month; however since I do that on a regular basis, I won't be taking part BUT you'll still get a Thankful Thursday post once a week...

Today is the beginning of a three day festival/ritual called Dia de los Muertos. (Day of the Dead) It's a fantastic ritual that many people in Mexico participate in and has made itself kind of popular here in the states as well (mostly because sugar skulls are so damn cool I think, but I digress) Dia de los Muertos is basically about remembering those who've gone before us. The belief is that there are three deaths; the body dies, the spirit dies, and finally your memory dies.

Death is so taboo still; people don't like to think or talk about it but quite frankly it's inevitable; you are born to die, you start dying from the moment you are born-which of course is a depressing thought I suppose BUT that's just how it is. I'm not particularly religious (in case you hadn't noticed haha) but I'm pretty spiritual and I also believe that people have a soul. Everything in the solar system-the universe-has energy. That energy has to go somewhere when you die; it doesn't cease to exist, it just goes elsewhere. I like to think that souls stick around for a while to make sure the survivors are coping and then they break up and go into various places and people; it's hard to deny that theory when you look at children who have personality traits of long deceased relatives and so on. A part of my grandmother, I am positive, is within SarahAnne's personality. Sometimes she says things or looks at me in such a way that I am shocked that it's my five year old child in front of me, not my grandmother and Gabriel is so much like Joey in such silly little ways that I almost wonder if Joey is playing tricks on us through him.

Today I stopped at the cemetery as is my usual trip on Dia de los Muertos and saw Joey. I found a flower at a local shop that reminded me of him, left him some dimes, and cleaned up around his headstone. I thought about him a bit and thought to myself that he'd just adore all these nieces and nephews of his and thought that finally it seems to be getting a little easier without him, but some days are worse than others.

I feel calm and peaceful now; it's little rituals like this that soothe my soul when it's weary; I'm so thankful that we as human beings have coping mechanisms (for lack of a better word) in rituals that help smooth the rough edges off of things. I hope that today, regardless of what you believe or don't believe, you'll take a moment and think about someone who has passed on ensuring that their memory lives on even while they do not.

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