Honoring the Dead on All Souls Day
Today, November 2, is All Souls’ Day, the Catholic equivalent of the Day of the Dead.
I have a little stool in my bedroom where I place photos, funeral cards, newspaper articles of people I knew who have returned to spirit. It’s a “Pile”, not neat as it should be, but covered with a beautiful shawl. Today I took it out and went through “The Pile”, and one by one remembered and thanked each person. I surprised myself as I began prioritizing them according to how deeply each person has affected me. Occasionally I explained this to the one in spirit. I realized that quite a few VIP’S were not represented here so I’m gathering a list of these and will find a photo or letter to put appropriately in The Pile.
A few I did not know personally but they’ve inspired me a lot, e.g. Harriet Tubman, Jacques Lusseyran, Pete Seeger, Helen Keller, John Woolman. Many writers of books have affected me deeply. Once I saw in the Indy newspaper an article about an Afro American woman writer who lived an inspiring life and had passed to her rewards. I called a writing friend (Gail Mehlan) and we went together to her funeral, as complete strangers, but we felt moved to honor her. I guess I eat people – they’re food for my soul – when they’re really meaty!
I know I “should” do this with more care, maybe put all in a scrapbook. But the river of my life flows on so fast! This seems the best I can do, and it’s kind of “me.” I mean – imperfect! I appreciate all who have helped me be a better person, by their love or example, occasionally by their challenge or mistakes. Everyone who touches me puts something in the pot for my rich life.