october 30, 2023

posted in: photography | 0

“No matter what you do, someone will always talk about you. Someone will question your judgement. Someone will always doubt you. So just smile and make the choices you can live with.” ~ Unknown

all hallows eve

Today, on All Saints Day, this touching photo of Mom at Dad’s gravesite yesterday appeared on my phone. On this day every year begins the first of three days that, together, create All Hallow Tide. All Hallows Eve is October 31, and All Souls Day is November 1. (I might be off by a day somewhere). Tradition says the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes thin during this period. Born from the Celtic Samhain, this was a time to celebrate the dead who are able to return for a visit while the living wore costumes to ward off ghosts and evil spirits that could also return. This was, of course, co-opted by the early Christian church into what became known as Halloween. Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – is celebrated on November 2 (still All Souls Day for some, apparently, which is why my days may be a little off). It, too, is a time to celebrate those who have passed on. This tradition has faired well in Mexico for centuries. Meanwhile, Halloween, particularly in America, has thrown out all spiritual relevance to become about dressing up as something you’re not and asking for candy from strangers, or, if you’re an adult, dressing up as something you’re not and drinking with friends who are also dressed outrageously. The new-ness of Dad’s passing has slightly worn off, and this Halloween, I find myself celebrating him more than wanting candy or a drink with friends. Not that I don’t like those things (I do, and I like dressing up as something I’m not), but I’m drawn to the celebration, the tradition, the spirtuality of our loved ones no longer with us more than ever before with the idea, real or imagined, that the veil is thin and I might hear him speak. Is the veil between worlds thinner? Who’s to say? But I like the idea of recognizing the ones no longer on this side, not as a sad occasion but as one of joy. A celebration of the time we shared together on this planet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find my cat ears and whiskers for work tomorrow.


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