Day of the Dead 2018

Last year at this time, Mom’s death in the preceding June was still raw.

The death of her only sister just two weeks ago has revived many of those feelings and memories.  It also marked the end of an era: the passing of the last member of a whole generation of my family.

My travels this year took me to more cathedrals than I would normally see in a decade, and I lit a candle for Mom in every one.  That ritual wasn’t part of her Lutheran upbringing, as far as I know, or of her 70 years in the United Church, but I felt she would have understood and appreciated the gesture.

As I update this collage for my aunt, I feel that I’m lighting a digital candle for all these folks.  And I’m choosing to remember them all, not as they died, but as they lived.

Collage of family members who have died

 

5 Comments

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  2. How odd for me not to have made the November 1 connection a few days ago when I sent scans of about 100 photos of ancestors on my husband’s side of the family to his older daughter. I was honouring his mother, also, who carried on an interest one of her cousins had in the family’s genealogy and who I helped to sort photos and to record the existing information about that family. On my side of the family, we have extensive information from an aunt of my grandfather, who traced the Mohun family ancestry back to before 1066 A.D. and sent to my grandmother her notebooks with beautiful watercolour renderings of armorial designs. I think history becomes more accessible when one can place ancestors in it. I believe they are part of that great “cloud of witnesses” cheering us on our way.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – We don’t do much with All Saints’ Day in our culture. I’m not exactly on a one-woman crusade; more like, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And it’s meaningful for me. That’s amazing to know your genealogy back that far. We all link back to the first guys, of course, but it’s a little abstract. Family history makes it more concrete and real, I think.

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