Today is November 1st, a day typically thought of as the Halloween-Hangover day. But for many years now, my family has celebrated this day as the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos as it was originally called. It’s a time to remember those loved ones that are no longer with us so that they always stay in the Land of the Remembered. At least that’s what my favorite movie, “The Book of Life” calls it.
Yes, I take remembering those that aren’t with us very seriously. It didn’t really hit me until I lost my Dad. There were others before him, namely my grandmother, that left a whole in my heart and in my life but losing my Dad was like cutting a piece of my body off. I never really thought about the where after you died. Deeply thought about it to the point that it terrified me in to a panic attack. Was he really gone? REALLY? Was his spirit still with me and the grandkids, floating around in the butterflies and cardinals I see outside my office window?
It wasn’t until I sat in a dark theater, watching what was supposed to be a kids animated movie about a holiday I had never heard of that my life changed. I felt like I had a visual of where he – and the rest of those that I love who were no longer here – went after their physical bodies no longer kept them on earth. The Land of the Remembered. Or the Land of the Forgotten if you didn’t talk about them, love them, or pass on their traditions, stories and pictures from one generation to the next. It was a bright and happy place, full of laughter, music and all of the colors imaginable. Only brighter and more alive than anything you could conjur here on earth. I sat in the dark theater and cried because I finally felt peace. Peace that my Dad wasn’t alone in some terrible place – or worse yet just gone in to the vast void of nothing. My girls and I had a place that we could imagine – even if it was all make believe – that made us feel better.
Most days, I think of my dad. The painting of a tiger that was my gift to him now hangs over my office and I look up at it often. But on THIS day, I take a moment to light a candle, say a prayer, and take a few moments to share a story of him with someone that didn’t know him or someone that did and pass on his fantastic legacy. My girl’s Grandpa. His laughter, his fierce honesty, and his unwillingness to tolerate bullshit from others have helped mold me in to the woman that I am today.
Take a moment today to think about your loved ones that have paved the way for your to be who you are today. Who have left a legacy for you to carry on. Honor them with your stories and your continued love and know that carrying them with you ensures that they will live forever.
It’s that time again – #NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month – where I attempt to write every day for 30 days. Want to join me? Head over to blogher.com and add your name to the Blogroll. You could win a pass to #BlogHer17 in Orlando.