The Ancestors and Our Dead

It’s that time again, so many whispers about the Dead. Talk about what the ancestors would like. Halloween, Samhain, the thinned veil always brings out these themes like they’re fad words. It becomes Halloween, skeletons, Ghosts, the Dead, trick or treaters, Ancestors, Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkins, pumpkin spice, etc.

The thing is we shouldn’t only be thinking about and caring for our dead and ancestors during this season. Huh, you paid attention did you. I didn’t mention Día de Los Muertos. There’s a reason, these days are only about our ancestors and dead.

Here’s the thing about DdLM that most people don’t know and those that do don’t speak about. These holy days are meant to honor and remember our dead. It is our responsibility to honor them, it’s our requirement. It’s not a spooky season. It’s not a fun holiday, hell it’s not even Mexican Halloween. To those that remember the old ways, and by old, I mean this was happening a few decades ago all over Mexico. It is our responsibility to remember the dead, to honor them, to care for them. The dead require us to speak our memories, to give our laughter and tears in their name.

We may have similarities Halloween, Samhain, and DdLM, but we have so many differences. We have sugar skulls; they have their own meaning not just skull candy. We have candies, but we also have plates full of food and drink. So much food and drinks. We also have flowers, to pave the path for the dead to return to us for a few days.

We find our ways to cemeteries to decorate graves, and we may go tombstone to tombstone offering food and drink. Laughing as we share memories and crying as we share grief. The dead stand beside us to laugh with us at that silly memory and to hold our heads up and wipe our tears. When we allow our memories of the dead to fade, they also fade.

Those of you that know me, know I will be MIA for the next few days. My path requires the care of the dead. Within the walls of my home the dead come to rest as they make their way to you. They find food and drink; they find laughter and honor. On my tables they find offerings of candles, flowers, sugar skulls and candies. But honestly, the find this year long. The dead are not a weeklong celebration. They are not allowed to fade within this path I walk.  

I know you may be saying this is what Samhain is. Yes. Samhain honors the dead by creating a dumb supper, by remembering those that go before us.

If you haven’t planned your honor of the dead for this year, there is still time. The fastest way to honor your ancestors would be to prepare a plate for them, set it at the table while you eat. Or if you aren’t really wanting a quiet (no talking during a dumb (mute) supper) you can set the plate on a card table at the side of your kitchen. You can also serve the dead before you eat.

Candles and photos are also a fast way to honor your dead. As you look at the photo remember that person and light the candle as you say their name. You can tell the candle a short story about the person. If you choose this route, be incredibly careful with your candles. No Fires!

One of the things I really love doing, that ties all the festivities together is when a trick-or-treater knocks at the door I name one of the dead, I give the kid the candy, and as I close the door I whisper a story of the person I named. If I get a bunch of kids, I will name a few more people and whisper stories of them all. This ties the old trick-or-treating myth into the present. We dress up so the ghosts don’t know the living from the dead. I honor the dead by speaking their stories, as each little princess and goblin come to my door.

This year we may not have little ones dressed up so they aren’t pulled into the land of the dead, and I may not have a chance to tie the history into the present. I may set an alarm to sound every five minutes to represent the knock at the door.

What are you doing to honor the dead this spooky season?

And Remember NEVER SUMMON WHAT YOU CAN’T BANISH! Don’t go into the haunted house because everyone else is either.  

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Please Note. We at Blue Rain Orchid don’t judge. This post was not one of Judging; it was to give second opinion.

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