Remembering the Dead

For most of us, Halloween is celebrated every October 31st. It was only in the recent years that the Philippines has adopted the tradition of Trick or Treat except that kids don't go around houses and neighborhoods, they go to the malls and some other event destination. Oh, they do go around in neighborhoods for those who live in the rich and upscale ones ;)

Anyway, after Halloween, there's All Saints' Day and then All Souls' Day - days on which you remember the dead. People go to cemeteries in droves, some have a reunion there, others spend the day cleaning the graves, tombstones and mausoleums. Most times, it's a very happy event, unless the dead that you speak of has only recently joined the ranks, in which case, it's a very solemn occasion.

During this time, we call it "Undas" in the Philippines, it used to be an ordinary day for me because I don't really know anybody who died, at least not someone close to me or the family. The only person I know who we visit at the cemetery is Patrick's Mom who died last August 2000.

But now that my mother is dead and the wounds in my heart are still fresh, I bear the weight of the season in my heart. I can't visit her grave because it's in the States. I can't lay flowers on her, I can't stay with her, I don't even know what her grave looks like. It's like I feel that I should be doing something but I don't know what.. It's like I'm in limbo for the dead, if there's such a thing.

It's just terribly hard and I comfort myself in the hope that wherever she is right now, she's happy and she's free...


  1. Thanks Tammy.. I guess I'll have this empty feeling forever, huh? :(

  2. Rachel,

    This is just my opinion, but I've never felt like being able to visit the graves of my parents is helpful in any way. It just makes me sadder. So, on those rare visits I made home (obviously, now I'm not going back -- there's no longer a reason to go home), I really only visited my father's grave twice in 18 years. Better to remember the good and hold those who've departed in your heart. At least, that works best for me.

  3. That's what I'm trying to do now.. Just think of the good and tell myself that my mom is probably having a grand time seeing her grandkids without the difficulty and expense of flight travel hahahaha


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