Sunday, April 05, 2015

Remembering the people that left

I stopped writing in this blog when my father-in-law passed away. I felt like the blog had no more meaning if he and his wife were not reading it. Now I am facing another death with a close friend and I would like to talk about 2 great ways to remember the people we love and that are no longer with us:

Home shrine

I love it when in most Japanese houses I visited, there was a little shrine like the one in the image with a photo of the ancestors that passed away, and how people would go every day to pray a little bit to/for that person. The shrine was always on a room that was visible to everybody that was going in and out of the house. All guests would see it. Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable remembering too much that death is around the corner or that death is present in our day lives, but the Japanese seem to have it very present. If you have more information about other Asian cultures having similar shrines at home, let me know.
The home shrine is very comforting for the ones who stay because with it we feel the company and protection of the ones that left. If is also a sign of respect and it comes to say that we don’t forget those people who were so important for us.


Recently a friend of mine told me he had been invited to a party to celebrate the 4th anniversary of his friend’s mom death. The person preparing the party wanted to remember her mom and how great she was, and she wanted to share that joy, grieve and memorial with her friends. A celebration based on her mother, where she wanted to talk about her mother, who she was, what she was like, and why she was important to her. This would seem like a normal memorial celebration if it wasn’t for the fact that none of the people invited knew her mother! She was in a foreign country and wanted to share that with her new friends. A great way of remembering a great lady! It seems obvious, right? Why aren't there more of these? Why haven't I ever been invited to one? I think we should have more gathering to remember our ancestors and the people that we love and are no longer with us.

1 comentarios:

Totally agree! Also I would add the funeral day, usually focussing too much on loss.

When I die I would like my friends and relatives to celebrate a memorial (dinner, week getaway, ...) to remember the joyful moments we shared together. I think is a better way to honour and to know our dead and connect us with life.