Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2: Day of the Dead--Border Style

Ancient thought in Mexico is that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead grows thin this time of year. They still celebrate the Day of the Dead, which is actually a period of days. The Catholic Church traditionally remembers all deceased on November 2, All Souls Day.

At the U.S. Mexico Border, the Church celebrates this day with a bi-national Eucharist--the faithful and the presiders gather on both sides of the border wall to jointly pray--particularly for those who have died attempting to cross the border.

I've never attended it, so I don't have any photos to share, but people often speak of it as a particularly moving and special religious service. I'm sorry to miss it.

I've noticed this year a number of people in my life who have keenly felt the absence of a loved one who has died. Do you think it's possible that the veil between worlds is thinner this time of year? While I question whether there is life after death, at this time of year I prefer to put that doubt aside because it feels like there is something special happening. Have you felt anything different around the Day of the Dead?


QuakerDave said...

I think I did feel that this week, but there was nothing very mystical or mysterious about it. It was a baseball thing.

My parents, who both passed in 2002, were huge Phillies' fans, and I was raised that way. This week, as the Phillies got closer to and finally won the title, I thought of them often and about how much they'd be enjoying that moment. And how we'd be enjoying it together.

So I felt very close to them. I was missing them, but feeling them with me, too.

Jamie said...

It has always been my thing to mentally chat with anyone who has gone where I can no longer reach them by phone. It is a way of getting a perspective on things outside of myself. Sometimes it does feel as if they really are around.

You might like my most recent post since it is about the Navajo Sand Painters for this week's Manic Monday

Carol said...

Awwww... I enjoyed reading quakerdave's comment.

I think that I feel such things when I allow myself to be open to them (which isn't very often). So I have no clue as to whether the veil is thinner at this time of year. I do appreciate the tradition of this celebration, though, and would like to participate sometime.

Border Explorer said...

Dave, I got tears in my eyes from your comment. Thank you for sharing that.

Jamie, that is a great post. I commented there. Having a mental chat is something I once did and no longer do. I don't deal with death well at all. At all.

Carol, being in MX for DayotDead was good for me and my bad attitude toward death. Since then, I've been more tuned into the "veil between worlds" image. It hit me countless times this year--instances of people grieving or feeling connected to a deceased loved one, much as Dave just described. Over and over. Maybe I was, as you suggest, more opened up to it so I found it.

D.K. Raed said...

I have no idea what happens after death, but I do know that my memories of the dead are alive and well as long as I am alive. I still talk to my mom almost every day & she died 10-yrs ago.

But I don't subscribe to the catholic version or even the mexican one, more like the Celtic one. It's an odd time of year, summer is gone for good & the nights are getting cold, meaning winter (which is like a little death) is almost here. Seems like a very good time for the veil to thin a little.

Yesterday I had a strong feeling of being visited by our special dog who died a few months ago. I wasn't looking for it, wasn't expecting it, but there she was, her presence wrapping itself around me like a warm furry blanket.

susan said...

Strange you should ask since I've been thinking a lot about my Dad recently. He was born 99 years ago this month but died just before reaching 90.. an incredibly sweet and quiet man.

The Tibetan Buddhists believe that if we live good lives there is reason to believe we may incarnate in one of the Pure Lands where meditation is blessed by the presence of many Buddhas. My hope is that's where those we love are waiting for us.