I was alone in the choir loft of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church. It was an All Souls Day Mass. I had carried the box of my Dad’s ashes down the aisle of this same church eight months earlier and now in the choir loft, a tear or two became a trickle and then a torrent and I found myself trying to quietly strangle my sobs into a shredded and soggy piece of tissue, unable to stop crying.
The priest rang a bell after each name of the departed was said and a small votive candle lit. There was something powerful about hearing my Dad’s name said out loud, a fleeting, public acknowledgement he had indeed existed on this Earth.
All of us carry the memories of loved ones who’ve died. Somewhere in the back of our minds, there’s the fear they’ll be forever forgotten and for that matter so will we. Humans have the unique gift of memory and sometimes the curse of memory.
In the coming days, there will be Dia de los Muertos celebrations and All Soul’s Day (November 1 and 2, 2020) commemorations where our dead are honored and remembered as they should be. Given the pandemic, it’s likely those commemorations will be different.
End in Mind has a digital space to honor those who meant the most to us. It’s a mosaic of photos and inscriptions. John and Virginia Greenman. Dr. John Duggan. Michael Mayer. George L. Chavez, Jr. Raina Eberly, Carmen De La Hoz, Richard Wurzer and Bruce Kramer and others are in our special space. It isn’t fancy but it is heartfelt as those souls will always remain in our hearts. Do check it out. https://www.endinmindproject.org/get-involved/in-our-hearts/