Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

St.Fancisville, Louisiana
This post is not supporting any one specific Christian religion, but to share my view of the day.

All Saints Day 
 It is a fact we are all going to face death, whether you are christian, atheist, or somewhere in between. 
 For me All Saints day means going to the graveyard and placing flowers on the graves of family and friends  that have left this earth. 
I do not worship the dead, I simply recognize what my loved ones brought into my life. I totally understand that going to the graveyard is so very hard for many people.
Don't get me wrong, I do not place those that have passed in the back of my mind and only think of them on All Saints Day.
Not one day goes by that I do not think of my baby brother, Wesley.  ( I replace his flowers often, as I feel that it is my gift  to him on his birthday, Easter, Christmas, etc.)

On this day as my husband and I go together.  I stand at my brothers grave, my husband brushes the leaves off, places his flowers, he asks me a question. I am so absorbed in looking at Wesley's picture on his headstone, deep in my own thoughts. I did not really hear what he was saying, nor could I answer.  It was one of those moments that if I spoke my voice would crack and I would not be able to control the tears,(my brother would not want that).  My husband looks over at me waiting on his answer and then silently understands with just a nod. 
We actually walk around three different graveyards.  We pass graves of  friends and extended family taking  a brief moment to stop and remember what that person brought to our lives.

  At some we stop in amazement, as we notice the date on the headstone. It is then that we  realize how much time has passed.
 One date we noticed that my mawmaw was 27 before she married, that was "old" in her day (their  anniversary date  is etched in the vase between mawmaw and pawpaw.)  We  shared a laugh, because  now marrying older is the norm. I must note, she lived to be 100, so she enjoyed many years with my pawpaw.

As I pass graves, I think of my husbands aunt, a friends mom, friends, some are even my children's friends that have been tragically killed  ... I think of their loved ones, and the sorrow that must certainly still burden them.
We remember  those that are buried in other places or chose cremation. My grandparents and nephew in Santa Fe, the great aunt and uncle who donated their bodies to science. 
 Why do this you ask?  Why should my husband and I take a moment out of our busy life, to open our hearts and go back to those sorrowfull emotions that we try to hide away deep in our soul.
It is on this day that we may laugh and cry  without  an explanation.   
 All Saints Day helps us to remember that we are only here for a short time.  
 As we reminisce about the  memories our loved ones have left us, we realize all too well, that   memories  will be all that we leave behind. 

All Saints' Day (in the Roman Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas[3]), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.

Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways; for example, in the Methodist Church, "saints who have helped extend and enliven God's kingdom" are remembered—that is—the entire Church universal and those significant to a particular local congregation.[2]

In Argentina, Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and American cities such as New Orleans, people take flowers to the graves of dead relatives.
In Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Catholic parts of Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden, the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.
(Information source is Wikipedia)


Susie from Bienvenue said...

Only you understand how much I miss him too. I don't know what I would do without you.

NanaDiana said...

I sooo get it. It is my day to visit my granddaughter's graveside and sit and think about all of the "what might have beens". I understand the emotions you feel on your visit(s). Blessings- Diana

Kim, Living to Seas the Moment said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I have never understood the true meaning of All Saints Day until I read your post. Your faithfulness to honor those you have lost should be an inspiration to all of us.

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post, M.
I felt like I was standing there with you. You touched my heart.

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Melissa,
Oh I am so sorry for the loss of your brother and I had heard of All Saint's Day, but I did not realize what it was...I saw your comment over at Diana's (I adore her!)
and wanted to come over to say "hey" and become a follower....so nice to meet you.

Jenn @ Handmade Homebody said...

I really enjoyed reading about how you and your family honor your loved ones on All Saints Day. What a wonderful tradition. I am wishing I could visit my grandparents' graves and will plan to do so when I am home for Christmas. Thank you for a lovely post.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Melissa, this is such a touching and heartfelt post. You made me think of All Saint's Day in a new light! Thanks so much for sharing your feelings with us!! This was a beautiful post to read! God bless you!

mississippi artist said...

GREAT POST!I think a lot of people don't understand All Saints and you did a great job of explaining.