How come we don’t party like it’s 1999 or sing the Lion King’s “The Circle of Life” from the rooftops loudly when somebody dies? As you might guess, I’m contemplating bolstering up the rituals I do after the death of a loved one.
This thought thread comes shortly after the death of Billie Murray our sweet little hamster. [RIP Billie. Loving friend to all, 2022-2022]
I like how other cultures celebrate death; dancing in the town square, bad ass shrines of fruit and knickknacks, and how the Tinguian people in the Philippines do it, “Dress the deceased in the fanciest of clothes, sit the body on a chair, often placing a lit cigarette in the lips.”
Can’t you picture Billie with a mini cigarette? I sure can.
Anyway, I suppose I want death to not only be natural and a time for reflection, but I also want it to be a time of celebration. And that we speak of the dead as if they’re still on the couch sitting next to us.
Last Halloween, I recall conversing with a mom whose 6-year-old daughter had died two months before. She’d mentioned the loss casually over a glass of wine around a fire in front a group of people, but waved her hand in the air, as though not wanting to go more into it.
But I took the comment as a breadcrumb to be followed.
So later, once alone, I asked her to know more. Then, between gasps of air and sullen eyes, the woman brought her daughter’s memory to life – albeit painful, she recollected the unique and special way her daughter saw into people’s hearts and as if by six sense could intuit just what they needed.
And I can’t help but think of all that gets lost when we bury a person’s memory. So how about we not do that, ok?
♫ In the circle. The circle of life. ♫