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How Do You Remember The Dead?


Guest fizzyclare1
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its the time of year for me that makes me think of loved ones that are no longer with me anymore (I lost my one of grandparents around this time) ad it got me thinking about the ways people remember their loved ones

so how do you remember them? do you do your own thing as and when the spirit moves you?

do you perform a ritual (I sometimes light a candle as a gesture of remembrance), or do you do something more elaborate?

or don't you do anything at all? perhaps maybe just remember the times you spent together...or do you allow yourself to forget (as I do sometimes)...

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I do something at Samhain, but apart from that...聽 I just remember them and think about them.

398423[/snapback]

Pretty much this.

I usually write letters at samhain and tell those gone everything that has been happening and what changes have been this year and then I "send" it to them (usually by burning). Other than that, I just allow myself to remember them think about them.

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I suppose really we do all remember them all the time because they are in our memories. But ostly on samhain i remember them the most. Its the day and night that the photo albums come out, the day i tend to graves of people i know and miss, sometimes i think i am the only one who bothers to tend to graves.

I go and visit my dad. We put his ashes under an old oak in the wood behind us.

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For ordinary, non-ritual type remembrance I just have photos around the place. It sounds awful, but when someone has just died and it is all too much I actually hide the photos, and bring them back out when the sting of it all has begun to soften. I will occasionally say something to them out loud....... more of a voiced thought than an attempt to hear me.

I sometimes feel like doing more than I do. I like the idea of a candle and I like Xalle's letter, but that might be a bit hard emotionally.

Mike

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It may be a cultural thing, but my ancestors tend to be very (annoyingly!) present most of the time. Not that I am constantly hearing voices, but they do nag.

I am not as reverent as some and I try to make arrangements to keep them out of my head as much as possible. Depending on where I am living I usually have a spirit house out in my garden. I build a new one every time I move, and I'm pretty sure that those who are attached to the old ones just stay there and adopt the next tenant. :D

When I don't have an outside, like now, I make a wooden door, with a frame, hinges, latch, etc. and attach it to a wall. I have a small shelf underneath, on which I can burn candles, incense, or cigarettes, and when I am being mindful or want to talk to someone specific I set the door slightly ajar and put something on the shelf that is a favourite of the one I want to communicate with. I don't have anything for distant ancestors since I don't actually know them, but if I need ancient input I will burn a candle or sweetgrass.

When it is my mother I am missing, I light a cigarette (I keep a pack of her brand in the house for this) and put it in an incense holder under the door. She has only been gone a few years and is perfectly capable of visiting without an invitation or a focus, but using the door makes it a formal visit, which has more significance and reality than a drive-by nagging or dream.

I have a very short list of those who get formal invitations. I'm not a medium and don't handle spirit presence in general very well.

unsung

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Remembering is remembering. Sometimes I light incense.

398420[/snapback]

^^^^^ This. But without the incense

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We have a shrine in our home with photos of our dearly departed on. We also keep candles, a cup and offering plate there. Usually we just light the candles and 'chat' with them if we feel the need to do so. Family has more reason to watch out for you than gods ever do.

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It sounds weird but one thing I did was put a photo album of my ancestors up on FB. That way I can look at the pictures whenever I want but it also means that the rest of my family on FB (and there are quite a few!) can as well.

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hm.pictures around the house.and things i do remind me often of them and then i send them a smile.

but reading your posts, i should find something symbolical to do a bit more often....they deserve it.

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I definately remember them all the time, but I make a special effort at Samhain especially as it is when I lost my dad but still strangely remains my favourite time of year

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Talking about them, telling stories to those that were not here to meet them or too young to remember clearly, and asking and hearing stories from others that were older or knew them in a different way.

When I tell DD stories I often find I have to send her to my mum to get the 'proper' version, I'd rather she heard them from the most original source I have for family history on that side, and it helps for me to hear them again as well.

For the other side of mums family we have plenty of sources and written accounts as well, as part of DDs home work she researched her family tree back a couple of hundred years and was able to go and ask older cousins about life when they grew up and what they could remember of her grandfather.

Dad's side is much harder now, that side of the family is all gone past my generation.

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Sounds a bit facaetious, though not meant as such, but I just remember them.

They occasional crop up in conversation. I am very aware of the effect they have had on me and, in the case of blood relatives, of their legacy that I carry with me.

Now and then, especially at this time of year - but not exclusively, I'll raise a glass to them. We have quite a few photos knocking about, too. Our drawers look like a scene from Bladerunner sometimes... :rolleyes:

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  • 2 months later...
I suppose really we do all remember them all the time because they are in our memories. But ostly on samhain i remember them the most. Its the day and night that the photo albums come out, the day i tend to graves of people i know and miss, sometimes i think i am the only one who bothers to tend to graves.

I go and visit my dad. We put his ashes under an old oak in the wood behind us.

398499[/snapback]

this is what I do too , I also go to their graves and talk to them on their birthdays and on the anniversaries of their deaths and take presents of candles and an ornament I think they'd like , my mum is forever present as is my sister .... :) ~ i talk to them and tell them my problems,good news and I feel their comfort or their joy.

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I suppose really we do all remember them all the time because they are in our memories. But ostly on samhain i remember them the most. Its the day and night that the photo albums come out, the day i tend to graves of people i know and miss, sometimes i think i am the only one who bothers to tend to graves.

I go and visit my dad. We put his ashes under an old oak in the wood behind us.

398499[/snapback]

this is what I do too , I also go to their graves and talk to them on their birthdays and on the anniversaries of their deaths and take presents of candles and an ornament I think they'd like , my mum is forever present as is my sister .... :) ~ i talk to them and tell them my problems,good news and I feel their comfort or their joy.

419114[/snapback]

Why do you return to their graves? No judgment at all here just interested in your viewpoint.

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My family gather every now and then to remember them. We have photos of them out and we sit and talk. We each knew them at different stages if their lives and we had different relationships with them so we have different memories. We share these memories and stories about them.

The 'them' I mentioned is a very specific group of family members. We were having a family get together in early March and, late at night, we were gathered outside the pub debating who would go with who and who was getting a taxi to where.

Without warning, a minibus ploughed straight into our little group, killing my mother, great grandmother, grandfather and my baby brother who was just 8 weeks and 5 days old. I was 10 years old at the time and escaped with my life but only just.

Each year, on that day, we gather on a hilltop and we raise our voices to the hevans and we remember them. A few went back to the exact place but it was just too painful and I couldn't bring myself to go.

On the 5th November, we do not burn Guy Falks. We burn the driver!!!!

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My family gather every now and then to remember them. We have photos of them out and we sit and talk. We each knew them at different stages if their lives and we had different relationships with them so we have different memories. We share these memories and stories about them.

The 'them' I mentioned is a very specific group of family members. We were having a family get together in early March and, late at night, we were gathered outside the pub debating who would go with who and who was getting a taxi to where.聽

Without warning, a minibus ploughed straight into our little group, killing my mother, great grandmother, grandfather and my baby brother who was just 8 weeks and 5 days old. I was 10 years old at the time and escaped with my life but only just.

Each year, on that day, we gather on a hilltop and we raise our voices to the hevans and we remember them. A few went back to the exact place but it was just too painful and I couldn't bring myself to go.

On the 5th November, we do not burn Guy Falks. We burn the driver!!!!

419130[/snapback]

Apart from the OP most of us cannot imagine grief and regret on that scale.

Sympathy is a useless emotion but your post has raised an angry impotence and a want to express my sadness at reading your post. Go well, Pat.

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Moonsmith and Jasmin I thank you both.

edit - One conselation during those dark days was a police finding. My brother was hit first and died at once. He had no time to register what happened or any pain. He did not see any of his family suffer. He fell asleep about an hour or so before it happend. He never knew any pain in his short life.

We agreed to donate as many organs as we could. Two people got hearts, five got kidney's and three got lungs. One person who was saved was an infant girl who got my brothers heart. It was good to know that, although I was suffering, others were getting the gift of Life.

Anyway, enough of my shite early life, back to the OP :D :D

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Why do you return to their graves?聽 No judgment at all here just interested in your viewpoint.

id also like to answer as well my dear.

I was also taught that on samhain the dead return through the place they were laid to rest. so i like to have a tidyup :D

its also a chance to say hello and clear up the graveyard. I never really understood why people have graves for loved ones but never visit. surely thats the reason.

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I never really understood why people have graves for loved ones but never visit. surely thats the reason.

419358[/snapback]

Seconed

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Moonsmith and Jasmin I thank you both.

edit - One conselation during those dark days was a police finding. My brother was hit first and died at once. He had no time to register what happened or any pain. He did not see any of his family suffer. He fell asleep about an hour or so before it happend. He never knew any pain in his short life.

We agreed to donate as many organs as we could. Two people got hearts, five got kidney's and three got lungs. One person who was saved was an infant girl who got my brothers heart. It was good to know that, although I was suffering, others were getting the gift of Life.

Anyway, enough of my shite early life, back to the OP :D聽 :D

419348[/snapback]

I hope the heart in that little girl is beating strongly for her and your brother, what an amazing gift, big hugs , Jasmin

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They are in my thoughts each and every day, I light a candle for them on Samhain and burn incense and take time out on my own to sit and remember in detail.

S铆么ch谩na I was also deeply moved by your post. My thoughts are with you.

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Why do you return to their graves?聽 No judgment at all here just interested in your viewpoint.

I never really understood why people have graves for loved ones but never visit. surely thats the reason.

419358[/snapback]

One day I will have a grave and it is unlikely that I will do anything BUT visit.

As far as other peoples graves are concerned I am one who never visits because the person that I remember isn't there. I have to say I was touched when my middle daughter, who was born after the death of my baby son, went to where he is buried just before she moved out last weekend. There is no stone just a big clump of snowdrops in a graveyard covered with snowdrops. Oh no regrets please it was 27 years ago and while I sometimes wonder and occasionally regret [which is to wish away the life of the two who followed!] grief is long gone.

I have left instructions that I am not to have a marker.

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I get that familys move away and whatnot, there are loads of very old graves that have no family. But one i went to a funeral where i said to the daughter who wasnt from the village 'i am sure to see you again when you come back to tend to her grave she said she wont be tending the grave its being left to nature.

of course she also never visited her mum when she was alive either.

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It is weird how different family members have attitude towards graves. I have finally, after very careful hinting, got my Mum to sort a stone out for my Dad ( after seven years ) I knew he desperately wanted this as he was very specific about his last requests and was buried with his Father Mother and Brother all of who died a long time ago and before he was in his teens. Towards the end of his life he investigated getting a gravestone for the plot in which he is now buried so I knew at least he wanted the place to be marked for them if not for himself. Mum and my brother have never been back to the grave since the funeral, and that is there choice everyone is different. I am the only person that goes there, I bring him gifts and talk to him and tell him what is going on etc... I find it comforting, they just don't.

I am posting off the final piece of paperwork to finalise with the stonemasons tommorow. My mother handed it to me and said 'That is for your gravestone' can you post it for me, to which I replied 'I'll start writing my epitaph now then shall I'

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My 90 year old father passed away April last year. Whilst others I have known have died, he is the closest to me that has passed from this life.

Because of my total belief in reincarnation, I have what some would think is a rather cold outlook on death.

My Dad is with me in my thoughts every day and things he taught me like honour, decency and nobility have left me the man I am and I`ve tried to pass that on to my children and now grandchildren.

I shed a few tears alone whilst tending his roses and clearing out his greenhouse, but they were tears for the loss of his company and wisdom rather than an overwhelming "grief".

I have lost friends who were far too young to die, but approached their loss similarly.

For me, life is for the living, and it is too short even for a 90 year old man like my Dad to have enjoyed all it has to give, so I tend to concentrate my feelings on the living and look forwards to meeting those who are lost to me now, in the future lives they will inhabit.

because of the weight of emotions we expend and receive with the people that matter, I`m totally at peace with the fact that , even though we wont "know" each other on the next turns of the wheel... we will all meet each other at some point.

This leaves me free to remember who they were and celebrate what made them important to me in those memories as well as genuinely look forwards to their futures as well as my own.

Whether it be a grave, a casket of ashes, or simply the mental images and sounds of those who have gone, I think that whatever method soothes our own sorrow or hope, is a perfectly fine way to remember the dead.

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