Celebrating Those Who Have Gone Before Us

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I love the tradition of Dia de Los Muertos, but have never celebrated it before. The Day of the Dead is a festival that actually spans two days—November 1st and 2nd. In Mexico, where it is a National holiday, November 1st is dedicated to children who have died and the 2nd is dedicated to adults.

During the festival, families gather at cemeteries to honor family and friends who have died. They bring marigolds and candles to decorate the graves. They build special alters and fill them with pictures and memorabilia of the dead. They may also bring the favorite food and drinks of the departed, all in an effort to encourage the souls to visit and hear their prayers and stories.

I suppose to many people to might sound a bit unsettling to think about gathering up the family and heading to the cemetery for a celebration. But I think it is lovely to spend one day every year honoring and celebrating the lives of those who have died.

The festival takes place on the same days as the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. On All Souls Day, I will go to church to pray for the soul of my Father who died this year. In the Catholic faith, the departed may spend time in Purgatory where they remain until they are purified and ready for Heaven. They may be assisted in this process by others saying prayers for them. So I will go and say my prayers for him. And then I will go home and eat his favorite candy—chocolate-covered cherries—and have a glass of wine while I look at old pictures, think about our life together and tell him that I miss him and will always say prayers for him.

So that will be my first official Dia de los Muertos celebration. I encourage everyone to consider taking some time this week to honor and celebrate those who have gone before us. And thank them for being part of our lives.

Living as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.

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Hello and welcome to my blog. The name of my blog comes from a quote that has been attributed to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late Queen Mother. The quote is as follows: ‘Wouldn’t it be terrible if you’d spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t eat things, took lots of exercise, and suddenly, one day, you were run over by a big red bus and, as the wheels were crunching into you, you’d say, “Oh my God, I could have got so drunk last night”. That’s the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.’

And so here I am, margarita in hand, trying to learn how to live that way. I have always believed that if there is something you want to try, you should just go for it. If you live more than one life, it seems you only remember it when you are under hypnosis, so what is the point? And yet there are so many things I have meant to do and haven’t.

I am at a crossroads. I am looking for a new job. I a trying to figure out what I am meant to do. I am trying to make sure that I won’t have a second thought if tomorrow I am run over by the big red bus.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214041/The-Queen-Mother-She-loved-owls-fairies-miners-She-hated-oysters-LibDems-kissed-U-S-president-And-lived-day-last.html#ixzz1bqB56Dbo