Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Letter from a Beloved

My Dearest, 

 "Times are hard, the road to visit me may be tough. You may not always get the best seats, nor the most comfortable rides..."
"...and when you finally do get there, you may be given a persuasive welcome. People will thrust their wax wares at you, coaxing you to buy them...please do, your candles are "prayers", and "remembrance"..."

 And, if they're not meeting people, they're usually camped out at a spot very conveniently at the edge of the cemetery... If you haven't yet gotten enough candles, get a little more..."

"Say a prayer for me..."

"Pray for yourself, your happiness, and mine..."


"I miss you, and you don't know how much..."

 "We'll light candles by the thousands, a testament of remembrance..."

 "This sea of graves, is really all about paying tribute to those who 
have come before you.."

"It has been years and you have never loved another..."

"Grant us a blessing..."

"You may get me a cute little flower in a pot.."

"...bring me a whole bunch

"Bring me flowers that'll stand up to the rains and harsh noontime sun..." 

"...or even break me off a stem."
"But what I'd really love are daisies and wildflowers...with bursts of  color..."

"Gather around, and talk of me, happily..."
"Take joy, be merry, and remember me..."

"Light me a candle for the many years that we were apart..."

"And, even if you grow up, on the brink of your successful new life..."

" the hustle and bustle of daily life, do not forget."
"I could very well end up lonely..."

"...or with the people I loved in my life then..."

" or maybe I would be with the one I promised to spend my life with..." 

 "Blue may be my favorite color..."

"And my headstone may read of amusing things..., some people can't help but laugh,"

"...that does not matter, what is important is you watch over me." 
"The trees are silent witnesses to decades of tears..."

"...and even though death may be the final curtain call..."

 "My love will be in the breeze, the trees, and the blooms that dot the  gravesides..."
"The candle boys are little, who have a big job...
They tell interesting innocent stories..." 

   'Eventually, it will be time to leave...and all that will be left for me will be the Guardian Moon..."

"...the candles will dwindle to almost nothing." 

"But thank you, for coming, and remembering..."

"Thank you for the love... "

(your loved one's name)

I was at the cemetery with my mother this afternoon, to attend the mass at the cemetery grounds and to light candles. I had my camera then and most of the time, I was taking pictures as we went around. I wanted to make a photo-essay when I got home, but I figured, it would be better to write from the perspective of a dead loved one, who would've written something like this, for when their family would visit them. (This may be my corniest post yet, but hey, I could almost be talking in my lola's voice here.)

The tradition fascinates me, and this annual event is something I try to attend when I can.For that single day, you treat and pray for dead family members and relatives, as well as friends like they were as tangible as you wanted them to. It's family day, a day to remember old loves.

I've been thinking, and I think that when I'd die, I'd prefer to be cremated. I told this to a friend of mine, who likened it to the Greek funeral pyres that honored heroes. :-) In my case, I don't want to be a hero...I just want to be more "mobile", able to go anywhere with the ones I left behind if they wanted me to, i.e. if my husband decided to go travel the world after I die, I'd be...handy. :-) haha. Seriously now, I'd probably convince my husband to get cremated, because, well, options are always good.

My Uncle Cris was cremated some years ago, and he's always a part of Tita Clar's personal effects when she goes travelling here to see us, or anywhere, for that matter. She misses him, but at least, he always with her. There is an element of unorthodoxy in that, since Catholics prefer burying their dead and giving a proper blessing, but I think, for my part, it would be more humane to undergo cremation. Donate viable organs, and THEN undergo cremation, if I chose to... well, that's from my point of view.:-)

What would yours be?

Oh, and I never make anything up when I blog. Everything I say is honestly accurate.I'm currently pro-cremation, by choice.:-)


  1. This was a moving post. Thanks for the pics and the words.

  2. @rudeboy: Thanks, I didn't know it would have a full effect, though...

    @Ligaya: Thanks Gaya, I'm glad you liked it. It's something to remember this year's Undas by. :-)

  3. That's a lovely piece. I missed out on the all- Filipino way of spending all souls day since I had to leave but I did keep the dearly departed ones (in Manila) in mind and went to my grandparents grave here in Baltimore on the first.

  4. Nice Post. And I like how you captured how Filipinos celebrate and/or commemmorate Undas.

  5. i like this post. but because i haven't really lost anyone precious to me yet, it's hard for me to relate to the words being said. but i do love the message, and i say amen.

    and when i die, i also want to be cremated.

  6. @Kaitlin: thanks, Initially, I was going to poke fun at certain things people did, but then when i viewed "the whole collection", it occurred to me that this event needed a more serious tone to it. It was, after all, honoring the souls of ones dearly departed.

  7. @r u s s: Thanks russ, i appreciate the kind words. :-) I hope your holiday was memorable too.

    @Engel: thanks engel, I haven't lost anyone i've really known, but all the same, I never really knew my grandmother (whose "voice" I'm using in this piece), only from stories. But still...I feel for them.



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