The Day of Remembrance

Remember me, though I have to say goodbye, remember me…
From Coco.

Why do we celebrate the dead? Why Easter? Why memorial services?

Many people will celebrate Easter and yet will condemn celebrations in remembrance of the dead.

Why a day of the dead? Why tomb sweeping festival? Why throwing food to ancestors?

We celebrate the death of people as a way of keeping the memory of these people alive. It’s a way of saying, though you are gone, I remember you, for what you did for me, for our family, for our community, for your generation, for human history, and I appreciate you.

This is why we celebrate the memory of our first president. And of all the first people to do something.

When you remember people, that memory lives in you. When you share it, you share the person with another. When we remember our loved ones that are dead and share their stories with others that are connected to them or may benefit from that information, we keep alive a connection that is continuing and never breaks.

We know of Jesus today because people chose to share his story, not only during Easter but every day.
We know of Hitler today as well, not because he was a savior but because his story is shared and passed on.

For all those other people in history that we don’t know about, it’s because no one shared their story, nor remembered them for long enough. If their families remember them, that’s enough.

In areas where the dead are celebrated on certain days, the people share the stories of the dead among themselves and to the young ones. If there’s a picture of someone on a wall that I should remember, then I will need to know something about that person to remember. And so those who know, fill those who don’t in.

Today we can pay to and find out the ancestral percentages of our DNA, yet most of us don’t even know of the immediate people that passed in our family tree. If we are lucky we know of our great grandparents, if we are lucky.

I didn’t know anything about my dad’s grandma. It somehow didn’t even occur to me that there’s someone like that, till my previous visit to my grandma and she mentioned my dad stayed with his grandma growing up. This is someone who raised my dad, yet I’d never heard a single word about her.
Not that he hated her and wanted to forget her, no.
She was just not mentioned because she died waaaay before I was born.

When you don’t share the story of those gone, when you don’t remember them. They get forgotten. They disappear.

Sharing about our ancestors helps greatly with keeping at least close to accurate history. Someone told me they don’t believe Jesus existed at all because apparently no one single person living today is able to point out that he was family, from my line.
Though there’s history of those before Jesus down to his own father.

And sometimes it helps some of the current generation to feel a sense of belonging and connection with their families. Sometimes we feel like no one in our families understand us or are like us, and we wonder why this family? Or do we really belong with them?
But one may hear the story of a particular ancestor and think, “I like that dude, he seems so much like me.”

Some people believe remembering ancestors is paganism and others just think it’s unnecessary.
But that’s like saying history is unnecessary and evil.

If you’ve never thought of this before, think about it. Would you want people to forget you existed after you die? Would you want the people you love now to forget about you like you never existed after you die?

The aim isn’t to keep the dead alive, or hold on to grief and not heal. But to acknowledge this person was a part of my life. And by so doing contributed to it, be it positive or negative.

We can’t celebrate the separate date of death of all the people we love and died(if we even remember the dates). We can infused the remembrance into some of the already existing celebrations in various cultures and background. Or we can create our own one day for the purpose.

You can remember your dead loved ones during Easter, or the Chinese 清明节, or the Mexican Días de los Muertos, or the sprinkling of Kpekple to the dead during Homowo by my people.

You don’t need to set up an altar of photos. You can just recollect to yourself and younger ones if available, memories of these people.
Like how they impacted your life. How you admire the style in which they lived theirs. The growth and transformation you saw them undergo. The stories you heard about them. The evil they did and the consequences of it. Just share truly what you remember about them or was passed down to you about them. What in your awareness is true about them.

As I was reflecting on this on Good Friday, I remembered one of my grandmas that passed some years ago. She was a strong woman, hardworking and quite controversial. I remember one-day when I made a really stupid utterance and she shut me down and told me never to repeat that again. And I am grateful for her rebuking and teaching that day.

Stop all these demonizing and condemnation of certain things because it’s not in your belief or mental framework.

If you’d like to be remembered even by one person that you love, share the memory of those you love when they pass over.

Ashé! Akpe!

Happy Easter everyone 😁❤️🥰🥳🎉

2 Replies to “The Day of Remembrance”

  1. Amazing and well said. For me part of the idea of paying attention to those who were present and now absent is to reinforce the humility that comes with knowing that I too am now present and will be absent. I ask myself how do I want to live my life in the light of that reality? It’s good to be reminded I’m mortal, ego loves to forget that! Take care of you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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