October 31, November 1 and November 2

October 31, November 1 and November 2 are wherever you live in the world the days when we remember our departed family members with joy and blessings. If we cannot forgive old wrongs(and sometimes to forgive is to say what certain relatives did to us especially in childhood was excusable, which it is not) a time to let the ancestors who hurt us go in peace and so set ourselves free.
Whether it is the coming of winter or summer in your land, we welcome deceased as well as living family members to our family table and ask for their blessings as a continuing part of the family.
Only in the modern world is the idea of family ghosts celebrating the turning of the year with us regarded as strange. Yet even in today’s world a number of people recall how a friend or newcomer at a family christening or wedding has asked about an older man or woman who was peeping into the infant’s cradle or watching the bride throw her bouquet, with a proud smile. Then the figure seemed to disappear into nowhere. Invariably the description of the older person matches a deceased relative who has returned to share the occasion.
Indeed societies where departed ancestors still play a significant role are those where the living elderly are well cared for and respected by younger members of the family.
During these three days, set up a small table covered by a white cloth near the centre of your home where you can keep mementoes of loved ones who have passed on to the Afterlife. For example, you could display a piece of jewellery or watch, medals and photographs of your family ancestors. Start a memory box of old certificates, ration books, reminiscences about the idiosyncrasies of those who may be just a name to the new generation. Keep fresh fragrant flowers there and on each of the three days and afterwards once a week on a Friday or Saturday light a white candle..
· As you light the candle send your deceased relatives blessings, perhaps read aloud their favourite poem or prayer or play their favourite music and ask for their blessings on your life and family.
· On Halloween, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, cook traditional family recipes, get out the old family photos(and maybe post one on Facebook with a memory of an eccentric relative), tell the old legends. For it is said so long as our name is spoken so shall we live.
In those lands, too many, where we still can’t see our relatives except on Skype or Facetime because of pandemic restrictions where there seems for some no end, contact an older relative who may be alone or sad, even if they are difficult. Leave flowers on a lonely neighbour’s doorstep
These hard times have made us realise how important family is and how each of has a place and a responsibility in the ongoing story- and how we can’t bear grudges through the years however justifiable. The words too late or if only are scant consolation and often innocent children can be caught up in family quarrels by the adults especially where divorce is involved and lose contact with grandparents or cousins.
So, at the time of the ancestors, let’s strengthen our family tree even via computer or phone so it will blossom in our own lives and flourish strong in those of our descendants.

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