As I have grown up I have sort of developed a fascination with death. Morbid maybe, but it is the one thing you can be absolutely, 100%, positively sure of.
Death will happen.
It is life’s great equaliser. It doesn’t matter what your age is, your ethnicity, your social standing or your location upon this planet; death will find you and your loved ones.
I don’t think it shows an unhealthy or “weird” mind to be interested in such dark and joyless matters though. Death is an everyday occurrence. You cannot deny it so why push it aside and ignore it?
Whilst some individuals loathe death; strolling through their existence disregarding it until it strikes their lives, other people accept death, celebrate it, and have days in the calendar dedicated to it.
In western Christianity, we have All Soul’s Day, which is a day of prayer for the dead held on the 2nd of November and coincides with the commemoration of saints and martyrs on All Saint’s Day (1st November), although some Christian denominations honour the deceased several times throughout the year.
Latin Americans have the Day of the Dead, which transpires with All Soul’s day, occurring on the 31st October, and the 1st and 2nd of November. As well as offering prayers for deceased loved ones, they will also build private altars known as ofrendas, and upon these place food, drink, marigold flowers and other presents to leave on the gravestones of their dead.
In Poland, they have Zaduszki, where many people journey to visit the burial places of their beloved friends and relatives. If you were to be in Poland on the 1st November, you would witness streets filled with silent and solemn crowds, and cemeteries aglow with candlelight.
In New Orleans they don’t have a particular day dedicated to the departed, but they do have funeral marches. In the beginning they are slow and sombre, but after a burial or entombment and the family members have said their goodbyes, the music becomes upbeat and everybody dances and celebrates the life of the dead.
And these are just some of the occasions that occur throughout the world. These people do not hate death, or curse the god they believe in for letting it happen to somebody they love. They acknowledge and accept it, praying for the immortal souls of their beloved, and remembering the life they had on earth.
Death isn’t something to be scared of; or something not to talk about.
Death just is.