As we learned yesterday, Samhain is quickly approaching and it’s a time to honor your ancestors and those that have come before you to create and influence who you are today. As the year winds down it’s a time of reflection and contemplation and turning our awareness within. Today I ask you to share one memory of a loved one that has passed on. Keep their memory alive, share what they meant to you.
My Grandma, affectionately called Goggy because that was my toddler translation of Grandma, died when I was in middle school. I attribute my love of drawing, poetry, flowers, and butterflies to her. She was truly a one of a kind woman. My memories of her are fogged by the past and 21 years, I will never forget our time together. Flying kites with her, putting orange trumpet flowers on the tips of my fingers and getting the last swig of coffee from her cup. She makes me think of sleepytime tea, petunias, and sunshine. I am so glad I got to know her. That is who I wish to honor this season.
Here are a few ways to honor your ancestors:
Take a Nature Walk and invite the spirit of an ancestor along. This is the perfect time to have a nice long catch-up conversation with someone who has passed on in your life.
Whether you believe in angels, spirits, souls up in heaven, or just honoring the memory of someone, check-in with them, let them know that you’re thinking of them, and let them know you’re doing okay. It doesn’t have to be formal or serious. Just give them a little hello.
Create an Ancestor Altar. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A spot on a shelf, the top of your fireplace, a little nook where you keep mementos. If you already have a spot like that, do a bit of cleaning up. Take a little time to dust, straighten, and maybe light a candle in their honor.
Your ancestor altar is meant to keep their memory alive. Decorate with mementos, pictures, or things that make you think of them.
What makes you think of your loved one?
Visit the Cemetery. Use this day as an opportunity to bring flowers or another offering to the cemetery or to tend to the gravesite. If you’re not able to do that, take flowers or an offering to some place that makes you think of them.
Feast of the Dead. A traditional feast of the dead or a “dumb” supper, involves making a meal, setting an extra setting at the table, inviting the spirit of someone to join you, and then partaking of the food in silence. I like to make the recipes that were special to my grandma, or make me think of her, and have a celebration of her memory while I watch the movies we watched together when I was little.
Share stories. Call up another friend or family member and reminisce about someone that you both miss. Share the stories, laugh, celebrate, and share your grief together.