The end of October and the start of November bring Halloween, All Saints, All Soul’s Day, Samhain, Day of the Dead. This darker time is celebrated in many cultures in their own unique way but all of them remind us of our loved ones that have died.
A few years back I was introduced to the tradition of the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ and was first shocked to see all those skeletons and the sugar skulls but fascinated by the artistry of the paper cuttings and the love that goes into those crafted altars to celebrate family members and friends that have died.
It inspired me to make my own little altar every year for the people I am missing in my life. I put pictures of them on my altar and little nicknacks that remind me of their special personalities. Like a stuffed whale that my mother bought when we went whale watching, a CD with songs by my nephew, a pair of old glasses that belonged to my grandfather, stones, shells and glass beads that remind me of special times together. There are always flowers and candles.
I will create my altar on Halloween and leave it up for a few days.
I find that cleaning the altar afterwards is as important as setting it up. I take special care to put all the little pieces back in their usual place.
Every time I create the altar I feel the warmth and love of my loved ones around me and comforted by the notion of celebrating their lives.
Rituals are important.
They help us heal and stay in the present moment. They give our feelings a voice and by creating it we give our soul permission to deeply connect with what we have lost.
Healing is not about forgetting. Healing is acknowledging what we had and taking stock of dreams, hopes and wishes we have lost. Through creating we heal and are able to find new purpose.
What are your rituals that help you heal?
Share your rituals here or at www.facebook.com/healingforgrievinghearts
Take good care,
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