I don’t want to let this month pass without talking about death, or rather the transition to the next life, as the title of this post suggests. Sometimes, people find this topic quite difficult to talk about and try to hide it from their children. But the thing is, birth and death are simply facts of human life. We are dying later and with each generation we live longer. According to the statistics, the children that we have given birth to will likely live to be 100 years old. That’s a lot of years isn’t it? It is, and the quality of life along with the science has advanced tremendously to the point that many of us, God willing, will likely live to be 100 years old. The life expectancy in the developed world is very high.
I love going with my children to the hospital to visit the newborn children of close friends. My kids always tell me, “Mom, wait for me I also want to go to the hospital with you.” Newborn babies are so sweet, so tender, so loving and helpless… All of us love newborns and little kids, it’s a natural attraction. And since there’s no more babies in the house, oftentimes Rafa and Lolita escape to the neighbors house where they still have babies at home… 😊
Just as we often speak about newborn babies that our friends have, we also speak about grandparents that have passed away. Just a few days ago the grandfather of some friends of the children died from a heart attack. These are moments when we go to the family’s home, provide them with some company, and visit the deceased in the wake which often is held as an open-casket in the family’s home. We pray for and remember the moments we shared together with the deceased. Sometimes we sing songs that the person who died once loved. For us, it’s a moment to say goodbye and spend some last moments with the body of the person at our side. Some specialists say that the pain and mourning generally lasts about one year. It’s particularly difficult to get used to spending time with friends alone or doing activities that they used to do together. Time is needed to remember over and over again those moments spent together, to pray, and to ask for strength…
But it’s important to push ourselves to go out and to think about other people as well. After all, life is about service, to always think about others and not about ourselves.
I loved the movie Coco. It just came out a few months ago and it’s about the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Just a few weeks ago I was there in Mexico and I loved how they treat the dead and how they remember their loved ones after their death. They make an altar of flowers with many pictures and some of their special things that they loved. It’s so beautiful to remember our loved ones that have died and to pray for their souls. To remember the good that they did and how they made the world a bit better. During my trip, I had the opportunity to eat “bread of the dead.” It’s a very sweet bread that’s delicious and sometimes filled with chocolate.
What a difference it is to celebrate the day of the dead compared to how many celebrate Halloween. People dressed up in scary costumes meant to bring fear to people. I prefer to visit the cemetery and pray for our family members that have left this world. After that, we have a huge family lunch to celebrate the fact that they are basking in the joy of heaven.
At our home, we are very aware that God could call us from this world at any moment. My children have experienced death very closely with the passing of their siblings and their father. Sometimes when I take Lolita for her heart checkups, she says to me, “Mommy, I don’t want to die.” The body was made to live and to fight until the last moment. Dying is a difficult process. Some people have experiences when someone close to them has been given one month to live and they fight for three more months.
It’s clear that to be a human means to be both body and spirit. And this body is not immortal. We have to take care of our bodies, but at the same time to be cognizant of the fact that it will once again become dust. And that our spirit will continue to live in another world.
I hope to find myself with all of my family, all of my friends and followers one day in heaven. In the heaven that is forever, forever, forever.
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on November 23rd, 2018.