Sunday, October 27, 2019

Death Tributes After Formal Rituals (Day of the Dead Video 2:04)

Honoring a loved one who has died is not a single act, but a unique personal journey that may consist of many small tributes after the formal death ritual. Various options are available for bringing formal closure to life such as funerals, hospice services, and other memorials. The majority of family members and friends of the deceased do not always attend these traditions. This is not to say that formal death rituals are not appreciated and viewed as significant. But many people rely more on informal grief expressions to help them cope in their daily lives after formal events have been held.

For most people, these informal activities are endearing expressions that sustain them during their long-term adjustment to loss. Death rituals continue to evolve with the passage of time. Choosing how to bring closure to the lives of deceased loved ones becomes more personalized. Increasing numbers of relatives and friends unfasten their earthly connections with loved ones and move forward with informal rituals.

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated on October 31, November 1 and November 2  throughout Mexico and in other parts of the world. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. In the following video, thousands of people gather in the heart of the Mexican capital to celebrate the first annual Day of the Dead procession. Long ago, many people started believing that once a year spirits of the dead are guided back to the world of the living through offerings of food and candles.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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