Maybe it’s because All Hallow’s Eve is upon us, that I find myself remembering my dead relatives. I chalk it up to getting older, and the fact that death is no longer a distant abstract whose only purpose is to scare us mere mortals. I like to imagine them as protectors and guides from the other side, that ask nothing more than being remembered. My version of lares domesticus. Except now, we don’t need small statues, or elaborate offerings. Pictures will suffice.
I think of them and wonder if they have forgiven our transgressions, now that they can truly see into our hearts and minds. Do I extend them the same courtesy? Do I pray for the salvation of their souls and the cleansing of their sins? Why do I assume they need forgiveness? Forgiveness and funerals are for the benefit of the survivors, keeping us occupied immediately after the abrupt departure that is death.
As far as I’m concerned, they are home. The home we inhabit long before and after we leave this Earth. I think of them basking in the relaxed time continuum of the Universe, delighted by the frivolity of our lives and the gravitas that we impose on ourselves. I have long given up on organized religion, yet I have not given up on GOD. I still believe, even if my definition of God is vague. This God that I have assembled out of bits and pieces is home. The home where everybody I have ever loved, or has ever touched my life is waiting for me. The home I long to return to when all the things I came here to do are accomplished.
And maybe, when I go home, my daughter will think of me on All Hallow’s Eve, while I rejoice in the miracle of her life.