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While I was browsing my noise.cash feed this morning, I saw 2 posts that they went to the cemetery to visit their loved ones who have passed away. Maybe you are thinking that it is still too early but as far as I know is that cemeteries will be closed on October 29 - November 2 here in our country. Correct me if I am wrong but that is what I have heard.
A few days ago, my aunt from America had asked someone to clean the memorial lot of my grandparents (mother's side) in the province. The last time that I have visited them was on the last quarter of 2018 if I am not mistaken. It was when my relatives decided to move their remains in a newer and nicer cemetery. Since it was in the province, my mom and I seldom visits them. Our relatives in South would schedule their visit the weekend before All Soul's Day. We could not join them for some personal reasons.
With my late grandparents from my father's side, it was 2019 when we last visited them. It is less than an hour from our place and we usually visit them every All Soul's Day. It will just be a quick visit where we would pray a rosary and have a little chitchat with some of our relatives until we would decide to go to my dad's favorite restaurant and continue our bonding time with some of our relatives. We have been doing that kind of setup for years that even if my godmother's husband had passed away, we still continued with that yearly tradition also because her husband lies on the same memorial lot as my grandparents. Only difference is that my godmother is with her other siblings unlike before that it was her family who would be visiting my grandparents. Her daughters are now living abroad that is why she is living with some of her siblings in the Northern province.
I remember when I was still a kid that we would be in the cemetery as early as 7AM and would stay until it is dark. We would set up a tent and had some tables, chairs and even folding beds. My mom told me that I almost got lost when I was still a kid when we were at the cemetery. I really cannot remember that probably because I was really young. When we were in grade school, my brother, 2 of our cousins and I were always bored whenever we would go to the cemetery. It was only the adults who enjoyed that gathering because they get to talk about everything and also play games like mahjong or chess. I know during that time it was still allowed. That tradition stopped when my dad was assigned in other provinces. We only get to visit them when my dad is here in Manila during All Soul's Day though sometimes it will just be us family. Then every after visit, we would go to a mall to eat lunch and do some shopping. I would always look forward to that day because it was a get all you want kind of day. LOL. I would get a lot of Sanrio products until I shifted to Kickers. It was my brother who have enjoyed it the most because my dad would always pick some clothes for him and for my brother while my brother would be looking for some sneakers. So while they were busy choosing what they want, I was also busy looking for something that I fancied. I can never forget those moments especially when my dad would be shocked with what I got for myself. There was a "bakya" or wooden clogs that I got for myself that was worth Php3000 ($60) and a small bag that was worth Php2000. We would just laugh about it whenever we would talk about it. I only wore the "bakya" once. I had this attitude of mine that I cannot go home empty handed whether it was a trip to the grocery or mall. LOL. Though that was before. Because of those moments that is why my dad does not want to go or enter the mall with us anymore. LOL.
Years before he retired, he was assigned back in their office here in Quezon City so we were able to visit my grandparents yearly but no more tents or that whole day stay at the cemetery or that shopping time. My dad would just choose a stand alone restaurant of his choice. Until that restaurant would be our yearly go to restaurant after visiting the cemetery. We had no choice because it was my dad who pays for the bill. My cousins would always tease him to go to a different restaurant and he would say yes but the following year, we would go back to his favorite restaurant. LOL.
Because of the pandemic, we have not visited our loved ones in the cemetery. Have you visited your loved ones who passed away? How would you celebrate All Soul's Day? It was only today that I decided to light a candle for my aunt. I posted on my noise.cash account that today is my late aunt's birthday. She died of ovarian cancer a few years ago and has been cremated. Her urn is still with her sister who is living alone in America. I am planning to buy 2 big candles, 1 for our relatives who passed away from my mother's side and 1 from my father's side, and I would want to light it on November 2. I do not know why I haven't thought about that last year but I know that they would understand if we weren't able to visit them last year nor this year.
I hope that we can light a candle for our loved ones who passed away if we cannot visit them in the cemetery and that we list their names for mass intentions. You can inquire about it in your local parish.
I hope that we can remember them not only on All Soul's Day but everyday. I also hope that we can always include them in our daily prayers. Let's shower them with flowers the next time we visit them in the cemetery.
P.S. lead image is a photo from my aunt taken by their caretaker in the province who she asked to clean and visit my grandparents' grave.