As you read this, Halloween is either winding down, or done. Have you set your clocks back? You’re probably reading this on All Saint’s Day, or El Dia de los Muertos, in which case you may have mass celebrating the saints, or a party celebrating all your familial dead who have passed on before you. In when death is rare and feared, the latter may seem as oddly quaint and relevant for sugar skulls and hot cross buns than for the altar with the pictures of relatives… but when death is always present and it’s common to have buried friends and relations, the answer that has allowed us to historically go on, survive and thrive, is to remember the good, celebrate that people lived, and keep them alive by telling their stories.
This year has proved that cowering in our houses and trying to avoid Death’s bony finger is… deadly. Suicides are through the roof amoung all ages, and isolation is killing the elderly. Not only does it show in the statistics, but friends who work at an independent living center confirm that people who thrive on seeing their family have rapidly declined into dementia just from lack of contact and interaction with the people they care about.
We were built to go out, to do, to strive, and to accomplish. Hiding is a little death by degrees. And hiding our dead? To forget that they existed is to lose them forever. To remember them is to celebrate that they lived, and to make them immortal as anyone can be on this vale of tears. So whether it’s around the bonfire or around the dinner table, take the time to weave the stories of the past into the present, so that they carry on into the future.
And on that vein, here’s an interview with two vets who put out memoirs via trad pub, so you can get an interesting look at a completely different type of author and side of publishing than we normally talk about here!