‘Emotional’ people-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
ONE thing we should note about today: our attention, thoughts, and sentiments are all turned towards whichever direction our loved ones who have gone ahead “to the great beyond” were laid to rest. The point is that we are people of emotions and memories, a sentiment that could stick in the heart for as long as the living continues the practice.
Of course, there are deviants, as we care also to note, such as the recent reports in our print and broadcast media about husbands killing wives and children. They could be people whose minds are deranged--or not in their right places or conditions.
But generally, and traditionally, we are people who are deeply emotional, and this can be evoked specially on particular moments or occasions, such as All Souls’ or All Saints’ Days.
I recall that many years ago, my grandmother Susana, whose main source of livelihood was selling candles in the cemetery every Monday and in the church every Sunday after mass, would be most active and moneyed during these particular two days.
She would be in the cemetery during these two days, from early morning to late in the night since the “home of the dead” would be well lighted. Even power lines would be strung around an area of a few hectares.
There was a time, though, when the church did not yet allow the saying of the masses for the dead at the Cross placed at the center of the cemetery. The masses would be all held in the church, and the church would be so crowded.
I recall that my parents would have their masses for the dead listed down and have them scheduled many weeks ahead. One of the most boring and tedious periods of the mass during the All Souls’ and Saints’ Days was the reading aloud of names of the dead that were honored with the masses. I pitied the lady reading all those names.
But there was no digressing even now from our tradition of remembering and honoring the loved ones’ memory during these days.
In some instances, such as those who were just recently dead, there would be a repeat of the nine days novena. This would be when the family of the “beloved dead” had been so close and caring to the “one who had just departed” that their emotions remain so strong for the kin.
Even their “black” mourning dresses were worn even when they slept. The length of time that the black mourning clothes were worn by the close women kin indicated how close they were to the dead. And of course, the men wore black arm bands.
However, I am not sure now whether our men are still strongly bound emotionally to this practice. I do not seem to note this practice among men now, although this does not mean that the men have already “outlived” this practice. It is possible, though, that the times have slowly “hardened” their hearts.
At any rate, the two days in a year when we deeply show our memory and respect for our “dear departed” deeply expresses our humanity, and our being individuals of true and genuine hearts.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2013.