Honoring the Dead (Part 1)

As Halloween has passed and today is the first day of Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead,” I can’t help but think of my dad.  He was cremated since he was a Buddhist, and I will never forget “that” day.  The following story will be like something you see on TV or in a movie, and I hope I can tell it the way I see it in my mind as I think back in time that was many moons ago…

When I walked into the room, my father was in the open casket.  He didn’t look the same.  When you see open caskets in movies or on TV, the dead bodies look like they’re just sleeping.  This is far from the truth.  You only know what I’m talking about if you have been up close to an open casket looking at the dead, especially if it’s your father or mother, which is something that I would NEVER hope you experience, knowing that, unfortunately, you probably will experience it in the future.  When my sister-in-law kneeled down and actually touched my dad, speaking to him, and touching his cold hands, I fucking freaked out.  I reacted to the open casket, my father lying there (assuming he’s dead as my brain could not believe he was dead) with distance and hesitation like my little nephews did at the time.   We were uncomfortable and we did not want to go near the casket.  As I can’t remember for the life of me what happened after the viewing, the following is crystal clear in my mind’s eye.  The Buddhist monks, several of them, went toward the casket and closed it as they prepared for my dad to be taken away for cremation services.  Strangely, we all followed the monks as they were chanting, carrying my dad’s casket down the halls.  Then, they opened the incinerator and put my dad’s casket, with his body in it, in the chamber and flipped the ON button.  Holy shit.  Did I see flames?  Yes.  Red and orange dancing flames to be exact.  But I had no reaction at all as I was numb and I actually could not believe that I witnessed this horror.  I wondered for a moment if my dad was still alive, burning in that chamber. 

Allow me to finish the end of this story tomorrow for Part 2, Day 2 of Dia de los Muertos.   Until then, let’s honor all the dead.  As I am reminded of the Bone Church in Kutna Hora, honoring the bones from the 40,000 dead bodies, I would like to post the exquisite bone chandelier again.  Let us all enjoy life to the fullest as we, too, will be just bones one day…


Let us all enjoy life now
before we become just bones.

About Blogatrixx

I took a solo trip to Istanbul in May, 2012 that changed me forever. It started my passion for travel, and it also ignited my passion for photography. This blog was created to express and appreciate the beauty of life through my travels.
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