REMEMBERING OUR DEARLY DEPARTED
It’s weird that we have to observe annually a day specific for the remembrance of our dearly departed—that is, every November 1. Some with entrepreneurial orientation would even cash in on said day by introducing masks of zombies, rubberized skeletal remains, plastic voodoo instruments and “fearful” props not in honor of the dead though but more on mocking their influence as they are recalled in their imagined state of deterioration.
The day is a mixture of deference and ridicule, on respect and travesty, on reverence and disregard. It is a day for reunion of those left behind, at times made as an occasion for some celebratory gathering. The atmosphere is festive to a certain extent. The point is to recall the presence of a loved one, recollect those deeds and significant influence, a reminiscence of accomplishment, an attempt to establish a kind of legacy which could never be forgotten.
Children were made up to look funny and amusing. The day has been commercialized. It has evolved into a circus where admiration of the person who crossed over has been relegated if not totally ignored in favor of mindless merriment. If at all there remains a memorial for their worthy presence sometime in the past to be recalled at present, it has virtually been erased and commemoration blithely discounted. As the saying goes, “let the dead bury the dead.” For the living, it is business as usual whatever is the date.
I have no argument for this development; neither would I express rancor nor sadness. I would rather throw myself in one corner, in an area where reclusiveness may be expressed, to remember my loved ones—they who made life an exciting journey not only for me but also for those whom they have offered much concern and attention. And it is not on a particular day but on any day their image may be recalled. A song may be played on the radio and I would be reminded on a particular person. My mother when she was still around would always sing a Timi Yuro hit. My father would rejoice whenever he played on our stereo some marching hymns. For every melody, I am reminded of a loved one, a number of close friends, relatives, even acquaintances.
When the Beatles’ songs are played, an array of memories would flow in continuous stream, evoking memoirs of those who have gone to life hereafter. There are also tunes coming from BeeGees, Elvis Presley, Motown hits and even those sang by the Big three Sullivan and Eddie Peregrina. Not to mention those wonderful music rendered by the Hotdogs, VST, Rico Puno, Freddie Aguilar, Ogie Alcasid to name a few. I am still checking whether there are memories hidden whenever the airwaves would play the song of Lady Gaga or the Oppa Gangnam Style!
For me it is not the day but the music that revives, that resurrects my dearly departed back to life. I dare say that it is also everyone’s silent repertoire whenever we wish to be with our loved ones—not missing nor gone to some places unknown but rather are actually residing in our hearts and minds.