Day of the dead

Between Halloween, blood moon (that was too cloudy to see here but I sure shocked Lars by getting up at 5am to look out the window and then go back to bed) and the actual death of people I know it has been on my mind.  Yesterday I read a random post by a friend on facebook who declared that today will be “Doc’s Day” because it was (is?) his birthday and he just died this past April.  Doc and I were friendly and his passing did register but on the grief diagram I would be on a way outside ring because we were really just people who knew each other and shared a hobby and once, he made me a truly bad bloody mary because I said I had never had one, but his day sparked my memory.  A long ago I posted how I baked a cake for Lars’s mom’s birthday (who died) and how I wish there was a day to honor and remember all those who have died.  I think it was my dad who reminded me of All Souls day (Catholic) or Dia de Muerto (spanish/Catholic) so it came back to me yesterday and I’ve had an idea of what to do that will be fun, respectful, and not super morbid.

I’m going to collect pictures of all the people in my life that died and put them in a book.  I know, brilliant, a book…. with pictures.  I had a thought of trying to do something with meaning for each person but given the list it could be a very crazy day.  Maybe I’ll choose a few each year?  Not that I need another project but I think this one will be reasonably easy to pull together and I will focus on the positives of each life and not dwell on the ending.

A list has been building in my head so I am going to start writing them here.  Family/friends, let me know if I’m missing someone…  I think I’m going to limit the book to people I actually know (knew?) so I’m not leaving off my great grandparents because while I love them in abstract,  I’m drawing the line somewhere.

My dad’s parent Brenden and Evelyn (Green Granddad and Granny)

My mom’s dad Charles (Rurry)

Aunt Mary

Nana – my great grandmother who lived next door

Suzanne – Lars’s mom

Russ – Lars’s Step dad

Peter – Lars’s dad <– my exception to the rule since I never met him but I can’t leave   him out

Ashley – dear friend

Octa – another friend who died close to 20 years ago but I remember him

Baby Peter – a cousin who we always count in #of grandkids but we don’t count for plates at the table

Wolf – who had a ‘real’ name but he was a rocker and a roadie and a crazy guy who should have gone with a blaze but just woke up dead from a nap

Aunt Pat – Lars’ s aunt and one of the cool ones I met.  He lived with her for a while even so she is 10x as special to him.

And after this I can think of some others but they are more like people I knew but didn’t know well so I’m not sure if I should name them all and I would be very hard pressed to get pictures of.  Sometimes I joke with my mom and play the “alive or dead” game because I have such a huge family in some ways that news of a great aunt peacefully passing at 90 does not get to me.  I’m pretty happy that my ‘first thought’ list is not that long, lucky life so far.  Lars will have some additions like his grandmother and to be fair to the kids they will be given equal billing~  I think this will be a good history project and a way to honor those who have died.

**We did tell the kids about Ashley and they seemed to more or less skip over it.  I know kids and death are not an easy equation but I wondered if it sunk in at all.  The other night, tucking Zoe in, she said “I’m so glad Ashley gave me this purple blanket before she died”.  So who knows what a 4 year old brain processes but she knows Ashley is gone forever and she is glad to have a blanket to remember.

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