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November 15, 2021

by Kimberly Deaño

The month of November is known for the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. However, do you know the difference between the two? All Saints’ Day is a commemoration day for the saints that have gone up to heaven whether they may be real or not, known or unknown, whilst, All Souls’ Day is the memorialization of the souls that departed to the other world.

When we lose someone, we all feel sad and it’s hard to accept why they had to leave us, especially when it is still fresh. We tend to brood and feel blues with the thought of not having them by our side in the present and in the future. Reminiscing happy moments with our passed family members, relatives, friends, or close people in our hearts gives us a short time smile in our faces. We know that someone will go when it’s their time, but we always feel our heart broke despite the readiness we have when they depart, and that, is definitely valid. As time passes by, our grief is lifted as we accept the fact that our loved ones has passed away and get used of not being together anymore. We move on, and pray that their soul rests in peace.

During the 2nd of November, All Souls’ Day is held in order to honor those who departed. People reminisce special times with their deceased loved ones, visiting graveyards, lighting candles, offering foods to the dead, some pays tribute by poems, songs, or sharing stories online, setting up memorial table at homes, or requesting a priest or a minister to pray for the dead. These gestures are some of the actions done by the living in remembrance for their demised loved ones.

In other countries, people do “trick or treat” as a Halloween tradition during the night of October 31st. Children and adults wear costumes, presenting as mythical creatures like as ghosts, fairies, and such, going to houses and knock on their doors. The term trick-or-treat refers to as, “trick” if the homeowner wants to make the person cause mischief, or “treat” if the homeowner gives gifts, particularly candies. Some people uses cards to pick whether they pull the card with the “trick” or “treat” as a game.

In the Philippines, tradition is to light up candle on cemetery, request devotion from a priest or a pastor for the soul of their deceased, get together of the family on the memorial park, or on a family member’s house to celebrate. However, because of the pandemic, going to the burial ground and family gatherings are prohibited due to the health protocols to avoid the transmission and spreading of the Covid-19 virus. Local government units extended their hands to light a candle on each tomb in place of the family members, and pay tribute to each. The LGUs also invited clergies to pray and cast holy water on each grave as an act to purify the perished souls.

In our life, family, relatives, friends, and each one of us will someday pass away. No matter how much we ready ourselves when that time comes, we always will feel our hearts shatter, feel lost, and hard to accept that fact, yet, we always overcome it as we get accustomed to the feeling and recognize that no matter how much we lament, a life that has transcended to heaven will never rose to life again. It will also be inevitable not to miss the person, especially our loved ones, and wish to sense their presence even if it is only in our dreams. We can only take a trip down memory lane and smile at the golden moments with those special in our hearts, pray that wherever their soul may be feel joy and no pain; hoping that one day, if the afterlife or rebirth is real, we will be reunited with them.