Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 279; Honoring The Ancestors

Honoring the Ancestors
I know that The Day of the Dead doesn’t happen until next month. I also know that Ancestors Day is celebrated in various parts of the world all year round.
But I’ve decided that today can be a day when we all take a moment to think of our loved ones who have passed on.
I got some help in this decision; earlier in the week, a good friend told me that this was the day of her mother’s passing, she said that although it happened a few years back, it still feels like yesterday.
I know that feeling. Every day, I think I can pick up the phone and call my mom. She lived with me, so calling her was something that I did whenever I was traveling. I called before taking off and I’d call when I landed. Then I’d call again before her bedtime to say good night and to listen to her tell me about the birds and squirrels who amazed and amused her daily.
I miss the notes that my mother often left at my bedside table or the newspaper clippings and obituaries of folks I couldn't recall. “Yes, you do know her.” She’d tell me. We’d go back and forth like this for some time and then finally, I’d acquiesce just to end the debate. Sometime later that week, or even that moth, I’d truly remember the person she’d been talking about.
When I mentioned the anniversary of the passing of my friend’s mother to a mutual friend, he told me that this was his father’s birthday as well. What are the odds? I asked him.
So I’ve decided that on this day, instead of just lending my heart to a friend who will dutifully pack her mother’s things, passing them on to those in need; I’d ask us all to lend our hearts and minds to the love and memories of those gone before us.
My sister and editor Janet Hill Talbert once said to me that when a person dies, a library closes. It is our responsibility to keep them open.

·         Think about the lessons of the love ones who have passed.

·         Think about the joy and love they shared with you, enabling you to pass it on to others.

·         Think of the things you see that make you remember; enabling you to see that loved one again.

·         Recall a conversation that led to your transformation.

·         Remember the laughter that brought tears of joy and lift it up.

Today, lift up the memories of loved ones gone from earth, but not your heart and I know that my friend and all of my friends will feel it.

Be you, be well, be w wisdom keeper

Lifting the memories of my grandmother Caroline, my sister Myrna, my mother Bea, my daughter Mariah, my nephew Christopher, and the father I didn’t know on this side. Aunt Catherine, Aunt Freda, Uncle Sonny, Nana, Nan, Pop Pop, Mr. Morris, my childhood friends whose lights went out way too soon, and those whose wisdom lingered long enough to call me friend, mentor, sister, or their pet, the loved ones of my loved ones and all of their little ones who chose to come back some other time. I miss and love you and am grateful for the light you shine, illuminating my pathway still.
If you'd like, post the names of your loved ones in the comment section as we add them to our library of love and illumination.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


  1. For the light they brought to our lives: grandma Maria Teresa, grandpa Antônio, grandma Barbara and my beloved Lucky...with Love and gratitude for all you've giving us in this life...

  2. My father Frank, who died when I was 13 but I remember stories.
    My mother Helen, she made BEAUTIFUL wedding cakes.I got my artistic gift from her.
    My grandparents, all from Poland on both sides. What struggles and tenacity they must have had to come to a "new country" with the clothes on their back....and hope.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Healing for me, yourself and others. Remembering and celebrating the life my mother, Odessa, who transitioned seven years ago today. "Missing her" is an understatement. Lifting loving memories of my grandmother Alice; my grandfather Olden; my grandparents who transitioned before my birth, Wilma and Henry; Aunt Kat; Uncle William; Uncle Bill; Uncle Tea; Uncle Allen; Uncle Sidney; "Uncle" Joe; Great Aunts Hattie and Mattie; Cousin Ruby; and my step-mother Patricia.

  4. Thank you so much for thinking of this, my sweet Bertice. It brought me to tears (again) as I thought of my beloved father, Navranglal Raja. Not a single day goes by that I dont think of him a million times, and the ache in my heart just doesnt seem to subside as our world just isnt the same without him. I loved the safety and security I used to feel as he was just always 'there', and always made you feel like nothing was insurmountable. Daddy, you're forever in my heart... Shreyshree