Trash of the dead

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - November 3, 2018 - 12:00am

By now, the Department of Public Services is busy cleaning up the cemeteries. They hoped there will be lesser trash this year. They hauled in more than a hundred bags last year consisting of flowers, plastics, and wax from candles. Although it has been a Filipino tradition to visit the graves of their dearly departed every November 1 and 2, the problem of cleaning up after them has become perennial, thus a concern for every environmentalist.


The Catholic Church has always said to pray, to remember the departed, even those whom we haven't seen in a long time. They may be far away but with the power of prayer we can always reach out to them through the intercession of the many channels available. The flowers are another thing. Apart from the aesthetic effect it has on the grave, it symbolizes the beauty and purity of the departed. My journey to the cemetery this year was short and sweet. We lit up only two candles, one each for my grandparents who are buried in the same bone chamber. As the candles melted under the heat of the fire, it was pretty evident that the light will guide them wherever they will be in this journey of the afterlife.

While traditions make up materials objects that are categorized as trash, there are other garbage that we carry with us as we journey through life. Those are the excess baggage left unsaid to our loved ones. Isn't it weird that when the person was still alive, we used to snub and talk bad about them but when they die we wail at the funeral? Others hug the casket and want to “join” them. Why? Some things were left unsaid. With that, we ask the question, what to do with all this time? Okay, I borrowed that line from my favorite band, LANY.

But kidding aside, I guess it's time that we reevaluate the way we live our lives every day. We need to reflect on the actions that we have been doing in relation to others and our families. There are no regrets that come ahead, they always come at the latter part. They are also usually the most painful.

Let this all be a lesson to us as we move past the days of the dead, and the celebration of the saints and souls. As living creatures, we ought to do good with others and for others in order for us to attain harmony. The Bible was very vivid when it said that the commandments are to love God and others, including our enemy.

After the first week of November, we now look forward to December, Christmas time. It will be the time for giving. I wish it will just be more than that. More than giving let it also be a time for healing. It is time to open up our hearts to make sure that our relationships are in healthy shape.


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