In Mexico, they celebrate death by bringing sugar skulls, candied pumpkin seeds, pan de muertos, incense and marigold petals to the graveyard of loved ones. They laugh with death, accepting and celebrating the passing of a loved one from October 31, to November 2, yearly.
The Irish had a similar custom. During the intermittent time, between death and interment, the body lay in a casket at home. The men would drink and eat a little bit in the kitchen while the women mourned in the parlour. At my father’s funeral, the ritual of women folks cleansing and laying out the body in the parlour was finished. The funeral home was the place to mourn. There are still remnants from the era. Occasionally, you would hear them saying ‘ sorry for your trouble’ and ‘a wee wan’. An elderly neighbour, Paddy Berrigan sat the whole evening at the wake to comfort us and pay his last respects. At home many macaroni casseroles arrived. All Souls’ Day on November 2 is a familiar part of Day of the Dead and so I chose the art of William-Adolphe Bourguereau.
My offering, to this post are a few sketches completed at the beach this week for my friend Marcel Rochon. Rest in peace, RIP 2014.