Transition Café – Days of the Dead, 2017 edition

From William Mutch for Transition Cafe Nov 3, 2017:

Funny, this morning, during my sit, I watched two Coyotes frolicking just feet from a day-bedding Buck. I’ve seen Coyotes and Deer close to each other, before, but that’s the first time I’ve seen a Deer so composed about a major predator hanging out while he was relaxing. Perhaps they had eaten recently, and he could smell that or see it in their body language? One of my housemates just found some Deer legs down in the Oak grove we are stewarding, so one would think the Deer would be aware of the Coyotes as a threat. I wonder how often Coyotes actually kill adult Deer, in this area. Maybe they mostly scavenge from Feline predators? Anyway…

It is that time of the year, again, when we get to welcome our departed family, friends, and random party-crashers into our homes, celebrate their lives, remember their deaths, wish them well until next year, and perhaps contemplate our own mortality in the process. …or just dress up in costumes and go neighborhood-hopping, hitting up the houses with the best loot, and forgetting that someday we, too, will get to melt into the ground, or leave our bodies “forever” …whichever… (and yes, I know that this is highly culture-specific, with different cultures celebrating their Days of the Dead at different times of the year…(see last year’s writings on this))

If the latter, enjoy the fallout from that evening, and take care of those teeth. If the former, whether you do the whole thing, or some part of it, what is that like for you? What is it like for you to read that, whether you believe in that sort of thing, or not?

Interestingly, there have been some (many?) cross-cultural studies on bereavement, and it seems that those who have a continuing, evolving relationship with the departed become the most emotionally-healthy, going forward. To clarify:

Some folks force themselves to “move on” from the departed, whether or not they believe in an afterlife, on the grounds that they “shouldn’t” hold on, either for their health or for that of their departed loved one.

Some folks remember the departed the way they were the last time they saw them “alive”, as a “snapshot” of who they were.
Some folks continue to relate to that static image, as if their loved one “stopped”, right then.

For some, the relationship with their departed loved one continues to grow, mature, evolve, as it might have, had the person continued in corporeal form. This seems independent of belief in an afterlife, per se.

Whole cultures (and cults) have been based around each of those options. Some of us, due to culture, personality, indecisiveness, or general obnoxiousness, apply each of those to one or more individuals, at different times and/or when we are in different moods. Not to say that any of these is more or less right or wrong than any other, either, just that the last option seems to be the one which offers optimal emotional health. Of course, some of us also apply each of those relationship options to our corporeal loved ones, too, and for similar reasons.

How a culture deals with Death can have a huge influence on how it deals with Life. How does your approach to Death influence your life? Do “we”, in the US, have a dominant, cultural view of Death, or is it a sort of mishmash of different cultural ideas? Is it worth thinking about future lives and generations, or does the person who dies with the most cheap plastic crap actually win?

How do these questions relate to the world, today, and Transition Towns, in general?

Days of the Dead, 2017 edition, at Red Rock Coffee, this Friday. Dinner often happens, afterwards, maybe it will this week, too.




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